What is Personalised Spatial Audio for AirPods and how do you set it up?


(Pocket-lint) — Apple announced the next generation of its AirPods Pro during an event in September, and with them, came the launch of a number of features, including Personalised Spatial Audio. 

The company first announced Spatial Audio back in 2020, but Personalised Spatial Audio is designed to offer a better listening experience by tuning the audio and sound experience to your ear. 

This is everything you need to know about Personalised Spatial Audio, how it works and how to set it up.

What is Personalised Spatial Audio?

Personalised Spatial Audio is an extension of Apple’s Spatial Audio and it is designed to «precisely tune the surround sound experience to your ears». 

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The way we experience and perceive sound is different based on each individual as we all have different ears and heads. The idea of Personlised Spatial Audio is to tailor the sound to your specific profile, in order to deliver a more immersive experience that is suited to you.

In order to experience Personalised Spatial Audio, you’ll need to setup a profile using your iPhone.

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How to setup Personalised Spatial Audio

To setup Personlised Spatial Audio, you’ll need to have connected your compatible AirPods (see below for which models this applies to) and you’ll need to have your iPhone to hand. It takes around a minute — if that — and afterwards, your profile will sync across all devices connected to your Apple ID. 

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  1. Connect your AirPods
  2. Open Settings on your iPhone
  3. Tap on your AirPods — it should appear above Airplane Mode in the settings menu. If you don’t see it, try opening your AirPods case
  4. Once you’re in the AirPods setting menu, scroll down to Personlised Spatial Audio
  5. Position your face in the camera frame and press «Start Front View Capture»
  6. Move your head in a circle to show all angles of your face
  7. Press «Continue»
  8. Positon the right side of your head in the camera frame and move hair and anything else away from your ear
  9. Press «Start Right Ear Capture»
  10. Move your head slightly to the right and the left to capture all angles of your right ear. You’ll hear a sound when all angles are captured
  11. Press «Continue»
  12. Positon the left side of your head in the camera frame and move hair and anything else away from your ear
  13. Press «Start Left Ear Capture»
  14. Move your head slightly to the right and the left to capture all angles of your right ear. You’ll hear a sound when all angles are captured
  15. Press «Done»

That’s it. Once you’ve completed the steps above, your Personalised Spatial Audio profile is setup. If you want to turn it off, go to Settings on your iPhone and tap on your AirPods in the list. You’ll then need to scroll down to Personalised Spatial Audio and tap on «Stop Using Personalised Spatial Audio».

Which AirPods is Personalised Spatial Audio compatible with?

While Personalised Spatial Audio was announced with the AirPods Pro 2nd generation, the feature is compatible across some of the other AirPods in Apple’s portfolio. 

You will be able to experience Personalised Spatial Audio with the following AirPods: 

  • AirPods Max
  • AirPods Pro (1st generation)
  • AirPods Pro (2nd generation)
  • AirPods (3rd generation)
  • Beats Fit Pro

Writing by Britta O’Boyle.

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