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OnePlus Buds Pro 2 to support Android’s new spatial audio feature

OnePlus has already let it be known that its next wireless earbuds, the OnePlus Buds Pro 2, are just around the corner. The new buds, as well as the OnePlus 11 smartphone, will officially launch at the OnePlus Cloud 11 event on February 7, 2023. But until now, we’ve been in the dark on almost all of the details. And while we still don’t know key facts like pricing and battery life, OnePlus has announced that the new noise-canceling buds will be among the first to support Android 13’s spatial audio feature.

The OnePlus Buds Pro 2 in black and green.

OnePlus says the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 — the successors to the OnePlus Buds Pro — will “set a new standard for spatial audio stability and compatibility” when they launch outside China on February 7, 2023. The feature will work with audio that is spatial-ready, like Dolby Atmos Music, but OnePlus is also integrating the ability to up-mix standard two-channel stereo into a virtualized spatial presentation.

We’ve seen several wireless earbuds with their own proprietary forms of spatial audio processing, including Apple’s AirPods Pro and LG’s Tone Free T90Q, which leverages Dolby Labs’ expertise with Dolby Atmos. However, with Android 13, spatial audio processing happens within the operating system, not necessarily inside the earbuds, which could mean big improvements to latency.

Android 13 also lets earbuds augment the 3D quality of spatial audio by adding head tracking data to the mix, something the Buds Pro 2 take full advantage of. “The sound always comes from a fixed position regardless of movement, with the same quality of 3D audio as in the cinema,” OnePlus told Digital Trends via email. The head-tracking data will also be made available to other Android applications.

We’ve also been told that the Buds Pro 2 will work with Google’s recent Fast Pair enhancement known as audio switching.

Google’s own Pixel Buds Pro are also expected to be compatible with Android’s spatial audio feature, but we don’t yet know if Google will release this update ahead of the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 — a situation that could see the OnePlus earbuds become the first product to offer one of Google’s newest technologies.

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