Spatial Audio Feature In AirPods Pro: What It Is And How To Use It?

Have you heard about the spatial audio feature in AirPods Pro but don’t know how to use it? Apple introduced the spatial audio feature in their headsets to provide a fantastic sound experience to their users. However, if you don’t know what spatial audio is and how to use it, you are in the right place.

Spatial audio is a 3-dimensional sound format providing a cinema-like experience. You can activate spacial audio on through Bluetooth settings or the control center. Spatial audio works on AirPods Pro, 3rd Generation AirPods, AirPods Max, and Beats Fit Pro.

The headsets mentioned above support spatial audio, but you also need to connect them to a compatible device. Learn how spatial audio works in AirPods Pro and how you can turn it on on different devices today. So, let’s get started!

What is the Spatial Audio Feature in AirPods Pro?

AirPods Pro on red background

You must have heard about Spatial Audio Features for AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, and AirPods 3rd Generation. Apple introduced spatial audio for their AirPods to provide users with an exceptional sound experience. However, many people don’t know exactly what spatial audio does. 

Spatial audio is a 3D technology providing a 360-degree audio format for supported songs and videos. It coordinates with the movement of the iPhone and iPad.

Through spatial audio, one can experience a cinematic sound effect as if it is coming from all directions. The technology is so advanced that even tiny earbuds can provide a theater-like sound effect to you.

AirPods Pro has accelerometers and gyroscopes that detect the movement of your head. This way, the sound comes from all sides, providing an all-rounder music and video experience.

Directional audio filters are present in the AirPods Pro to adjust the frequency of the sound in each ear and provide a balanced sound in both ears.

If you use AirPods Pro with the spatial audio feature turned on and watch a supported movie, no matter how much you turn your head, the audio will seem like it is coming from all sides. It provides a true-cinema experience at home.

However, the sounds and videos you watch should support this feature. Otherwise, the sound will not seem cinematic and only come from one side, just like when the spatial audio feature is turned off.

The Types of Spatial Audio

You get four basic types of spatial audio in Apple, which are:

  • Spatialized Stereo
  • Dolby Atmos
  • Spatialized Stereo with Dynamic Head Tracking
  • Dolby Atmos with Dynamic Head Tracking

Dolby Atmos is getting famous in both the film and movie industry. It works amazingly on speakers but also on AirPods Pro. 

How to Use Spatial Audio?

To use spatial audio, it is essential that the video or audio you are using supports this technology. Unfortunately, mainly older videos and music don’t support spatial audio. 

So, even when the spatial audio is turned on for these videos or songs, you won’t see any difference in the sound quality. It’s because the sound isn’t designed to provide a cinematic effect.

Here are two methods for turning on spatial audio on AirPods Pro!

Method One: From Settings

You can turn on spatial audio from settings after connecting your AirPods Pro with the iOS device. After that, follow the steps below to use this fantastic feature:

  1. Open Settings and go to Bluetooth.
  1. Find AirPods Pro under the Bluetooth devices list. 
  1. Make sure that they are connected to your device. Otherwise, click on Connect.
  1. Once connected, click on the 🛈 icon next to your AirPods Pro.
  1. Swipe down and find the Spatial Audio option.
  1. Turn on the switch next to spatial audio. If it is green, the spatial audio feature is turned on.

Method Two: From Control Center

You can turn on spatial audio features from the control center if your AirPods Pro is connected to your device. Follow the steps given below:

  1. Go to the control center by swiping down on devices with no home button and swiping up on devices with a home button.
  1. Press and hold the volume bar until it opens up.
  1. Once opened, you will find the spatial audio icon below the volume bar if the AirPods Pro is connected with your device.
  1. Turn it on by clicking on it. If it is blue, the spatial audio feature is on.

Spatial Audio on Apple TV 4K

Apple TV 4K (on Amazon) with tvOS 15 and above supports spatial audio. To use spatial audio with your TV, follow the steps below:

  1. First, connect your AirPods supporting spatial audio with the tv.
  1. Next, go to the control center by pressing and holding the home button on the remote. 
  1. Click on the AirPods.
  1. Find Spatial Audio in the list and turn it on.

Which Apple Devices are Compatible with Spatial Audio?

Not all Apple devices are compatible with spatial audio. So, if you try to use spatial audio on a device that doesn’t support this feature, it won’t be of any use. In such devices, you won’t find the spatial audio feature in the Bluetooth settings or control center. 

It is important to know which Apple devices are compatible with spatial audio if you want to get the best audio experience from AirPods Pro, Max, or 3rd generation. It would be disappointing to find out that your device doesn’t support spatial audio after buying AirPods Pro. 

Compatible Apple Devices

Here’s a list of compatible Apple devices with the spatial audio feature:

  • Apple iPhone 7 and above with iOS 14 and above.
  • MacBook Pro from 2021 and after.
  • 3rd Generation and above iPad Pro 12.9 inches
  • 5th Generation iPad Mini (our review)
  • iPad 6th Generation and above.
  • 3rd Generation iPad Air and above.
  • 11-inch iPad Pro
  • 4K Apple TV with tvOS 15 and above.

Compatible Apple Headsets

AirPods Pro

Not all the Apple headsets variants have the spatial audio feature. Here’s the list of compatible headsets:

  • Apple AirPods Pro
  • Apple 3rd Generation AirPods
  • Apple AirPods Max
  • Beats Fit Pro

Does Spatial Audio Drain Your Battery Faster?

The more features you use, the faster your battery will drain. That’s the same case with spatial audio. By enabling spatial audio, both your iPhone’s/iPad’s and your AirPod’s battery will drain faster. It is because both devices have to do extra work, which affects the battery life. 

The extra processing in the phone or iPad and accelerator and gyroscope processing in the AirPods make the batteries of both devices drain faster. If you use spatial audio on 3rd Generation AirPods, 5 hours of battery timing is expected. 

It is the same time that 2nd Generation AirPods provide without spatial audio. So, there’s a considerable effect on the battery life of the AirPods.

To save your battery, you can use the spatial audio feature only when needed. When you are watching or listening to something that doesn’t support spatial audio, turn this feature off from your device. It will save battery life.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know what spatial audio is in AirPods Pro and how you can use it, you can have a fantastic sound experience. Spatial audio provides rich sound quality, making you feel like you are in a cinema. So, which Apple device is your favorite for the spatial audio feature?

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