Here’s a welcome bit of news for anyone with a pair of Apple’s fantastic Airpods Pro - they are now even better! Apple today released a free firmware update that gives the headphones 3D Audio!
The update is only available for the Airpods Pro, and should be available for download right now. Your Airpods Pro should automatically update as long as they are:
In their case, and connected to power
Paired with an iPhone or any other Apple product which has a working net connection
To check whether your headphone have been updated to the latest version:
1 - Make sure your Airpods Pro are connected to your iPhone. You may need to open the top of the case if they’re showing as ‘non connected’ on the Bluetooth menu.
2 - Open the Settings app, and go to General -> About -> Airpods Pro.
3 - This will display the details of the headphones. If they have been updated properly, the ‘Firmware Version’ will read ‘3A283’.
In our tests it took a little while for our Airpods to update - there are a lot of people trying to download the update - so just be patient and keep the Airpods plugged in, and they’ll receive the new firmware eventually!
The new mode - called ‘Spatial Audio’ - is similar to the Dolby Atmos technology found in soundbars and speakers. It effectively simulates full 3D surround sound, using a variety of clever tricks to attach direction and position to sections of the audio, allowing the headphones to trick your brain into thinking the sounds are part of a 3D space, coming from behind or even above you. This allows for immersive soundscapes similar those you find in big cinemas - only squashed into a tiny pair of earbuds!
Like Dolby Atmos, the Spatial Audio supported ‘Object-Based Audio’, which allows the Airpods Pro to take 3D audio one step further. With this, individual sounds within the audio track (such as a car, or a person’s voice) can ‘move’ through the audio, seeming to move from left to right, or above you - making it feel like you are right in the movie!
Note that full Spacial Audio won’t work on everything - sadly the system needs specifically-tailored content to work. This means that only music/video that has been optimized for Dolby Atmos, 5.1 or 7.1 will use this new mode. Luckily more and more content is available every day, and we expect Apple to start rolling out a raft of new Spacial Audio music and video very soon
Unique to the Airpods Pro, Spacial Audio uses accelerometers and sensors to work out your position in relation to your phone, and can alter the audio accordingly. So if you play a podcast and walk around the room, the sound will alter, making it seem like the voice is always coming from the direction of your iPhone! Pretty exciting stuff!
If you’re lucky enough to already have a set of Apple Airpods Pro, then enjoy your new 3D audio experience! If you’ve been craving a pair, then check out Kagoo for the best prices and grab a pair today!