Apple is bringing spatial audio to AirPods Pro

It’s no AirPods Studio, but Apple’s got a pretty exciting update to last year’s AirPods Pro. The Bluetooth headphones are getting spatial audio (or 3D audio, depending on who you ask). The addition of the feature gives audio a sense of locational awareness, with sound originating from different points.

It’s a nice addition that should be good for movies where sound location is part of the narrative story telling. More importantly to Apple’s future, however, it will play an interesting role in the company’s push into augmented reality. Apple has been exploring the category through its ARKit for developers and is rumored to be working on an AR headset that would no doubt play nicely with head-tracking earbuds.

Also of note on the AirPods front is the addition of automatic switching between devices. That’s a big bonus for people who use one set of headphones with different connected products (like most people — we’re not made of money here). With the new feature, both AirPods and AirPods Pro will automatically shift between your iPhone and MacBook, as you perform different tasks.

The updates will be available through a firmware update.