Speaking to Engadget, Apple said that the feature will work with stereo, 5.1, 7.1, and Dolby Atmos content to make your TV shows and movies sound super immersive, and as though the audio is coming at you from every angle.
Apple also provided a little insight into how the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max will use head tracking to ensure that the sound’s directional cues are placed accurately.
According to Engadget, “when you sit down to watch a movie or TV show, the included head tracking feature will lock in after it detects you’ve been looking in the same direction for a while.”
If you then get up to grab a drink or answer the door, the head tracking technology will reactivate once you sit back down.
Connecting your AirPods to your tvOS device should be easy, too. Apple says that, when you’re near the device with your headphones or earbuds, you’ll see a popup that allows you to connect straight away.
No need for a soundbar
Although the Apple TV 4K already supported Dolby Atmos passthrough – a popular form of spatial audio – this new update means that you can experience immersive, cinematic sound without the need for a complex speaker setup or expensive Dolby Atmos soundbar. (Not that the AirPods Max are particularly budget friendly).
Plus, if you’re watching TV late at night, you can just hook up your AirPods to your device so you can hear all the action without disturbing the people around you.
However, there was no mention of the rumored AirPods 3, and all these new upgrades for the existing range could mean we’ll be waiting until the end of the year (at least) to see them.