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Color OS could soon let you place multiple sound sources in spatial audio

This feature could soon make its way to OPPO, Realme, and OnePlus smartphones.
By
August 14, 2023
Color OS Holo Audio
Color OS
TL;DR
  • Code within Oxygen OS/Color OS indicates that OPPO is working on a new Holo Audio feature.
  • This feature lets you play multiple audio sources simultaneously in spatial audio and further allows you to place the audio sources in the 3D audio space around you.

OPPO’s Color OS skin powers not only OPPO smartphones but also Realme and even OnePlus smartphones (Oxygen OS uses Color OS as its base). Consequently, features announced for Color OS end up on many devices that are popular around the world. We’ve spotted a new feature that is coming to Color OS. Potentially called Holo Audio, this new feature could allow you to place multiple sound sources around you in spatial audio.

We’ve been enjoying the Oxygen OS 14 beta release based on Android 14 on our OnePlus 11. While the changes on the surface are not as many, the build contains clues to some features that could make their way to future OPPO, Realme, and OnePlus devices.

An APK teardown helps predict features that may arrive on a service in the future based on work-in-progress code. However, it is possible that such predicted features may not make it to a public release.

Reliable tipster @1NormalUsername spotted strings related to a new Holo Audio feature within Oxygen OS 14. The strings are numerous, so we are highlighting a select few. We also spotted the graphic asset that you see used in this article.

Code
<string name="holo_audio">Holo Audio</string>
<string name="holo_audio_custom_mode_play_tips">Try playing two audio sources at once</string>
<string name="holo_audio_custom_mode_description">Tap an audio source to customize its location. You can customize ringtones, alarms, notifications, VoIP calls, videos, audiobooks, music, and navigation voice. Game audio is not currently supported.</string>
<string name="holo_audio_guide_summary">Using spatial rendering technology, you can play multiple audio sources at the same time in different spatial locations so you can easily distinguish between them. You can customize the locations of ringtones, alarms, notifications, VoIP calls, game sounds, videos, audiobooks, music, and navigation.</string>
<string name="holo_audio_preference_summary">When listening through headphones, you can play multiple audio sources at the same time in different spatial locations.</string>
<string name="holo_audio_recommend_description">Customize the spatial location of multiple audio sources.</string>
<string name="holo_audio_smart_mode_description">The system automatically chooses the best spatial locations for each audio source. You can customize ringtones, alarms, notifications, VoIP calls, game sounds, videos, audiobooks, music, and navigation.</string>
<string name="holo_audio_smart_mode_summary">Automatically choose the best spatial locations for you.</string>

As we can discern from these strings, Holo Audio is a new feature that OPPO is working on. This feature lets you play two audio sources in different spatial locations. It essentially merges the feature of dual-audio playback with spatial audio and lets you decide where to place the audio source in the 3D audio space around you. For those who don’t want to bother with manual selection, strings indicate that the feature has an auto mode too.

As mentioned in the strings, the feature does not support game audio. We have also spotted strings that will let you choose apps for audiobooks, VoIP calls, music, navigation, and video playback.

Curiously, video playback is listed twice, as “Video 1” and “Video 2,” which leads us to speculate that you could have two videos (and their spatial audio) playing back simultaneously. However, this does sound like sensory overload to us.

Strings indicate that the feature will work with headphones only and not through your phone speaker. We speculate you would need compatible audio hardware that supports spatial audio, like the OnePlus Buds Pro 2. We are unsure if the feature will arrive on existing phones and compatible earbuds or will be reserved for future devices.

As mentioned, although the feature was spotted on Oxygen OS, it is present in the Color OS base. Thus, it could arrive on either OPPO, Realme, and OnePlus smartphones or all of them.

We’ve reached out to OPPO for comments on this feature. We’ll update this article when we hear back from them.