Apple AirPods Pro in-ear headphones are terrific and now, thanks to a firmware update that’s being automatically downloaded to the earbuds now, they’re about to get even better.
Spatial audio is a new feature that Apple announced back in June. It’s a way of adding surround-sound effects to the movie, say, you’re listening to through your earbuds. It makes use of accelerometers and gyroscopes in the AirPods Pro – I mean, it’s pretty cool that such tiny gadgets had room for such tech, right?
These gyroscopes are being used for the first time with spatial audio and they mean that as you move your head, the sound moves with you, to give an even more dramatic and realistic effect. It works with compatible audio content, obviously.
So, how do you get the update?
First, it’s worth noting that it only works if your iPhone is running iOS 14, which is still in public beta though, presumably, is going to be available on general release in the coming days.
Second, you can’t request an update on AirPods or AirPods Pro, it’ll just happen when it’s good and ready. The only thing you can do is ensure it’s near to the companion device so it’s able to update when the moment is right.
When it’s happened, you’ll know about it by going to Settings, General and then About on your companion iPhone. Then choose AirPods Pro. Your AirPods Pro need to be connected to the iPhone for them to show up. The firmware number, when the update has happened, will be 3A283.
Once it’s there, you’ll see a new option in Control Center referring to Spatial Audio. One reader on MacRumors reported the effect as “so convincing that I actually thought at first that the sound was coming from my iPad’s speakers. Had to take an AirPod out of my ear to confirm I was really hearing it from the AirPods themselves.”
As well as spatial audio the firmware update, in conjunction with iOS 14 delivers seamless auto switching between devices, so you can stop watching a movie on your iPad and start listening to a podcast on your iPhone and the audio will switch automatically.
These are very cool updates which will be widely available as soon as iOS 14 goes live. Can’t be long now, can it?
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