The rapid and often remote location of suitable habitats used by migrating organisms is often critical to their subsequent recruitment, fitness and survival, and this includes in the marine environment. However, for the non-feeding post-larval stage of spiny lobsters, effective settlement cues for habitat selection are critical to their success but are poorly described. Therefore, the current study examined whether acoustic and substrate cues have the potential to shorten the time to moulting and affect their subsequent nutritional condition in the pueruli of the southern spiny lobster, Jasus edwardsii. Individuals moulted to first instar juveniles up to 38 % faster when exposed to the underwater sound from two types of typical settlement habitat (coastal kelp- and urchin-dominated reefs) compared to those with no underwater sound. The settlement delay in the post-larvae without underwater sound also resulted in juveniles in poorer survival and nutritional condition as measured by their protein and lipid contents. In a separate experiment, post-larvae presented with seaweed and rock substrates were found to complete settlement and moult to juvenile by as much as 20 % faster compared to those on the sand and control treatments. Overall, the results are the first to demonstrate that the pueruli of J. edwardsii have the ability to detect and respond to underwater sound, as well as determining that both acoustic and substrate cues play a role in modulating physiological development during settlement.