Keep up with new AirPods features in iOS 16, including Personalized Spatial Audio


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With iOS 16, Apple makes AirPods even better. These are the notable new features coming to Apple’s popular earbuds and headphones this fall.

Every time Apple releases a major software update, there are hundreds of changes and features to be found. As has been the case in the past, Apple is taking this opportunity to bring new features to its AirPods line.

There are two notable changes we are testing with the current developer beta. Settings improvements and personalized Spatial Audio. Apple has also released a beta firmware for AirPods to test these changes

Settings for AirPods

Prior to iOS 16, in order to access AirPods settings, you had to dig in. You had to go Settings , Bluetooth , AirPods > and tap i,

You could not access these settings unless your AirPods were connected and it was generally a subpar experience for users. Apple has added new features to AirPods over the years, making the settings crucial.

New AirPods settings

New AirPods settings

From iOS 16, when you connect your AirPods, a new panel will appear just below your Apple ID. It’s just a tap away to get to all the settings you need for doing the fittest, checking firmware, or setting up custom Spatial Audio.

Personal Spatial Audio

Speaking of which, Personalized Spatial Audio is the next new feature. It uses your face and ear topography to map the 3D audio to you. It should increase the Spatial Audio effect when listening to music or videos.

Setting up Personalized Spatial Audio

Setting up Personalized Spatial Audio

When you connect your AirPods after installing iOS 16, you will see a new modal that explains how the personalized audio works. If you reject the modal, you can configure it by going to the AirPods settings.

Scan your ears and face for Personalized Spatial Audio

Scan your ears and face for Personalized Spatial Audio

To set it up, you need to perform three scans of your face using the TrueDepth camera system on your iPhone. With the AirPods out of your ears, you look around in a circle, similar to setting up Face ID.

You will then repeat the same process for your left ear, like your right ear, but instead of looking in a circle, you move something back and forth. When you scan your ears, your iPhone will rotate when it’s time to move your head in the opposite way.

Play Spatial Audio tracks in Apple Music

Play Spatial Audio tracks in Apple Music

After testing the new Personalized Spatial Audio, we were impressed, but could not fully discern how much better it was than before. There was no quick switch to hear the standard version versus the personalized version.

Anecdotally, it seems that AirPods Pro benefited more from this feature than AirPods Max. AirPods Max already sounded spectacular and this did not make it up much anymore.

Comming soon

IOS 16 is currently in developer beta. A public beta is scheduled to be released in July for a full release this fall. Stay tuned AppleInsider as we run through more features for Apple’s upcoming software updates.


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