New AirPods firmware enables Spatial Audio, automatic switching

Posted:
in General Discussion edited September 2020
Apple released new firmware for the AirPods Pro and second generation AirPods on Monday, with build number 3A283 now available to download and install.

New AirPods firmware
New AirPods firmware


The update replaces the previously available firmware, build number 2D15 for the second generation AirPods, and build number 2D27 for AirPods Pro. This marks the fifth firmware update Apple has issued for the AirPods Pro since launch.

The iOS 14 and macOS Big Sur updates enable new features for Apple's H1 equipped devices like quick switching and spatial audio.





Spatial audio mimics a 3D soundscape and movie theater-like experience, while also using the built in accelerometers to track a user's head movement to keep the sound properly oriented. AppleInsider was able to confirm the 3A283 update enables spatial audio.

Spatial audio settings within the AirPods Pro bluetooth menu
Spatial audio settings within the AirPods Pro bluetooth menu


Quick switching would take the existing iCloud pairing feature of the H1 chip and increase its autonomy. Theoretically a user will be able to wear their AirPods and have audio automatically play in them as long as they are within proximity of the active device.

The new firmware is installed automatically for users, with no mechanism on offer to manually force an update to take place. So long as the AirPods Pro are in the charging case and connected to an iOS device, the firmware will install by itself.

AirPods users can check the current firmware for their audio accessories within the Settings app, selecting General, then About, then select their device from the menu.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 51
     So long as the AirPods Pro are in the charging case and connected to an iOS device” - how can they be in the case and at the same time connected? 
  • Reply 2 of 51
    Just wear your AirPods for a few minutes then put them back in the case and close the lid. Keep the case near the phone and don’t disturb it for 20 minutes or so. They remain connected while the firmware transfers. That’s all you need to do. You can check the firmware version in your iPhone’s About preferences.
    apollakravnorodomGG1caladanianwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 51
    dk49dk49 Posts: 220member
    Anyone noticed any improvement in noise-cancellation? 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 51
    “ So long as the AirPods Pro are in the charging case and connected to an iOS device” - how can they be in the case and at the same time connected? 
    I think he means just have the AirPods paired to a device. The closer they are to your router  the sooner the update will occur.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 51
    iOS_Guy80 said:
    “ So long as the AirPods Pro are in the charging case and connected to an iOS device” - how can they be in the case and at the same time connected? 
    I think he means just have the AirPods paired to a device. The closer they are to your router  the sooner the update will occur.
    Um... No.  Your router has nothing to do with AirPods - they can't see or use your router.  The AirPods are bluetooth only and work through your iPhone/iPad/Mac to receive the update.  Proximity to your router has absolutely zero to do with getting the AirPods updated.
    appleinsideruserStrangeDayscaladanianwatto_cobrauraharaFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 6 of 51
    Just wear your AirPods for a few minutes then put them back in the case and close the lid. Keep the case near the phone and don’t disturb it for 20 minutes or so. They remain connected while the firmware transfers. That’s all you need to do. You can check the firmware version in your iPhone’s About preferences.
    Did it for me👍
    spock1234caladanianwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 51
    Mine have the new firmware. I ended up having to factory reset , and re-pair my AirPods Pro, as nothing would connect today. It must have been the firmware update that caused it. Good to know.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 51
    I updated the Firmware.  Went to settings, but did not see the Spatial Audio option
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 51
    I updated the Firmware.  Went to settings, but did not see the Spatial Audio option
    Spatial Audio is a feature in IOS 14.
    hydrogenHi.JackGG1dewmecaladanianwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 51
    nicholfd said:
    iOS_Guy80 said:
    “ So long as the AirPods Pro are in the charging case and connected to an iOS device” - how can they be in the case and at the same time connected? 
    I think he means just have the AirPods paired to a device. The closer they are to your router  the sooner the update will occur.
    Um... No.  Your router has nothing to do with AirPods - they can't see or use your router.  The AirPods are bluetooth only and work through your iPhone/iPad/Mac to receive the update.  Proximity to your router has absolutely zero to do with getting the AirPods updated.
    I just remember reading once that it was suggested to have the device and AirPods closer to the modem/ router. Maybe just to get a strong connection to the device for a good Wi-Fi signal? Who knows it works that’s all that counts.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 51
    I updated the Firmware.  Went to settings, but did not see the Spatial Audio option
    https://appleinsider.com/articles/20/06/22/airpods-pro-spatial-audio-airpods-with-auto-switching-coming-in-ios-14
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 51
    Updated. The auto switch is a game change. Wow. How come this feature wait so long? 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 51
    manual switch is so barbaric. How can we live with this feature?
    spock1234watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 51
    mubaili said:
    Updated. The auto switch is a game change. Wow. How come this feature wait so long? 
    Since day 1 of their launch, it confused me that I had to manually select the APs as the intended endpoint, despite having them in-ear, device unlocked, and no other device active. I figured it would auto switch to them, but they never worked that way. Sounds like that is changing?
    svanstromwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 51
    JapheyJaphey Posts: 1,407member
    “ So long as the AirPods Pro are in the charging case and connected to an iOS device” - how can they be in the case and at the same time connected? 
    Open the case. Leave AirPods in. 
    spock1234caladanianwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 51
    JapheyJaphey Posts: 1,407member
    I updated the Firmware.  Went to settings, but did not see the Spatial Audio option
    I’m not seeing it either. Firmware 3A283, factory reset, Public Beta 8. Nothing. 

