How To Turn On Windows Sonic For Headphones In Windows 10? (Easy Guide To Follow)

A while back Microsoft introduced a feature called Windows Sonic spatial sound for Windows 10 and Xbox users. In this article, we will understand how you can activate the Windows Sonic spatial sound on your Windows desktop or laptop and what the feature is all about.

So, How To Turn On Windows Sonic For Headphones?

To switch on Windows Sonic for headphones in Windows 10:

  1. Click on Start and then open the Settings menu
  2. Navigate to System, then Sound and click on Related Settings
  3. You will see the Sound Control Panel window
  4. Click on any playback device (here it would be your headphones)
  5. Now click on Properties
  6. Once the new window opens up, select the option for Spatial Sound
  7. There will be an option to select the Spatial Sound Format
    Windows Sonic
  8. Select Windows Sonic for Headphones and then click on Apply
  9. This should activate the Windows Sonic feature on your Windows 10 device

Do note that by default, the Windows Sonic spatial sound feature is usually disabled on the Windows system. You will need to follow the steps shown here to activate it.

How To Turn On Windows Sonic For Headphones In Windows 10?
How To Turn On Windows Sonic For Headphones In Windows 10?

What is Windows Sonic for headphones?

So, what exactly is Windows Sonic, and how does it function? To answer this question, we must first define the spatial sound. Spatial sound allows a listener to more precisely determine the source of a sound.

It allows you to hear not only the side from which an audio cue is coming but also the exact angle and elevation. As you might expect, Windows Sonic for Headphones can be useful for gaming.

Windows Sonic vs Dolby Atmos

A pair of 7.1 surround sound speakers and something like Dolby Atmos is usually the best way to experience spatial audio. However, these are costly and can cause disruption to others.

Fortunately, Windows Sonic works with any pair of headphones – and a good pair of stereo headphones can sound surprisingly realistic. By creating a virtual audio stage that mimics the physics of real sound, Windows Sonic tricks your brain into thinking sound is coming from multiple directions.

Loudness, distortion, echo, pitch, and other factors all play a role. As a result, Windows Sonic works best with games and movies that already support spatial audio, but it can also “upscale” regular audio to improve the experience.

Advantages of Windows Sonic for Headphones

The benefits of Windows Sonic for Headphones are as follows.

  • Space constraints: You don’t need to set up a slew of surround sound systems to get a comparable audio experience.
  • Windows Sonic for Headphones is free to use and does not require any expensive equipment.
  • Simple to install: You can install it on your computer or Xbox One.
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When to Use Windows Sonic for Headphones?

When is it appropriate to use Windows Sonic for headphones? It is appropriate for the two scenarios listed below.

  • Play Game: Windows Sonic can assist you in determining the direction of footsteps or gunshots.
  • Watching movies with good picture quality and excellent sound is always a good idea. When using Windows Sonic for Headphones to watch a movie, you are more likely to notice subtle differences.

How to turn on Windows Sonic for headphones Through Task Bar?

Instead of following the long process listed above, you can also activate Windows Sonic spatial sound through the Windows Taskbar. Here is how you can do it.

Windows Sonic Taskbar
  1. On the Windows Taskbar, right-click on the Sound icon
  2. In the menu that opens up, you should get an option called Spatial Sound. This would be Off by default
  3. Click on the Spatial Sound option, and you will get an option to switch it on for your headphones
  4. If due for any reason, you do not find the option through the Taskbar Sound icon, then follow the first process listed above for spatial sound
WS Taskbar

How To Turn off Windows Sonic spatial feature?

If for some reason, you want to get rid of the spatial surround sound experience, then you can follow the steps below to de-activate it.

  1. On the Windows Taskbar, right-click on the Sound icon
  2. In the menu that opens up, you should see an option for Spatial Sound
  3. This should be On, indicating that the Spatial Sound feature is activated
  4. Click on Spatial Sound and then select Off
  5. This will de-activate the Windows Sonic feature

Now, if you do not have the Sound icon on the Windows Taskbar then you will need to follow these steps to de-activate Windows Sonic.

  1. Open the Control Panel through the Windows Start Menu
  2. Under Sound Control Panel, you will see an option for Audio or Sound. Click on it
  3. You might also get an option called System under which you will find either Audio or spatial sound options
  4. Once you are in the Sound window, select the Playback Device on which the feature is enabled
  5. This would be the headphones or speakers you are using
  6. Under Spatial Sound Format, there is a drop-down menu
  7. Click on it and now select Off

This completes the process of switching off the Windows Sonic feature.

How To Activate Windows Sonic on the Xbox One gaming console?

