Google has developed a common spatial audio framework for Android 13 that supports all smartphone and headset manufacturers. OnePlus is among the first contenders, with the new OnePlus Buds Pro 2. The earbuds were launched in China earlier this month and will make their global debut on February 7 alongside the new OnePlus 11 flagship.
Spatial Audio uses the head tracking built into the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 to simulate immersive multi-channel audio. Similar effects can also be experienced in the cinema or with a corresponding surround setup in the home cinema. It works best with content that has multiple audio channels. These are usually films, but there is also music with multiple audio tracks.
For multi-channel sound via the OnePlus Buds Pro 2, on the other hand, you only need one stereo track. The algorithm is then able to “upmix” the sound to multiple channels. Aside from multimedia, games are a great use case because they allow you to hear the direction in-game sounds are coming from.
The OnePlus Buds Pro 2 also support Android’s audio switching technology. This allows you to connect to two devices at the same time, such as a cell phone and a tablet. The headphones automatically switch to the device playing an audio signal. This means you don’t have to go into the Bluetooth settings every time you want to switch from one device to another.
The initial setup is quick and easy with Android’s Fast Pair. Basically, when you open the charging case for the first time, the smartphone displays a pop-up window that allows for one-tap pairing. The original OnePlus Buds Pro also already support audio switching and Fast Pair.