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AirPods Pro 2 Adaptive Audio is a game-changer – here’s how it works

Updated Jan 10th, 2024 12:22PM EST
AirPods Pro 2 Adaptative Audio on iPhone 14 Pro Max running iOS 17
Image: José Adorno for BGR

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In September 2023, Apple released a firmware update for AirPods Pro 2 before the official launch of iOS 17. With these versions now out, users can take advantage of six new features available to the company’s best wireless earbuds to date.

One of the game-changer features for AirPods Pro 2 is Adaptive Audio. Not only does this feature improve my usage of this product, but I think it adds even more value to these earbuds. Here’s how it works.

AirPods Pro 2 Adaptative AudioImage source: José Adorno for BGR

Apple announced Adaptive Audio during WWDC 2023. This feature “helps you focus on your favorite content or seamlessly interact with others around you while wearing AirPods Pro,” Cupertino explains. This function combines Personalized Volume and Conversation Awareness to ensure you can immerse yourself in a song or a TV show but always come back and be aware of your surroundings.

With Personalized Volume, Apple uses machine learning to fine-tune your media experience based on your preferences over time and the environment around you, so if you begin speaking to someone nearby, Conversation Awareness automatically lowers any media volume, reduces background noise, and enhances the voices in front of you.

Here’s how these AirPods Pro 2 features work in real life

Image source: José Adorno for BGR

Like Active Noise Cancellation or Transparency Mode, Adaptive Audio is a new option you can turn on. Basically, it works in between ANC and Transparency Mode, as it doesn’t let outdoor noise bother your listening experience, but it also doesn’t block all sounds.

It’s perfect if you are near a coworker who likes talking to you during working hours or beside a friend. If you start talking, the Adaptive Audio feature dramatically reduces the audio of what’s playing, and, usually, it can also recognize somebody else’s voice, so the audio of a song or a TV show doesn’t go back up just after you finish speaking.

It’s also possible to turn on Conversation Awareness with ANC. When you start talking, AirPods Pro 2 automatically changes to Transparency Mode and lowers the song’s volume.

In my experience, AirPods Pro 2 didn’t detect a conversation if I’m humming to a song, but if I start singing out loud, it triggers Conversation Awareness – although not every time. This feature is very accurate when I start talking with someone in the street or at home.

This is one of the main iOS 17 features you should definitely think about trying alongside your AirPods Pro 2. If you’re having trouble connecting your AirPods to your device, we can help you here. Below, there are even more tips to improve your iPhone usage.

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 America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.