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Between its announcements for iOS 14 and new Arm-based Mac, Apple snuck in some improvements for its AirPods. The new software-based features will make listening to music much more enjoyable and manageable, especially if you own multiple Apple devices.
Apple is transforming the listening experience with a new immersive sound feature that mimics surround sound in the theater.
The new spatial audio element makes it sound like audio is coming from all around you instead of a singular point.
The earbuds will even use the built-in accelerometer to track the movement of your head. The system will adjust the sound field according to how you move, so you always hear sounds from the proper direction.
Apple also is adding an automatic switching feature that’ll automatically transfer your earbud connection between the iPhone, iPad, and Mac. This switch is triggered when you move out of range of one device and are now close to another device.
It also works when you have an incoming phone call. If you are listening to music on your Mac, the AirPods will switch to your iPhone to answer the phone call. This switch from one device to another happens seamlessly without any input from the wearer.
Apple didn’t say when these new features would be rolled out to the AirPods, but we expect it will be soon.
Users will need to update the firmware on the AirPods for it to take effect.
The spatial sound option is specific to the AirPods Pro, but the new automatic switching feature will roll out to a variety of Apple AirPods. It will be available on the AirPods Pro, second-generation AirPods, Powerbeats, Powerbeats Pro, and Beats Solo Pro.