Hardcore games will be happy to know that the Windows Sonic feature is now being offered on the Xbox One as well. This will surely alleviate your gaming experience to another level!

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To activate the Sonic spatial sound technology on your headphones on the Xbox, follow the steps below.

  1. On the Xbox console, press the Xbox button
  2. This will open up the Xbox guide
  3. Navigate to the option for Setting and click on it
  4. Click on the All Settings option
  5. Now go to the Display and Audio tab
  6. Click on the Audio Output option
  7. Here you will see the Windows Sonic option
  8. Under the Headphone Format option, select Windows Sonic for Headphones
  9. If you are using wired headphones connected to the HDMI or audio port, you will need to select the checkbox for Using HDMI or optical audio headset
  10. However, if you are using wireless headphones or connected directly to the controller, or using a USB port, then you can skip Step 9
  11. Click on Apply and the windows sonic for headphones is enabled on the Xbox One
Sonic for Xbox

How To Test If The Windows Sonic Feature Works On Your Headphones Or Not?

So, what is spatial sound? It is an audio experience that involves the flow of surround sound around you, creating a three-dimensional audio experience. It basically enhances your audio and creates a more immersive experience especially when you watch movies or play games!

Once you know that your Win 10 laptop and your headphones support the Sonic spatial sound technology, it is always a good idea to test how it works. You can do this before you activate the Windows Sonic feature. Play any video to see how the audio experience is.

Note the sounds and the direction it moves in. Now activate the Windows Sonic spatial feature for your headphones using the steps shown above. Play the same video clip to see if there is any difference in the surround sound experience!

Windows Sonic Feature
Windows Sonic Feature

How Does Windows Sonic help In Creating A Better Audio Experience?

Not everybody can invest in expensive or good-quality headphones. In fact, most of us tend to use the headphones that came with our mobile phones. These are made for basic use and are not designed to deliver high-grade audio experiences.

Therefore, Microsoft launched software to enhance the audio quality on any kind of headphones you hear it on. Through the windows sonic for headphones, you should be able to get better output with even the most basic headphones.

Spatial sounds thrive to create a better 3D audio experience. Think of it as your own surround sound system. The only difference is that it can happen through your headphones! Imagine watching an action movie or playing games with the Sonic enabled!

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What Devices Are Supported For The Windows Sonic Feature?

You can use any brand of ordinary stereo headphones to enjoy the benefits of Sonic. The sounds feature doesn’t limit itself to a certain type of headphone so it doesn’t matter if you use corded, wireless, Bluetooth headphones, etc.

However, the quality of the audio output will definitely depend on the quality of your headphones. That cannot be controlled by the Win Sonic feature.

Windows Sonic vs Dolby Atmos
Windows Sonic vs Dolby Atmos

Conclusion: Windows Sonic For Headphones

Whether you are watching movies, YouTube videos, playing games, or looking at videos that you have created, an immersive surround sound experience enhances the audio-visual appeal of the content.

One of the best ways of getting good output is to use high-quality computers, audio chipsets, and/or listening devices such as headphones and speakers. But, what do you do if you can’t spend so much upgrading your hardware?

This is where the software comes in. The main objective of Microsoft creating the Windows Sonic spatial feature is to free users from making expensive hardware investments. With a few tweaks of the surround sound settings, you should be able to get a much better output.

We hope you enjoyed our article about switching on the windows sonic for headphones. Follow all the steps mentioned in the article and you should be on your way to enjoying good quality surround sound experiences i.e. windows sonic for headphones.

FAQs About Windows Sonic For Headphones

How do I turn Windows Sonic Headphones on Windows 11?

Select System. On the right, navigate to the Sound page. Select the Speakers page from the “Output” section. To enable spatial sound on Windows 11, use the Type drop-down menu and select the Windows Sonic for Headphones option under the “Spatial sound” setting.

What is Windows Sonic for Headphones setting?

Microsoft’s attempt to recreate the spatial sound experience for everyone on the Xbox One and Windows 10 is known as Windows Sonic for Headphones. It does not require any special physical equipment or hardware to function. Instead, it operates through software and virtual means.

Does Windows Sonic work on any Headphones?

Rather than using sonic headphones or dedicated surround sound headphones, Windows Sonic is activated by simply toggling a button in your computer’s speaker settings. It isn’t compatible with all setups, such as built-in laptop speakers, but it does support all headphones.

Evan Grant

A Musician, headphones lover, boyfriend and also the lead Editor of ElectricFieldsFestival, Evan Grant is the guy who runs this site. He's a great Roger Federer fan and is always up for a game of Tennis.

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