At the same time that Apple launched new iPhone models at the beginning of September, it also announced a new version of the second-generation AirPods Pro.
The earbuds themselves are fairly similar to the ones that debuted a year ago, but now the charging case comes with a USB-C charging port instead of Lightning. As expected, the new iPhones also use USB-C.
However, thanks to iOS 17, the AirPods Pro 2 are also getting a number of new smart functions that could come in handy if you have Apple’s noise-cancelling earbuds (some of which are coming to other AirPods, too).
The AirPods Pro so far have three different noise control modes.
- Active noise reductionwhich turns off all sounds.
- Voice recognition modeWhich blends the sound of the surrounding environment with what you listen to through microphones located outside.
- towhich is self-explanatory, but the recording doesn’t provide any form of noise control — it’s just the sound you hear through the earplugs.
If you have the second-generation AirPods Pro, you’ll get the new and fourth-named mode Adaptive soundor Custom sound In Norwegian.
“By blending active noise reduction with audio enhancement when you need it, Sound Adaptation delivers the right mix of sounds for every situation,” Apple says in its description.
The idea is that you won’t have to manually switch between the two modes, and that the earbuds will do so automatically as needed.
So, if you go to a noisy café, the noise reduction will gradually increase, but then if you go back outside and go for a walk in a quiet park, it will go back to sound enhancement mode.
This is another new setting meant for AirPods Pro 2 owners. When enabled, the earbuds will automatically mute the volume and background noise when you start talking to someone.
This means you don’t have to take the plug out of your ears every time you have to talk to a colleague or something.
Sony has had a similar feature called “Speak-To-Chat” for a while, but this pauses the music when it detects you’re talking, while Apple just turns down the volume.
It is also smart not to be alarmed when you cough, for example.
According to Apple, this new feature uses machine learning to “understand environmental conditions and how the user chooses to adjust the volume, to adjust users’ listening experience in line with their preferences over time.”
It’s a bit like personalized sound, but here the volume changes instead of noise reduction depending on where you are.
We cannot say that we have noticed the effect of this yet, but perhaps this is also the meaning that it should disappear on its own.
According to Apple, this is also faster with the update. When this feature was introduced, it was not working optimally. It often happens that it will stop listening on one device once the other device is unlocked.
We are experiencing this much better with the update, among other things the edge Write the same thing.
You can mute your voice
Finally, all AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, and AirPods (3rd generation) are getting a new feature that lets you mute yourself during phone calls just by pressing the stem or Digital Crown.
(If you have first or second generation AirPods, you won’t get this due to hardware differences.)
“Web specialist. Lifelong zombie maven. Coffee ninja. Hipster-friendly analyst.”