During the recently held Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple announced major updates for AirPods Pro, including the new spatial audio feature. This simulates surround sound, and it is expected to revolutionize the headphone market in the near future.
It is interesting to note that Sony with Dolby Atmos has already entered into this space, and it appears like Apple wants to give fierce competition to these two players. This feature will leave Apple AirPods alternative headphones to do some catch-up work.
Many people are eagerly awaiting the release of the new Spatial Audio for AirPods Pro that comes with many such attractive features.
How Does Spatial Audio Work?
Spatial audio simulates surround sound where the sound is delivered virtually in a 3D space that is in sync with the location of the screen.
You might have seen this in a high-end PC gaming headphone that offers head-tracking features. This adds to the games’ impact and provides an immersive experience to the gamers as they can even listen to the sounds behind the player in virtual player games. This gives them an edge as they can make decisions based on sounds apart from relying only on visuals in front of them.
However, the effects are restricted to some extent as the audio is always attached to the screen. If you turn your head while watching the video, the effects may not be the same, and in some cases, the surround sound effects may completely disappear.
How does Spatial Audio work in AirPods Pro?
Now let us consider how Apple is integrating surround sound into headphones. This is more advanced than the regular spatial audio devices available in the market. The main reason for this is the technology used in AirPods Pro that integrates built-in accelerometers and gyroscopes into the AirPods.
This will track the motion of your head along with tracking the position of your screen device, which will usually be an iPhone or an iPad. Remember that even the iPhone and iPad have accelerometers and gyroscopes, and this will be beneficial to deliver the best quality surround sound even when you move your head.
Apple is all set to bring the spatial audio concept into movies and videos and not targeting only music like Sony and other players. The Spatial Audio for AirPods Pro will convert the regular Dolby Atmos 5.1 and 7.1 channels into virtual sound. It can work with regular video streaming apps like Netflix, Disney Plus, Amazon Video, and Apple TV app. However, they should support multichannel audio to get the surround sound effect in AirPods Pro.
There are few restrictions with regard to the availability of this effect in various devices. It is now clear that this will work only with iPhone 7 or higher models. Apart from these models, it may not work with other devices.
Many market analysts are of the opinion that Apple is integrating such restricted features. They want to boost the sales of iPads and iPhones by using spatial audio technology.
When will Spatial Audio Feature Gets Released For AirPods Pro?
According to market reports, the launch of the new Spatial Audio for AirPods Pro is expected this fall. Many market participants are expecting it to be launched in August 2020. However, the company has still not made it clear, and they are yet to announce other features of the upgraded AirPods Pro.
The launch will depend on many factors like the availability of the product and other logistics issues during the coronavirus pandemic. Some rumors also say that the new AirPods will have complete noise cancellation technology, and this can have an enhanced effect on the overall quality of sound.
It will be a wonderful experience to watch movies using such AirPods as you will not have any external disturbance. The Spatial Audio will be available to current AirPods Pro models with a software update and should be released along with iOS 14.=
Even though the simplistic looks were criticized during the early launch of AirPods, the product eventually became successful due to its high-quality sound. With the addition of spatial audio into the AirPods Pro, the sales of other Apple devices will also increase as many people will be willing to try the new surround sound experience, which can only be had on an Apple device.