Google Pixel phones are getting a big Android audio upgrade

The latest Pixel-only Android beta brings some serious sonic sweetness to your phone

Google Pixel 7 being used while searching for music records
(Image credit: Google)

Good news for owners of Google's best Android phones, such as the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro: there's a huge audio upgrade coming your way and if you're brave enough to run a beta on your everyday phone, you can have it right now. The latest Pixel Android beta enables you to try out 2023's Pixel features right now, and it's available for Pixels from the Pixel 4 and its variants to the Pixel 7 series.

The beta is called QPR2, which stands for Quarterly Platform Release 2. Google hasn't published details of what's in it, but Android expert Mishaal Rahman (opens in new tab) has and it's quite exciting.

Why this Android update is important for audio

In addition to a host of other improvements including improved windowing, security improvements and various interface tweaks, the new beta delivers spatial audio on supported devices, which currently means the Pixel 6 and 7 models. We saw the feature in previous betas but Google took it out again; now it's back! Back! BACK! It's available for both wired headphones and for wireless headphones and earbuds too. 

Other changes include a pre-loaded Health Connect app to make it easy to get all your health data into a single place, updated display options for the Pixel 6 Pro and various interface improvements. The final update is expected to ship in March 2023 but if you can't wait that long you can join the Pixel beta programme. You'll find full details of how to join here

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written thirteen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote another seven books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com (opens in new tab)).