Normally when a company introduces a new lineup of headphones, there’s a one-to-two year wait before a new iteration arrives. Naturally, Apple works on its own timeline, as it’s been almost three years since the original AirPods Pro was introduced. Since then, the market has caught up to the AirPods Pro, at least in terms of features and functionality.
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Even still, very few can deny the ease of use that the AirPods Pro offer, even for those who aren’t using an iPhone or other Apple devices. One such feature isn’t the Active Noise Cancelation, but instead, is the Transparency Mode. With Transparency Mode, a simple pinch of the stem will make it so that you can hear the world around you.
But it’s not as simple as just hearing whether a car is coming while you’re out on a run. If you need to have a conversation with someone, it actually can amplify the sound of the person’s voice. Apple has even implemented some Accessibility features for AirPods that essentially turn the earbuds into a hearing aid of sorts.
What Is Adaptive Transparency on AirPods Pro 2
When Apple took to the stage to announce the AirPods Pro 2, there were a few expected changes. For one, we expected better battery life (check), better sound quality (check), and new Find My integration in the earbuds and the charging case (check and check). But what we didn’t expect was for Apple to announce Adaptive Transparency on AirPods Pro 2.
While the current iteration of Transparency Mode is still considered an industry leader, there were some limitations. For example, if you activated Transparency Mode, the construction vehicle driving might feel like your ears were going to burst. And while it doesn’t seem as though you will be able to manually adjust the effectiveness of Transparency on AirPods Pro 2, Apple still has you covered.
Thanks to the new Apple H2 chip found in the AirPods Pro 2 this will automatically adjust the intensity of the Transparency Mode. So when you’re walking down the street and a fire engine passes with its sirens blasting, you won’t have to worry about your ear drums bursting. The AirPods Pro 2 will automatically make the necessary adjustments in order to avoid damaging your hearing.
However, that’s only one piece of the equation, as you might be in the middle of a conversation and it’s difficult to hear the other person. In that event, the AirPods Pro 2 will enhance the spoken words, making it easier for you to actually listen to what the other person has to say before you respond.
What Else Is New With AirPods Pro 2
Along with the new H2 chip and Adaptive Transparency, the AirPods Pro 2 have quite a few new features in tow. Personalized Spatial Audio is particularly interesting, as you’ll use your iPhone’s True Depth camera to map out your ear. Then, your iPhone will create a customized profile that is specific to your hearing needs, which is then synced across all of your Apple devices.
Physically speaking, only two major changes are arriving with the AirPods Pro 2. For one, there’s a new speaker grille on top of each earbud to provide better ANC and sound quality. You can also (and finally) swipe up or down on the stem in order to adjust the media playback volume, even in phone calls.
Battery life has also been improved, as the AirPods Pro 2 are now rated to last for up to six hours on a single charge. The original AirPods Pro are only rated for 4.5 hours of listening time, so this is a big improvement. And when you include the AirPods Pro 2 charging case, you’re looking at a total of 30 hours of listening time, up from 24 hours.
As for the charging case, the changes don’t stop there. Apple is integrating its U1 chip to make it easier for you locate the case with your iPhone and the Find My app. There’s a small speaker cutout on the bottom that will play a sound when you’re trying to locate it, along with another sound when entering pairing mode.
Apple is adding another way for you to keep your AirPods and its charging case with plenty of juice. In addition to the Lightning port and MagSafe compatibility, the AirPods Pro 2 case can now be charged using your Apple Watch charger. Lastly, and rather surprisingly, the AirPods Pro 2 case features a “Lanyard Loop”, providing some users with the option of adding a lanyard to their case so they won’t end up losing or misplacing it.
AirPods Pro 2 are priced at the same $249 price point as its predecessor, which comes as a bit of a surprise. It’s a bit more expensive than the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro or Pixel Buds Pro, but is still less expensive than the latest Bose in-ear headphones or the Sony WF-1000XM4s. AirPods Pro 2 releases on September 23.
Andrew is a freelance writer based on the East Coast of the US.
He has written for a variety of sites over the years, including iMore, Android Central, Phandroid, and a few others. Now, he spends his days working for an HVAC company, while moonlighting as a freelance writer at night.