With the iOS 14 update, Apple is not only adding new features to its iPhone lineup but also improving AirPods by further enhancing them. Yes, that’s right. Post the iOS 14 update, your AirPods will gain new features like Spatial audio, Audio Sharing for Apple TV, and more.
The AirPods are known for their convenience while the AirPods Pro is known for its outstanding sound quality and ANC. After the iOS 14 update, the wireless earbuds are going to get even better and deliver an even better experience. Below are all the new features and enhancements that are coming to the AirPods and AirPods Pro with iOS 14.
Here’s a look at all the new iOS 14 features that will make AirPods and AirPods Pro better:
1. Spatial Audio
Using what can only be described as pure engineering prowess and a bit of magic, Apple is going to bring Spatial Audio to the AirPods Pro with the iOS 14 update. This is a big deal as Apple is basically promising to deliver a movie theater-like surround sound experience with the AirPods Pro, something that’s unheard of in the wireless earbuds segment.
Apple is using the gyroscope and accelerometer inside the AirPods Pro for dynamic head tracking. It is then combining this with directional audio filters and slight changes in frequency to recreate an immersive audio experience like the one you get inside a theater. Since Apple is using dynamic head tracking, the surround sound channels are also adjusted as you move your head around. This is something that has never been seen before in other headphones.
Spatial Audio is only coming to the AirPods Pro and not the regular AirPods.
2. Audio Sharing for Apple TV
iPhones already had Audio Sharing feature for AirPods allowing you and your friend to listen to the same music from one iPhone. Now, Apple is bringing that same feature to Apple TV 4K as well. This means you will be able to connect two sets of AirPods to the box at any given time.
3. Automatic Switching Between Devices
Once you update your iPhone to iOS 14, Apple Watch to watchOS 7, and iPad to iPadOS 14, you will be able to seamlessly switch between them while wearing your AirPods. For example, if you end a phone call on your iPhone and then pick up your iPad to watch a movie, your AirPods will automatically switch over to them as well.
Currently, your AirPods or AirPods Pro will only sync to your existing Apple devices that are using the same iCloud account. When you switch devices, you still have to change the audio output, for example, from your iPhone to Mac or vice versa.
4. Headphone Accommodations
You will be able to tweak the sound output of your AirPods to account for hearing differences for each ear. This is an Accessibility feature that’s ideal for people who have hearing issues. You can use this feature to amplify soft sounds, hear phone calls more clearly, and more. There are options to tune the audio output for vocal range, give it a balanced tone, or boosting the high frequencies. As a part of this process, users will have to go through an audio setup in which their iPhone will play different music and tones to determine what suits their ears the best.
AirPods Pro users will get an additional option of using the Headphone Accommodations feature with transparency mode and tweak the amount of ambient noise that passes through. The Headphone Accommodations option can be found under Accessibility in the Settings app on iPhones running iOS 14.
5. Battery Low Notifications
Post iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, your iPhone or iPad will thankfully notify you whenever your AirPods or AirPods Pro are running low on battery and need to be charged.
6. Optimized Charging for AirPods
Apple is bringing the optimized charging feature that it uses on iPhones and Macs to extend the lifespan of their battery to AirPods with iOS 14. Similar to your iPhone, your AirPods will also learn your usage and charging habits and then automatically wait to finish charging past 80% to prevent the battery from aging rapidly. This will help your AirPods battery life to last longer over the years. This feature is enabled by default and you will automatically get a notification on your iPhone about this.
7. Hearing Control
Hearing Control is not really a new feature and has been around on iPhones and Apple Watch. In iOS 14 though, if you add the Hearing option to Control Center and then use your AirPods — or any other headphone for that matter, you will get a headphone decibel level monitoring bar to ensure that you are not listening to music at high volumes which can damage your ears. Make sure to add the Headphone Audio Level option to the Control Center so that you can use it.
There’s another feature in iOS 14 called Reduce Loud Sound that monitors the volume level of what you are listening to and reduce the output in real-time. The feature is tucked under Sounds & Haptics in the Settings app, and it works with the AirPods, AirPods Pro, and other headphones as well.
Please do note that some of these features are already a part of iOS 14, while others will be rolled out to the AirPods or AirPods Pro via a firmware update.
You can enjoy some of the new features mentioned above on your AirPods right away by installing the iOS 14 public beta on your iPhone.
What improvements and changes coming to the AirPods or AirPods Pro as a part of iOS 14 are you most excited about? Drop a comment and let us know about it!