Welcome to Product Support, a column devoted to helping you get the most out of the gadgets and software you already use.
Apple revealed earlier this year at WWDC that it would be rolling out a big firmware update to the AirPods Pro that greatly improves the sonic abilities. Well, with the launch of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 for the iPhone and iPad, the firmware update for the AirPods Pro is finally here.
The new firmware update gives the AirPods Pro a new “Spatial Audio” feature so that they can take better advantage of the built-in accelerometer in each earbud. When watching a video or movie on your iPhone or Mac computer, the AirPods Pro are now able to know exactly where your head in relation to the screen and then adjust the audio accordingly. The update would also bring support for immersive sound technologies like Dolby Atmos, so it'll sound more like you're watching a movie in an actual theater.
Additionally, the update gives the AirPods Pro two other features. First, there's a new automatic switching feature; the earbuds will automatically detect which device you’re listening to — be it iPhone, iPad or Mac — and then switch to it (no dealing with Bluetooth Settings required). Also, there's an "optimized charging" feature that allows your AirPods Pro to learn your usage habits and only charge to 100 percent when it knows your about to use them. This is a feature iPhones and iPads have had for years and should help your AirPods Pro have a longer lifespan.
In order to get these new features. you need to makes sure that they have 3A283 firmware update and that your phone or iPad has iOS 14. To check to see if your AirPods have the new update:
- Make sure you have them paired to your iPhone or iPad.
- Open the Settings app > General > About.
- Scroll down and select the name of your AirPods Pro.
- Check the firmware version of your AirPods Pro. If it's 3A283 — you're up to date.
There's a good chance your AirPods Pro will already be up to date. If that's not the case however, you can update your AirPods Pro fairly easily. Make sure they're paired with your iPhone or iPad and stick them back in their charging case. Then make sure the charging case is being charged, either by a Lightning cord or a wireless charging pad, and the open the lid of the AirPods Pro. Unfortunately, there isn't a option to automatically update the AirPods Pro, but after waiting a few minutes they should update on their own.
Once updated, you can turn on the Spatial Audio feature by opening the Control Center (swipe down from the upper-right corner) and long-pressing on the AirPods Pro volume bar the same way you'd switch between noise-canceling and transparency modes. You should see a "Spatial Audio" option next to noise-cancellation. If not, your iPhone probably hasn't downloaded iOS 14 yet.