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Adaptive Transparency could expand to more AirPods models soon

Published Oct 3rd, 2022 8:37AM EDT
Apple AirPods Pro In Case
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

By the beginning of September, Apple introduced the new AirPods Pro 2 during its “Far Out” event. These new wireless earbuds come with a familiar design, but with a new H2 chip, improved Find My capabilities, more battery, and better sound quality. You can read our AirPods Pro 2 review to learn everything about these earbuds.

One of the AirPods Pro 2’s new features is Adaptive Transparency, which people first thought would be an exclusive feature, and could now expand to at least two more AirPods models.

According to Apple, this new Adaptive Transparency feature is an evolution of the Transparency Mode. This was made available thanks to the upgraded H2 chip. The company explained during its September event how this feature works:

Transparency mode makes it possible for listeners to stay connected to and aware of the world around them. Now, Adaptive Transparency takes this customer-loved feature even further. The powerful H2 chip enables on-device processing, which reduces loud environmental noise – like a passing vehicle siren, construction tools, or even loud speakers at a concert – for more comfortable everyday listening.

Even though Apple highlights the importance of the H2 chip to improve the Transparency Mode, iOS 16.1 beta 3 brought the Adaptive Transparency toggle not only to the first-generation AirPods Pro models but also to AirPods Max’s owners (via MacRumors).

According to the publication, “the feature is confirmed to be working on AirPods Max, even though the description beneath the toggle in Settings still only refers to AirPods Pro, so Apple still needs to update the menu.”

While Apple indicates through beta software that it’s planning to expand this function, it’s not clear how much the experience will improve on older AirPods models compared to the AirPods Pro 2, which has a new chip that also makes Active Noise Cancelling two times better.

AirPods Pro 2nd-generation features.
AirPods Pro 2nd-generation features. Image source: Apple Inc.

As of now, we don’t have an indication of whether this will also work with Beats headphones.

How to enable Adaptive Transparency on AirPods Pro 1st-generation

To enable Adaptive Transparency on the first AirPods Pro model, users have to be running iOS 16.1 beta 3 or later on their iPhones. With the earbuds on, go to the Settings app and look for the AirPods menu. In there, you’ll have to enable Adaptive Transparency.

After that, you can long-press the AirPods’ stem to switch between Active Noise Cancelling and the new Adaptive Transparency mode.

Finally, you might want to learn additional AirPods Pro tips and tricks to make the most of your earphones.

More Apple coverage: Check out the best Apple deals online right now.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin American broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.