Use spatial audio in 360-degree and VR videos

You can experience a video's sound in all directions with YouTube spatial audio.

Upload videos with spatial audio

  1. Create a 360° or VR video with spatial audio. 

    Spatial audio requirements

    1. Render out 360 mono video in DNxHR. Encode with FFMPEG, if needed.
    2. Bring your mono 360 video into your spatial workstation plugin within your DAW. 
    3. Open your converted DAW project or bring your tracks individually into the DAW.
    4. Apply the spatializer to tracks that you wish to place in space. You can also have tracks that are headlocked (generally in stereo). 
    5. Use your spatializer plugin to position tracks in space.
    6. For headlocked tracks, route stereo outputs to the first channel of the ambisonic mix.
    7. Export audio as WAV. 
    8. Bring audio into encoder with video. 
    9. Select export setting for YouTube Spatial Audio.
  2. Run the latest version of the metadata tool on the video.
  3. Upload the video to YouTube.​

Learn how to upload 180 or 360-degree videos.

Preview spatial audio on VR videos

To preview the spatial audio of your VR videos before uploading them, you can use the Resonance Audio Monitor VST plugin.ns.

Supported spatial audio formats

YouTube supports two different spatial audio formats:

  • First Order Ambisonics
  • First Order Ambisonics with Head-Locked Stereo

You can also add Head-Locked Stereo audio to your videos, which doesn’t change when a viewer moves their head.

Technical requirements

You can use the full YouTube spatial audio spec to learn about supported layouts and orderings. Make sure you follow these minimum requirements when using spatial audio.

Minimum requirements for spatial audio

  1. Metadata is added to your file.
  2. Only one audio track is used.
    • ​​Multiple audio tracks, such as tracks with spatial and stereo/mono audio in the same file, are not supported
  3. Spatial audio uses Ambisonics (AmbiX) format:
    • ACN channel ordering
    • SN3D normalization
  4. Supported First Order Ambisonics (FOA) formats:
    • W, Y, Z, X as a 4-channel audio track in your uploaded file, sample rate: 48 kHz
    • PCM encoded audio in a MOV container:
    • AAC encoded audio in a MP4/MOV container:
      • Min. bitrate: 256 kbps
    • OPUS encoded audio in an MP4 container:
      • Channel mapping family: 2
      • Min. bitrate 512 kbps
  5. Supported First Order Ambisonics (FOA) with Head-Locked Stereo format:
    • W, Y, Z, X, L, R as a 6-channel audio track in your uploaded file, sample rate: 48 kHz
    • PCM encoded audio in a MOV container:
      • Sample rate: 48 kHz
    • OPUS encoded audio in an MP4 container:
      • Min. bitrate 768 kbps
      • Channel mapping family: 2

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