    However, I did notice there is a transparency customization option under the audio accessibility menu which I never saw before. Can anybody confirm whether this is a new addition, or just something I missed the first time around?

     Also, why can’t they just combine all the settings under one header instead of separating them like they do?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 51
    Special Audio works really well on my iPad Pro, sort of on my iPhone 11 Pro and from what I can tell, it doesn’t work at all currently on the Apple TV 4K. All with the latest beta software.

    Until I tried it on the iPad Pro I was pretty convinced that it didn’t work at all but he effect on the iPad was pretty obvious. I tried again on the iPhone and could hear it but it is very limited in comparison to the iPad Pro. I’m not sure why the effect is different on the two different devices. Trying it on the Apple TV 4K it doesn’t seem implemented at all and there is no way to check to see if there is a special audio setting as far as I can see. Perhaps in a future update. It would be most useful on the Apple TV.
    edited September 2020 watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 51

    Japhey said:
    I updated the Firmware.  Went to settings, but did not see the Spatial Audio option
    I’m not seeing it either. Firmware 3A283, factory reset, Public Beta 8. Nothing. 

    However, I did notice there is a transparency customization option under the audio accessibility menu which I never saw before. Can anybody confirm whether this is a new addition, or just something I missed the first time around?

     Also, why can’t they just combine all the settings under one header instead of separating them like they do?
    As far as I know, this is new but I haven’t looked in accessibility for a few beta versions so I can’t be sure. But interestingly, I toggled the Follow iPhone setting off and then back on and now my iPhone is working as well as my iPad Pro with special audio. The iPhone 11 Pro special audio was working poorly before I did this but the iPad Pro always worked well.

    Edit: OK, the auto switch feature seems to be very flaky. I tried toggling the Follow iPad setting as I did with the iPhone and the AirPods Pro disconnected and wouldn’t reconnect until I toggled the Bluetooth setting and played around with connecting the AirPods Pro again for a bit. 
    edited September 2020 watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 51
    jdb8167 said:
    Special Audio works really well on my iPad Pro, sort of on my iPhone 11 Pro and from what I can tell, it doesn’t work at all currently on the Apple TV 4K. All with the latest beta software.

    Until I tried it on the iPad Pro I was pretty convinced that it didn’t work at all but he effect on the iPad was pretty obvious. I tried again on the iPhone and could hear it but it is very limited in comparison to the iPad Pro. I’m not sure why the effect is different on the two different devices. Trying it on the Apple TV 4K it doesn’t seem implemented at all and there is no way to check to see if there is a special audio setting as far as I can see. Perhaps in a future update. It would be most useful on the Apple TV.
    Which iPad Pro do you have? I have the 2017 one running the latest iOS 14 beta, and my AirPods Pro firmware has been updated, but I’m not seeing spatial audio as an option. 😕
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 51
    Amazing upgrade. Sounds spectacular. 
    watto_cobra
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