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The new 3A283 firmware that Apple released for the AirPods Pro today appears to introduce support for Spatial Audio, a new feature coming to the higher-end AirPods with iOS 14.

airpodsprospatialaudio.jpg

Multiple reports on Twitter and the MacRumors forums indicate that the firmware update adds a "Spatial Audio" option to the Control Center, which can be activated to enable the feature. Note that using Spatial Audio requires the iOS 14 update to be installed.

Early reports from the MacRumors forums suggest Spatial Audio is functional and working with Apple TV+ content. Several people who have tested the feature have been impressed, calling the audio "immersive," "mind-blowing" and "trippy." From a MacRumors reader with Spatial Audio working:
Just tried out spatial audio on my iPad. Very cool! The illusion of the audio coming from the iPad is 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. I would really like to learn more about whatever dark magic Apple is using to pull off this illusion!
Introduced at WWDC and coming in iOS 14, Spatial Audio brings movie theater-like sound to the earbuds. Spatial audio uses dynamic head tracking to create immersive sound anywhere in space by applying directional audio filters and subtle frequency adjustments.


Spatial audio uses the gyroscope and accelerometer in the AirPods Pro and iPhone to track the motion of your head and your iPhone's position, comparing the motion data, and then remapping the sound field so that it stays anchored to your device even as your head moves.

Today's update also appears to enable the feature that allows for automatic switching between devices, which is available for AirPods and AirPods Pro. Automatic switching will connect the AirPods to any Apple device signed associated with your iCloud when you activate audio on that device and are actively using it.

Article Link: New AirPods Pro Firmware Introduces Spatial Audio Support and Automatic Switching
 
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Chrisandy

macrumors member
Dec 30, 2016
65
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Anyone on iOS 14 able to verify?

Whenever I toggle Spatial Audio on, it says "This content isn't supported by spatial audio"

Also auto switching doesn't seem to work - unless I misunderstand the concept. I play media on my phone when the AirPods are connected to my laptop and nothing changes.
 
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LawJolla

macrumors regular
Sep 29, 2013
109
724
The spatial audio is absolutely wild! Turn your head 90 degrees from the phone to see it work. Two thumbs up Apple.

Edit: The more I use it, it can be a little off putting. It gives me the sense that my Airpods aren't working and sound is coming from the iPhone. (Yes, I know that's the point :) )
 
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BigMcGuire

Contributor
Jan 10, 2012
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the Alpha Quadrant
Don’t know why SDJim downvoted this, perfectly innocent question lol

IM guessing because last paragraph: " Today's update also appears to enable the feature that allows for automatic switching between devices, which is available for AirPods and AirPods Pro. Automatic switching will connect the AirPods to any Apple device signed associated with your iCloud when you activate audio on that device and are actively using it. "

Personally, I try to avoid the downvoting. :/ Not a big fan.
 
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