Whether you want to block out a screaming siren or chat with a friend on the street, your AirPods are about to get better at helping you focus on your audio.
Due to arrive next month alongside the arrival of iOS 17, the second-generation AirPods Pro will be getting a series of updates that will make them smarter at deciding which sounds to let in, and which to screen out, while Apple’s other AirPods models will get noteworthy updates of their own.
Here are some of the new AirPods features to expect once iOS 17 debuts in the coming weeks.
Due to arrive in September once iOS 17 lands, the new Conversation Awareness feature for the second-generation AirPods Pro will automatically detect when you begin speaking to someone.
Once they determine that you’re speaking, your AirPods Pro will automatically lower the volume of any music or podcasts you’re listening to, focus the sound of voices in front of you, and reduce the level of ambient noise.
Also coming with the update is Adaptive Audio, a feature that blends active noise cancellation and Transparency mode and will automatically “tailor” their respective levels depending on the ambient sound conditions, presumably upping the ANC for emergency sirens, jackhammers, and other transient loud noises.
As with Conversational Awareness, the new Adaptive Audio feature is exclusive to the second-gen AirPods Pro.
Next, Personalized Volume will use machine learning to automatically “fine-tune the media experience” according to current “environmental conditions” and your long-term listening preferences. We’re curious to learn more about what Personalized Volume is, and precisely how it works.
New mute and unmute controls
Another new feature is coming to additional AirPods beyond the second-gen Pros. The Mute or Unmute feature will let you press the stem of your AirPods or the Digital Crown of your AirPods Max to quickly mute or mute yourself.
The Mute or Unmute feature will work on the first- and second-gen AirPods Pro, as well as the third-gen AirPods and the AirPods Max.
Better automatic switching
Finally, Apple says that Automatic Switching between AirPods and other Apple devices will be getting better, with the update making seamless switching “faster and more reliable.”
All the new AirPods features are due to arrive in September with Apple’s iOS 17 update.