The new Apple AirPods Pro 2 have impressed us greatly, and the Adaptive Transparency technology they feature is a big reason why. The same functionality may soon be available on Apple’s first-generation AirPods Pro.
According to a post on Reddit (via AppleInsider) (opens in a new tab), the first-generation AirPods Pro now has a software toggle for Adaptive Transparency in the current iOS 16.1 beta. Although Apple has not made any formal announcements and the feature is still in testing, it appears to be coming soon.
AirPods Pro’s default transparency setting makes an effort to realistically replicate ambient noise while worn in the ear. That still occurs when adaptive is turned on, although extremely strong sounds (85 dB or more) are dampened.
The second generation of Apple’s AirPods Pro features an updated H2 chip that performs all the computations needed for Adaptive Transparency. How well the original AirPods Pro’s H1 chip will perform has not yet been determined.
It’s probable that the feature won’t work as well on the first-gen earbuds compared to the second-gen earbuds because Apple has modified and optimized the essential algorithms to suit the H1 chip.
Users have reported success with Adaptive Transparency on the first generation of AirPods Pro, but no one has tested the 2022 model side-by-side. Take note that the feature won’t show up unless you’re using the beta version of iOS and have also installed the beta version of the AirPods Pro software.
Upon further inspection, it seems that even obsolete technology still has some use
It’s easy to see why tech companies aren’t eager to provide new features for older hardware: the device’s internal components would not be able to handle the enhanced capability, and users would have less incentive to update.
However, we hope that Apple continues to improve upon what it has (presumably) accomplished here. Giving users of older devices access to newer features would greatly increase the value of items and would also do wonders for the reputation of a brand when the hardware permits.
To be honest, Apple is among the very best at releasing updates for its products. Even while not all features are available on earlier iPhone models, iOS 16 is compatible with all iPhones going all the way back to 2017’s iPhone X and iPhone 8.
Products with longer lifespans and fewer upgrades mean less money for manufacturers up front, but they gain positive PR from helping the environment.