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AirPods updated with automatic switching and a new ‘Spatial Audio’ feature

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Along with a new 3D ‘Spatial Audio’ surround

Photo by Chris Welch / The Verge

Apple has announced new features coming to its AirPods earbuds at WWDC: automatic switching between devices and a new “Spatial Audio” feature for 3D sound on its AirPods Pro earbuds.

The new automatic switching feature is coming to the AirPods Pro, second-generation AirPods, Powerbeats, Powerbeats Pro, and Beats Solo Pro in a firmware update, and will automatically switch audio inputs based on which Apple device you’re using through your iCloud account. For example, if you’re listening to something on your iPhone and then start playing a video on your laptop, the audio feed will automatically switch over to your computer. Or if you answer a phone call on your iPhone, your AirPods will automatically switch from your computer.

Additionally, Apple announced a new “Spatial Audio” feature, which will only be coming to its AirPods Pro earbuds. The new feature will offer 3D, surround sound-style audio on your AirPods Pro to replicate a “movie theater experience” and will constantly recalibrate based on the position of your head to whatever device you’re using.

Apple is also adding support for its AirPods audio sharing feature for its Apple TV devices, allowing two users to watch a movie together. iOS 14 will also add support for battery notifications, which will actively let you know when you need to charge your headphones.

Apple didn’t say when the new AirPods features would be rolling out.