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Soon, Apple AirPods Pro will be able to react to your environment

Apple AirPods Pro 2 inside their charging case.
Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

At Apple’s annual WWDC event today, Apple announced some clever new AirPods Pro skills to make it easier to get the most from the earbuds’ active noise cancellation and transparency modes. The new enhancements will be supported by iOS 17 and macOS Sonoma, which will both be available in the fall.

Adaptive Audio on iOS 17.

The first feature is called Adaptive Audio, an optional mode that sits between full noise cancellation and transparency modes. It uses onboard processing to determine the right amount of noise canceling and transparency for your given situation and automatically applies those changes.

Conversation Awareness monitors your voice, so if you start speaking, it can drop the volume of the music you’re listening to and simultaneously turn on full transparency mode, making it easier to hear the person you’re talking to. Sony released a similar feature on the WF-1000XM4 wireless earbuds.

Phone calls will also benefit from Adaptive Audio. Apple says that you’ll be able to mute the microphones with a press of the force-sensing control while on a call. If you’re using transparency mode during a call and you happen to pass by a source of loud noises, like construction, the AirPods Pro will attempt to filter those sounds out while keeping your voice clear to both you and your callers.

Finally, Apple said that device switching when using AirPods will be improved, offering a faster, more seamless experience.

The AirPods Pro 2 are already some of the best wireless earbuds you can get for noise cancellation, transparency, and call quality and these new features look like they will solidify that position while making it even harder for other earbuds to catch up.

You can read up on all of the other Apple WWDC 20203 announcements in our full coverage.

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