Apple Audio Technology

Rate this post

Apple has officially introduced Apple Spatial Audio technology. Promising to bring users great audio experiences from Airpods Pro. Apple Spatial Audio will be integrated into the AirPods Pro headset model and surround / three-dimensional sound simulation. That can be seen as Apple’s response to Sony’s upcoming Dolby Atmos feature and PS5 3D Audio technology.

What is Apple Spatial Audio?

Apple Spatial Audio technology will directly process 5.1, 7.1, or Dolby Atmos signals through its filters to create a lifelike 3-dimensional space. The sound being processed will look like it is transmitted from many directions around the listener. Gives the feeling that we are sitting in a movie theater. That is not the first time 3-D audio technology has been applied. We now have Dolby Atmos for headsets and Sony’s 360 Reality Audio technology for PS4 and Platinum Wireless Headset games. In addition, there will be the latest 3D Audio technology for the PS5 system.

Apple Spatial Audio will have its unique features. Among them is the ability to track head movements using the sensors inside the AirPods Pros headset. Track the location of the iPhone or iPad to simulate the direction of the sound coming from the screen. That means that you will feel the sound coming from your smartphone or tablet when you turn your head in the other direction. It seems that Apple has researched and developed this technology early on, and it has always been part of the plan to launch the AirPods Pro headset. That is also the reason why AirPods Pro is equipped with a gyroscope sensor.

How is Spatial Audio different from other 3D audio standards?

Spatial Audio is Apple’s way of branding its 360-degree sound technology. Essentially, it’s a form of digital surround sound that reproduces the positions of different sound sources for a sense of enveloping the listener from all directions.

Like Dolby Atmos or DTS:X, Spatial Audio reproduces sound horizontally and reproduces its height. The difference of Spatial Audio is that for accurate reproduction, Apple must also use sensors equipped with its hardware such as gyroscopes combined with software to reproduce sound continuously and most accurately. Therefore, for the full experience, Apple requires that the user’s device runs iOS 14 or later, and the headset also needs to update the firmware.

Thanks to the ability to combine both hardware and software, Spatial’s performance is extremely impressive. Let’s say you’re watching a movie on your iPhone in which someone is chatting and walking along from the left side of the screen. With Spatial Audio, you may turn your head to the left and realize the footsteps are now in front of you.

What’s the difference between Spatial Audio on Apple Music Lossless?

According to Apple, Spatial Audio on the upcoming Apple Music Lossless will be based on Dolby Atmos Music technology. Dolby Atmos Music is a music format recorded and produced with Dolby Atmos 3D technology. Dolby Atmos Music possesses many advantages over conventional stereo standards, providing listeners with a more “real” sound experience. The biggest difference of Dolby Atmos Music, compared to stereo, is that surround sound technology is available without any other add-on from the software. Dolby Atmos Music supports up to 128 channels with a 34-speaker setup for home theater systems, including those aimed at the ceiling.

How to get Apple Spatial Audio?

Apple Spatial Audio technology will be included in the latest firmware update of AirPods Pro. Users will also need to update to iOS 14 or iPadOS 14. iOS 14 will support Apple iPhone 6s and later models, and iPadOS 14 for Apple iPad Air 2 and later. Some users think that maybe the new audio technology will need a slightly faster processor. So it’s completely understandable that older models are not supported. In addition, devices that support both Dolby Atmos and Apple Spatial Audio. Promises to bring the best sound quality.

On the software side, as long as your device supports 5.1, 7.1, or Dolby Atmos, it is compatible with Apple Spatial Audio. Streams well from apps like Vudu, HBO Go, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video. Stereo content can also be converted to standard Spatial Audio using Apple’s plug-ins.

Apple Spatial Audio in music?

In the future, Apple Spatial Audio will support the need to listen to music through streaming services on iPad/iPhone (e.g., Apple Music). In addition, there will also be other types of entertainment such as playing games or practicing sports.

Can Apple TV exploit Spatial Audio?

Unfortunately, Apple Spatial Audio will not be integrated for Apple TV 4K. That is quite confusing because conceptually, Spatial Audio technology will be a “savior” for those who do not own a high-end sound system but still want a good sound experience. For now, we can only wait for Apple’s next moves.

The Apple TV 4K may have an insufficient configuration to support Spatial Audio technology since its A10X chip is dated back to 2017. Users will therefore need to upgrade to a new device to get the best experience.

Does Spatial Audio support gaming?

Currently, there is no official information about this. However, the information about the movement measured by the Airpods Pro will be a resource for developers to take advantage of head-tracking technology in their games in the future.

Any hot features in this update?

Several other new features for AirPods will also be introduced with Spatial Audio technology. Including Automatic Switching ability to automatically switch between many different devices. For example, you stop listening to podcasts on your iPhone and open Netflix on your iPad. The AirPods will automatically switch to the source from the iPad without you having to do it yourself. Switching to FaceTime on MacBook, the headset also continues to switch automatically. However, calls will still be prioritized. Low battery notifications will be displayed on both iPhone, iPad, and MacBook.

Finally, there is the Headphone Accommodations feature to customize the sound to suit different needs. This feature will provide guidelines and recommendations for you to choose the most suitable profile. The profile you choose also applies to Transparency mode. Allows you to hear both ambient and device sounds.

The new features mentioned above are not supported for AirPods Pro but some other headset models. Automatic Switching will be available to 2nd Gen AirPods, Beats Powerbeats, Powerbeats Pro, and Solo Pro models. The Headphone Accommodations feature also supports standard EarPods that come with iPhone phones. The Audio Sharing feature will work with all AirPods and Beats models using Apple W1 and H1 chips.

Leave a Comment