New AirPods Pro firmware 3A283 adds support for spatial audio and automatic switching

If you're using the iOS 14 beta, your AirPods Pro just got better.

Credit: Jason Cross/IDG

Periodically, Apple will update the firmware of AirPods and AirPods Pro to fix bugs or tweak performance. Typically, an update isn’t really something that most users will ever notice. This time is different.

Apple is bringing new features to AirPods and AirPods Pro in iOS 14, tvOS 14, and macOS Big Sur, and apparently they require a firmware update. If you have AirPods Pro, you may soon notice that they have updated to firmware version 3A283. When they do, it will enable two new features for those using the iOS 14 or tvOS 14 beta: spatial audio and automatic device switching. Read more about the ways Apple is making AirPods better this fall.

To check your AirPods firmware version, connect them to your iPhone and open the Settings app. The tap General, About, and scroll down until you see the name of your AirPods. Tap it and you’ll see info like the model number, serial number, and firmware version.

airpods pro spatial IDG

Long-press the volume bar in Control Center to see features of your AirPods Pro.

To enable Spatial Audio, open Control Center (swipe down from the upper-right corner) with your AirPods Pro connected and long-press on the volume bar. You’ll see buttons for Noise Cancellation and Spatial Audio. Alternately, you can open Settings > Bluetooth and tap the info button (i) next to your AirPods Pro while they are connected. You’ll see a toggle for Spatial Audio there, along with other settings.

How to update your AirPods firmware

Unfortunately, there’s no reliable way to force your AirPods to update their firmware. It happens automatically, and you just sort of have to wait. You may be able to increase your odds of the AirPods updating by following these steps:

  1. Make sure your AirPods are in their charging case.

  2. Make sure your AirPods are connected to your iPhone, iPad, or Mac, and that said device has an internet connection.

  3. Close the lid of your AirPods charging case and either plug them in or set them on a wireless charger (if you have a wireless charging case). 

Even with these conditions met, it can take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours for your AirPods to update.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags AirPods Pro

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Jason Cross

Jason Cross
Show Comments

Brand Post

Shining a light on creativity

MSI has long pushed the boundaries of invention with its ever-evolving range of laptops but it has now pulled off a world first with the new MSI Creative 17.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers


This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang


It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries


As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr


The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?