We’ve been very impressed with the new Apple AirPods Pro 2, and that’s partly down to the Adaptive Transparency technology they feature. Now, it looks like the same feature could be heading to the original Apple AirPods Pro as well.
As spotted on Reddit (opens in a new tab) (via Apple Insider (opens in a new tab)), the latest iOS 16.1 beta brings a soft switch for Adaptive Transparency for the first generation AirPods Pro. Apple hasn’t said anything officially, and it’s only in testing for now, but it looks like the feature is on the way.
The AirPods Pro’s standard transparency mode attempts to accurately simulate outside sounds when the earphones are in your ear. With the adaptive option enabled, this still happens, but with very loud noises (85dB and above) made quieter.
Apple installed an improved H2 chip in the second-generation AirPods Pro, which performs all the calculations necessary for Adaptive Transparency to work. It’s not yet clear how the original AirPods Pro’s H1 chip will fare.
It’s possible that Apple updated and streamlined the relevant algorithms to accommodate the H1 chip, and it’s also possible that the feature doesn’t work as well on first-generation headphones as it does on second-generation headphones. .
Based on user reports, it seems that Adaptive Transparency works fine on the original AirPods Pro, but no one has done a detailed comparison with the 2022 version of the headphones yet. Note that you also need the beta firmware for the AirPods Pro installed as well as the iOS beta for the feature to appear.
Analysis: more value for older devices
It’s clear that tech companies aren’t rushing new features for older hardware: the internals may not be powerful enough to handle the improved features, and that also gives consumers less reason to upgrade to a new device.
However, we’d like to see more of what Apple has (apparently) done here. Where hardware permits, giving owners of older devices access to new features would add a lot of extra value to products – and it would also do a lot for a brand’s reputation.
To be fair to Apple, it’s one of the best around when it comes to delivering new software for its existing gadgets. iOS 16 works on all iPhones since iPhone X and iPhone 8 from 2017, although some features are not enabled on older devices.
Manufacturers are keen to promote their green credentials, and that’s another way to extend product life and slow the upgrade cycle – even if there aren’t as many benefits in the process. road.