One of the new features AirPods users will be able to take advantage of on iOS 16 is Personalized Spatial Audio. This feature creates an immersive listening experience with Apple Music by precisely tracking your ears’ position and finally improving Dolby Atmos with Spatial Audio technology.
What Is Personalized Spatial Audio?
Apple announced Personalized Spatial Audio feature during the WWDC 2022 keynote. If you’re as confused about what this could have meant as we were, thankfully, we’re in luck. Apple has provided a more detailed description of what it means. Here’s how the company describes this function:
Personalized Spatial Audio enables an even more precise and immersive listening experience. Listeners can use the TrueDepth camera on iPhone to create a personal profile for Spatial Audio that delivers a listening experience tuned just for them.
Personalized Spatial Audio is available for AirPods 3, AirPods Pro, and AirPods Max users running iOS 16. It’s required an iPhone with a TrueDepth camera because once you’re setting up this feature, it will need to scan your face and each one of your ears. That said, no iPad has this feature, even the ones with the TrueDepth camera.
So essentially, you can use your iPhone’s built-in TrueDepth camera to scan your ears. Doing so will provide a listening profile that is fine-tuned to the size and shape of your ears.
How To Use Personalized Spatial Audio in iOS 16
- With proper AirPods connected, open the iPhone’s Settings;
- Click on the AirPods tab on iOS 16 near your Apple ID;
- On “Spatial Audio,” tap on “Personalized Spatial Audio;”
- Follow the screen steps.
- Once you finish setting up Personalized Spatial Audio with any of these AirPods above, all other AirPods you own will be already prepared for this function. Technically, this should improve by a lot your listening experience when using Apple Music.
Early thoughts on Personalized Spatial Audio on iOS 16
With this new feature available, it was very noticeable how having a 3D mapping of your face helps Dolby Atmos with Spatial Audio technology. Although I already enjoyed this function, some songs and albums sounded echoed a bit, as if the lead singer was singing lower than the rest of the band.
Now, with Personalized Spatial Audio, everything finally sounds in place. For those who have the original HomePod, the listening experience sounds similar, as if the song was finally in its full capacities.
While AirPods Max was the only AirPods that didn’t struggle with the “echoed” songs, AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro users, on the other hand, will benefit the most with Personalized Spatial Audio.