Why Is Spatial Audio Not Working on AirPods?

Spatial audio is a great feature found in almost every AirPods model. it uses gyroscopes and accelerometers to track the moment. As a result, it provides an amazing experience while listening to your favorite music or movie.

In the latest iOS update, some users face problems using spatial audio features. The feature is not working even when it’s toggled on from the settings, this problem can have many reasons, but every reason has a fix. 

Why Is Spatial Audio Not Working on AirPods?

The spatial audio feature on AirPods may not work for different reasons; for example, you might need to turn on your personalized spatial audio. However, the new feature Apple introduced in the latest iOS version works perfectly with Beat and AirPods.

  • Mono Audio

Another reason could be that the mono audio setting is toggled on in the settings; mono audio is a feature that removes the depth from sounds. You can imagine that you are watching a 2D movie instead of a 3D one; that is how mono audio works but for sounds.

  • Head Tracking

Head tracking can also be another reason your spatial audio is not working on AirPods; therefore, you need to ensure that you enable track heading in the settings. As a result, you will be able to hear the sound coming from the iPhone, not following the head movement.

  • Automatic Ear Detection

When automatic ear detection is enabled, the iPhone plays the sound from the speakers, not the AirPods, whenever you are not wearing the AirPods. As a result, this interrupts the functionality of the spatial audio feature. 

  • Old iOS version

If you have an outdated iOS version, you don’t need to search for another reason why spatial audio is not working on AirPods. Outdated iOS versions are the main reason spatial audio is not working, and it only works with iOS 15.1 and later versions.

  • Old AirPods Firmware

AirPods firmware being up to date is very important, and the old firmware can be the main reason the Spatial Audio is not working. Therefore, you need to ensure that you always have the latest firmware, this way, you will enjoy all the latest features.

  • iPhone Needs to Be Restarted

Restarting the iPhone seems so simple that you might not think of it, but sometimes the problem of the Spatial Audio not working can be solved by restarting it. Sometimes iPhones need to be restarted to have a fresh start and ensure everything is working fine.

  • Hardware Damage

If you have tried all the possible solutions related to the software, the spatial audio is not working on your AirPods. You will need to check if there is hardware damage; for example, if you have dropped your AirPods earlier, this can be the reason.

You will need to head to the nearest Apple service center; they can check if your AirPods have any hardware damage and fix it. 

How to Fix Spatial Audio Not Working on AirPods?

To fix spatial audio not working on AirPods, you can try different solutions, like turning on your personalized spatial audio on your iPhone. You can also try to disable the mono audio feature on your iPhone, which is known to be a guaranteed solution. 

How To Turn On Personalized Spatial Audio

  1. Open the settings on your iPhone, and then choose AirPods Pro or Beats present; you can find it below Apple ID.
  2. Move to Spatial Audio by Swiping left, and then press Set Up Personalized Spatial Audio, or you can hit Personalized Spatial audio.
  3. Choose Personalized Spatial Audio and then hit Continue.
  4. You will notice that some instructions appear on the screen, follow them. 
  5. You will need to detach your pods and then hit Start Front View Capture; this will help you set up the front view.
  6. Keep doing as the instructions say to capture your right and left ears; try to move gently so the camera can capture you.
  7. Once the configuration process ends successfully, you can hit Done.

Now you are ready to experience your personalized spatial audio. An important note is that spatial audio uses gyroscopes and an accelerometer to track the head movement, not the iPhone’s.

Turn Off Mono Audio Setting

  1. Open the Settings on your iPhone, and then head to Accessibility.
  2. In Accessibility, you will find a section called Hearing; below it, you will find Audio & Visual. 
  3. Now, you can turn off the Mono Audio feature.

