This is how mind-blowing spatial audio works on AirPods Pro and AirPods Max

Since last year, AirPods Pro and AirPods Max users can enjoy a feature called spatial audio or spatial audio that provides an incredible sound experience. It is a new way to experience sound on AirPods, both in movies and in series. If you have not yet been able to try this feature, we will tell you what it is.

Spatial audio, a dynamic way to listen to movies and series

As Apple explained at WWDC 2020 where it presented this feature of the AirPods Pro, spatial audio creates a sound environment that goes beyond the left and right tracks. Depending on the content you are viewing, these AirPods can create what is called a “sound field.” Taking the device to which they are connected as a reference, a directional source of sound is created.

spatial audio explanation

Until now, the channel emitted by the left side was reproduced in the left earphone, while the right earphone was in charge of the sound in the right. Whatever you do the sound always came in this way, no matter what you do with your head.

Now this is not necessarily the case anymore. If you leave your device in a place and shake your head, the sound will always move with its screen as the point of origin. With this you get a much more immersive experienceespecially if we are in a moving environment.

How the spatial audio of the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max works

AirPods Max on tableAirPods Max on table

The spatial audio from AirPods Pro and AirPods Max it is a function within its settings. If you have iOS 14 and update your AirPods Pro, it will be activated by default, but you can control the setting in two ways:

spatial audio settingsspatial audio settings

  • In Settings> Bluetooth> AirPods Pro there is a spatial audio button.
  • From the Control Center, with the AirPods Pro on, you can open its options by holding down the volume slider.

With this feature enabled, AirPods that support spatial audio simulate the arrival of sounds from multiple points around us. It uses directional filters and frequency changes in each ear to try to give that immersive experience. The gyroscope and accelerometer that each earphone incorporates allows you to know how you move your head according to the reference. This achieves an immersive effect on the sound experience, without the need to have multiple sound sources in tiny headphones.

The sensors in these AirPods allow us to know how we move our head and modify the direction of the audio

Thanks to this technology, Apple ensures that compatible AirPods are capable of playing 5.1, 7.1 and Dolby Atmos sound. The latter is a very significant step in the sound experience of a movie, since it is not limited only to sounds on our sides. It also adds a top layer that allows for three-dimensional sound.

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The Greyhound movie on Apple TV + has this kind of sound and your experience is totally mind-blowing. Naval battles, cannon shots and engines “live” on your iPhone or iPad. To find out which movies or series have Dolby Atmos, you have to make sure that it appears on their file for the service you are using (on Apple TV + it is clearly specified).

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