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Apple Spatial Audio is Soon to Become Better With iOS 16, But at What Extent?

Apple Spatial Audio

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If you have had the chance to experience Apple’s spatial audio, you can agree with the fact that it vastly transforms the audio-listening experience. 

According to the new announcement from the WWDC 2022, the Apple spatial audio will become better with iOS 16. But the proprietary feature is already good in its current form. How will it get even better? It will become more “personal.”

The announcement was pretty simple. According to Craig Federighi, the senior vice president of Apple’s software engineering team, the iOS 16 rollout will allow the users to create a profile named ‘Personalized Spatial Audio.’ 

Apple Spatial Audio
Source: Apple

It will utilize the iPhone’s TrueDepth camera to offer you that feature. So, you will not have to get an impression of your ears from a professional audiologist.

This approach to making wireless earbuds better with the help of the phone’s camera is pretty unique. In fact, it is the first time the wireless earphone industry will see the feature in action. 

Yes, the Sony Headphones app had a similar approach. It guided the users through photo-shoot-style scans of the ears. And this feature is available across two of the WH generations, which include the WH-1000XM5 and WH-1000XM5. Sony calls it Sony 360 Reality Audio.

That said, both Apple’s head-tracked spatial audio and Sony 360 utilize the same technology. It goes by the name of HRTF (Head-Related Transfer Functions). 

Apple Spatial Audio
Source: Jumpstory

At its core, it is a sort of formula that explains the physical differences between the listeners. That includes the shape of the head, the shape of the ear, and the distance between the ears.

After collecting and processing the data from thousands of listeners, the system will create an HRTF that will be closer to the response and perception of an average person. 

In other words, the head-tracked Apple spatial audio and the immersive audio feature will pretty much wow everyone that will try them.

But why do we need to personalize spatial audio? It is not a surprise that Sony already does it. And as the event mentioned the TrueDepth camera for the iPhone, Apple is implying that the new camera sensors might do a little bit of 3D mapping of your ear canals.

Apple Spatial Audio
Source: Jumpstory

Furthermore, the news regarding whether the personalized Apple spatial audio will actually offer a more robust fit than what the current AirPods Pro is offering is unclear. 

And you might already know this by now, the fit can ensure a proper seal, which can affect the sound-listening experience.

Nonetheless, one thing is clear to all that the new feature will be a compliment to what the Apple spatial audio is already offering. And it does provide an excellent overall audio-listening experience.

Slava is a man of mystery and no-one seems to know exactly where he is at any point in time. When he isn't enjoying writing about all things audio and technical he can be found researching his next project of interest. The man never rests.


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