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How to use 360 audio recording on a Samsung Galaxy phone

Devices running on One UI 5.0, like the Galaxy S23 and latest Z series, can now leverage Samsung's Galaxy Buds 2 Pro for surround-sound video recording.
Written by Christina Darby, Associate Editor
The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro in the hand.
June Wan/ZDNET

Most wireless headphones have recently turned to spatial audio to produce the most immersive listening experience. In a recent software rollout, Samsung is allowing Galaxy devices running One UI 5.0 or above to record surround sound videos by leveraging the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro's built-in microphones.

With the buds paired, users can capture the sound that's in front of them through their phone's microphones, along with what's happening on the left and right sides through their Galaxy Buds. The devices are basically working in harmony.

Also: Everything Samsung announced at Unpacked

So now, beyond listening to the spatial audio-enabled soundtracks on Spotify and Apple Music, users can listen to and share their own videos in the most immersive way.

How to use 360 audio recording on a Samsung Galaxy phone

Requirements 

Before we get into how to enable 360 audio recording, note that there are a few hardware requirements. You'll have to meet the following:

1. Pair the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro with your Galaxy smartphone

Since the 360 audio recording feature is still new, it's important to make sure both your Galaxy Buds 2 Pro and Galaxy phone have the latest software update.

You can manually check for headphone updates in the Samsung wearables app. Just make sure that the earbuds are charged and placed in the charging case when doing so.

Also: Soundcore's new Liberty 4 earbuds with spatial audio can track your heart rate

You can check if your Galaxy phone has the latest update by going to its settings, tapping the "Software update" tab, and if a new update is available, you'll be prompted to "Download and install." 

Once everything is up to date, pair your Galaxy Buds 2 Pro with your Galaxy phone via Bluetooth.

2. Open the camera app

Now it's time to enable 360 audio recording in your camera settings. Open the camera app and tap into the camera settings (gear icon) in the top left corner (when held in portrait orientation). 

Swipe down and select "Advanced video options" in the menu. From there, toggle on "360 audio recording".

The progression of how to enable the 360 audio recording function, shown by a series of screenshots on a Samsung phone against a blue background.
Christina Darby/ZDNET

3. Start recording

Once you've toggled the 360 audio recording option and your Buds 2 Pro are in your ears, you're all set! Hit the video record button when you're ready and your Galaxy phone and earbuds should begin to capture audio together. 

Also: 8 tips and tricks for the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro

To ensure that the feature is working, there should be a "360 MIC" text on the camera viewfinder. You can also run a test recording by snapping your fingers from the left to the right side of your head. Then, listen to the video to see if the audio path is discernible.

FAQs

What is the Galaxy Buds 360 audio feature?

Galaxy Buds 360 audio is Samsung's take on spatial audio, which allows you to experience sound from all directions instead of just in front of you.

What is the 360 audio recording feature? 

The 360 audio recording feature is a manual camera setting that allows Galaxy users with either a Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4, Galaxy Fold 4, or Galaxy S23 model to record video while they're wearing the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro. The 360 audio recording function leverages the microphones from both the phone and earbuds for a more immersive and dynamic audio experience. 

Do I need to wear Galaxy Buds 2 Pro for 360 audio recording to work? 

Yes. Not to be mistaken with 360 audio listening, 360 audio recording is currently limited to the Buds 2 Pro.

Has the 360 audio recording function been rolled out yet? 

Samsung started to roll out the newest feature last month, so be on the lookout and make sure your phone and earbuds are up to date.


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