• November 28, 2022

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Apple AirPods Pro are now into their second-generation model, with significant new features and improvements. But one of these, surprisingly, could be coming to the first-gen earbuds as well.

This is according to first-generation AirPods Pro owners who have installed the iOS 16.1 beta to their iPhones.

Adaptive Transparency is one of the highlights of AirPods Pro second generation (although there are many) and strives to do something revolutionary: to make real lifeds sound better.

Sure, we’re used to brilliant noise-cancelling on AirPods Pro first generation, though it’s certainly improved on the new model, but what about when you need to hear the outside world?

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For instance, if you’re in a coffee shop and need to hear them call your name when your beverage is ready but don’t want to stop listening to music while you wait. For that, you would switch to Transparency Mode.

On the new AirPods Pro, that’s adaptive transparency, which works through processing that takes place 48,000 times per second to adjust harsh environmental noise. It works well, making tough noises a little more bearable, though they don’t disappear altogether.

All very good, but then came this surprise development.

People using the latest iOS beta, that’s iOS 16.1 beta 3, are finding that they can access Adaptive Transparency, too.

Which is interesting because Apple has said that this feature happens because of the H2 processor, which the original AirPods Pro did not have.

For this feature to appear, the latest AirPods beta software is needed, which is called build 5A304a.

Of course it’s still possible this is just a bug, and at this stage it’s not clear whether that’s all it is and the access will vanish again before iOS 16.1 reaches general release. But if not, it could mean a real upgrade for users of the original AirPods Pro without them having to spend a cent.

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