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Original AirPods Pro will get Adaptive Transparency mode via iOS 16.1 update

Updated 2 months ago
Published Sep 30th, 2022 7:07AM EDT
Apple AirPods Pro Main
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

Apple unveiled the AirPods Pro 2nd-generation during the iPhone 14 event a few weeks ago, just as expected. The new wireless earphones come with a familiar design, but Apple upgraded them in almost every way. You can read our AirPods Pro 2 (2nd Generation) review to learn everything about them. One of the AirPods Pro 2’s new features is Adaptive Transparency, and it looks like it’s the kind of upgrade that Apple will make available to the first-gen AirPods Pro via the iOS 16.1 update.

Apple explained the Adaptive Transparency mode during the AirPods Pro 2 segment of the iPhone 14 launch event. The feature lets the earphones intelligently block out certain sounds that exceed audio levels.

Adaptive Transparency is a feature made possible by the AirPods Pro’s active noise cancellation (ANC) feature. The first and second AirPods Pro models support ANC, and the user can switch between noise cancellation and transparency.

With Adaptive Transparency enabled on the AirPods Pro 2nd-generation, users will benefit from noise cancellation when experiencing loud sounds around them. The earphones will reduce the loudness once the AirPods detect the sounds.

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

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

For example, you might be walking on the street with transparency mode enabled. That way, you can hear the sounds nearby while playing audio on the AirPods Pro 2. A nearby siren or loud construction work would temporarily trigger the noise cancellation feature on the AirPods Pro via Adaptive Transparency.

The feature will ensure that your ears are not exposed to loud noises that can be harmful. iOS already measures the loudness of your earphones to help you correct your listening experience. Just head to the Health, Browse, and then Hearing to check your audio levels.

The Adaptive Transparency feature could help you correct exposure to loud nearby noises. And the good news is that the first-gen AirPods Pro will also support the feature after the iOS 16.1 update. Redditors who installed iOS 16.1 beta 3 discovered the new Adaptive Transparency mode on their handsets.

Once you install iOS 16.1 (beta 3 or later), put on your original AirPods Pro, head to the Settings app, and look for the AirPods menu. In there, you will have to enable Adaptive Transparency.

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


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Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.