Enable Head Tracking

  1. Open the Settings on your iPhone, then choose AirPods settings and head to Accessibility.
  2. Go to the Spatial Audio Head Tracking Menu by swiping, and then toggle on Follow iPhone.
  3. Open the Control Center by heading back to the iPhone’s home screen. 
  4. In the Control Center, hit the Volume Bar; you will either get a Volume Bar Menu with no options or a Volume Bar Menu saying Specialised Stereo Fixed.
  5. If you get the first scenario, it means that your AirPods are not connected to the iPhone; meanwhile, if you get the second scenario, the Follow iPhone feature is now disabled.
  6. From the Volume Bar Menu, hit Specialised Stereo Fixed and choose Head Tracked

Disconnect and Reconnect Your AirPods

It may appear as a simple step, but sometimes connections need to be refreshed to fix any sudden problems. So you will need to disconnect your AirPods and connect them to another iPhone, but it has to be compatible. 

  1. Open the Settings on your iPhone, then head to Bluetooth.
  2. After choosing Bluetooth, a list of the devices you use will appear; you will need to locate your AirPods on this list.
  3. Next to your AirPods, you will find an icon with a letter I shape (i); hitting this icon will take you to another screen.
  4. On the next screen, you will find an option called Forget This Device.
  5. Grab your AirPods case (note that the Pods have to be inside the case); on the back of the case, you will find a back button.
  6. Hold the button until the light on the case starts to twinkle. 
  7. Connect the AirPods to the other iPhone.

Restart your iPhone

  1. Hold the Side Button on your iPhone and one of the Volume Buttons until the Power Off menu appears.
  2. On the Power Off menu, you will see a slider, grab this slider and hold it for about 30 seconds.
  3. After the iPhone shuts down, press the Side Button until you see the Apple logo.

Reset Your AirPods

  1. Put your AirPods into their case, close the lid, and hold it for about 30 seconds.
  2. After 30 seconds have passed, open the lid of the case.
  3. Open the Settings on your iPhone, then head to Bluetooth.
  4. After choosing Bluetooth, a list of the devices you use will appear; you will need to locate your AirPods on this list.
  5. Next to your AirPods, you will find an icon with a letter I shape (i); hitting this icon will take you to another screen.
  6. On the next screen, you will find an option called Forget This Device.
  7. Grab your AirPods case (note that the Pods have to be inside the case); on the back of the case, you will find a back button.
  8. Hold the button until the light on the case twinkles and its color changes to white.
  9. Wait a couple of minutes, and then connect your Airpods.

Disable Automatic Ear Detection

  1. Open the Settings on your iPhone, then choose AirPods settings.
  2. Turn off the Automatic Ear Detection feature.

Another method to disable automatic ear detection is by:

  1. Open the Settings on your iPhone, then head to Bluetooth.
  2. After choosing Bluetooth, a list of the devices you use will appear; you will need to locate your AirPods on this list.
  3. Next to your AirPods, you will find an icon with a letter I shape (i); hitting this icon will take you to another screen.
  4. In the next screen, turn off the Automatic Ear Detection feature.

Update your iOS and AirPods Firmware

  1. Open your iPhone’s Settings, and head to the General section.
  2. Choose Software Update, and then hit Download and Install
  3. Open the Settings on your iPhone, then head to Bluetooth.
  4. After choosing Bluetooth, a list of the devices you use will appear; you will need to locate your AirPods on this list.
  5. Next to your AirPods, you will find an icon with a letter I shape (i); hitting this icon will take you to another screen.
  6. On the next screen, you will find the version of your AirPods if it’s outdated.
  7. Bring the case near the iPhone to automatically update.

How To Tell If your Spatial Audio is Working?

You can tell if spatial audio is working in your AirPods in two ways, one is practical, and the other technical. The practical way is by moving your head either right or left and trying to sense the 3D effect in the sound. The other way is technical; you will need your iPhone.

  1. Open the Control Center by heading back to the iPhone’s home screen. 
  2. In the Control Center, hit the Volume Bar, and the Volume Bar Menu will appear, showing Blue Stereo Head Tracked option.

Final Thoughts – Why Is Spatial Audio Not Working on AirPods?

To summarize, spatial audio is a great feature that provides a 3D experience when listening to your favorite music or movies. Unfortunately, some users face problems with the spatial audio feature after the latest iOS update; however, the problem can happen for other reasons. 

For example, in outdated iOS or AirPods firmware, the mono audio feature can interrupt the spatial audio feature. Therefore, you will need to try every possible solution until you reach a suitable one.

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