No, the Apple Vision Pro does not require headphones for it to play audio output. It features built-in audio pods that are positioned close to the earlobe on either side of the headset. According to the manufacturer, the main objective was to offer augmented reality—by seamlessly blending digital content into the physical environment.
To this end, Vision Pro leverages Apple’s Spatial Audio technology to introduce a completely new layer of depth to the user experience. You could also pair the headset to your AirPods for a more immersed experience, but this is not necessary.
Throughout this guide, you will learn what Spatial Audio is and how it works on the Apple Vision Pro.
Does Apple Vision Pro have Audio?
Yes, the Apple Vision Pro mixed-reality headset is equipped with two speakers—one on either side of the head, just above the ears. Each of the built-in speakers, also referred to as audio pods, on this headset features 2 individually amplified drivers.
Both audio pods are designed to output rich spatial audio and keep you aware of the surrounding at the same time. As such, you don’t really need to plug in your earphones or any other hardware to get audio output from your Vision Pro.
How Does Apple Vision Pro Sound Work?
The Vision Pro headset boasts the most advanced Spatial Audio system yet. The system comprises two audio pods. Each of the pods is, in turn, equipped with two amplified drivers. These have been engineered to produce personalized Spatial Audio, depending on the user’s head and ear geometry.
In essence, you get a feeling that the sounds are emanating from the environment. So, what exactly is Vision Pro, and how does it work?
What is Spatial Audio?
Apple’s Spatial Audio is a technology that was developed to deliver optimized 3D audio and surround sound through headphones. It is very similar to 3D audio on Sony’s PS5s and Dolby Atmos for Headphones. However, Spatial Audio on specific Beats and AirPod models also features dynamic head tracking.
With the Vision Pro audio pods, you get a sound experience similar to the one offered by Apple’s AirPods, only better.
How Does Spatial Audio Work on the Vision Pro Headset?
In its functioning, Spatial Audio takes Dolby Atmos, 7.1, and 5.1 signals and then applies directional filters. By so doing, it adjusts the frequencies perceived by each year such that sounds may be vertically inserted anywhere within a 3D space.
This is why Spatial Audio output sounds appear to be coming from almost every direction. The main objective here was to recreate a cinema experience—something the Vision Pro has excelled in. Unlike the 3D audio offered by Sony and Dolby Atmos, Apple’s Spatial Audio is rather unique.
In addition to providing Atmos sound and virtualized surround, Spatial Audio also tracks your head movements. This is done using gyroscopes and accelerometers within the audio pods. By so doing, the audio pods on Vision Pro can position the output sound more accurately.
If you just discovered this device, you probably are wondering does the Vision Pro require headphones. Well, it doesn’t. The headset has built-in audio pods that will lie just above your ears when you wear it.
As you have learned in this guide, each of the pods features individually amplified drivers. These, coupled with the dynamic head tracking technology, deliver a theater-like sound experience.
What’s more, the pods automatically match the output sound to the space you are in at that particular moment. As a result, you get to feel as though the sound is coming from your immediate environment.