Verizon Adaptive Sound is the carrier’s take on spatial audio, rolling out now to some phones

Spatial audio is an important feature in Apple’s long list of features. It’s one of the elements that the company hopes will get Apple Music to stand out from the competition. But Apple isn’t the only company with this surround sound experience. Even Verizon is getting in on the fun.

Today, Verizon confirmed that the new Adaptive Sound will be available for the new Motorola One 5G UW Ace, which launches Thursday, July 8. However, as noted by Droid Life (via The Verge) today, the Motorola Edge Plus recently receives a firmware update that apparently added support for the feature as well. So, technically, Verizon Adaptive Sound is already out there in the wild.

Today’s announcement says Verizon has been developing this feature since 2019, starting with the Gen 2 Alexa router. Adaptive Sound is interesting in its implementation, combining software and cloud-based solutions. Verizon says this will bring an “upgraded, premium sound experience” to a variety of different devices. Verizon says the listening experience is available “regardless of what headphone, soundbar or earbud brand you use.”

Here are the major bullet points:

  • Verizon Adaptive Sound has been in the works since 2019 when we started testing this capability in our Gen 2 Alexa router. We took those learnings and started embedding it into our broader roadmap and with select partners. That was the genesis of VAS.
  • Verizon Adaptive Sound uses an innovative software and cloud-based solution to provide customers with an upgraded, premium sound experience across all of their content and listening devices.
  • Verizon Adaptive Sound produces a brilliant spatial surround experience regardless of what headphone, soundbar or earbud brand you use or what application you’re watching or listening to, including Dolby Atmos-enabled content.
  • To experience Verizon Adaptive Sound, simply use your favorite applications to play your music, video or game and it will automatically optimize the content for your listening device.
  • You can also manually control different settings like treble, bass, spatial, voice, etc.
  • The motorola one 5G UW ace is the first phone to come with Verizon Adaptive Sound, but it will be made available on a broader portfolio of new devices in the future, as well as some existing devices via an over-the-air software update.
  • You can easily turn it on and off in the settings under sound.

Verizon is really leaning into the whole, “bring this to the masses” approach for its Adaptive Sound feature. In its announcement today, the company notes that other options for similar experiences are typically tied to expensive hardware. Or, that the experience is limited in scope because it needs support from the content.

As Verizon puts it:

Hearing has always been one of the most powerful senses, and is even more so in the digital age. While some technology solutions have attempted to provide premium sound experiences to some specific (usually expensive) devices and to a limited subset of content, most devices and content experiences have been relegated to a disjointed, sub-optimal, and lowest-common-denominator-like experience. We wanted to change that.

The specifics are basically nonexistent here, and how this works is pretty vague. There are some unanswered questions here, like overall quality. There’s no mention of whether or not Apple’s devices will be supported, either.

The mass support here may give Verizon some ground to stand on, but it will be interesting to see which devices under the wireless carrier’s “broader portfolio” support the feature.

Are you looking forward to seeing more surround sound audio experiences?