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Apple WWDC 2023: AirPods Adaptive Audio tunes ANC and transparency based on your environment

Although Apple didn’t upgrade AirPods hardware today, it announced new audio features in iOS 17 that will enhance the company’s earphones nonetheless. The standout feature is Adaptive Audio for the second-gen AirPods Pro. The feature will tune your device’s active noise cancelation (ANC) and transparency mode levels based on your environment. It “dynamically blends Transparency mode and Active Noise Cancellation together based on the conditions of a user’s environment to deliver the best experience in the moment.” Apple adds that Adaptive Audio “will seamlessly tailor the noise control experience while users move between environments and interactions that are constantly changing throughout the day.”

In addition, the company says the second-gen AirPods Pro is adding Personalized Volume, which uses machine learning to predict your desired audio level. The company says the feature will “understand environmental conditions and listening preferences over time to automatically fine-tune the media experience.” Meanwhile, Conversation Awareness can automatically lower the volume, tuning out background sounds and focusing on your conversation when you begin speaking. The feature could be helpful when someone speaks to you while you were listening to music or a podcast.

Billy Steele / Engadget

Apple says AirPods device-switching is getting a much-needed performance boost. The company states that “the connection time between a user’s Apple devices is significantly faster and more reliable, making it more seamless to move from a favorite podcast on iPhone to a work call on Mac.” AirPods are also getting a new mute / unmute feature. With the new updates, you can press the stem on in-ear AirPods (or the Digital Crown on AirPods Max) to quickly mute or unmute yourself while on a call. The feature supports AirPods Max, both generations of AirPods Pro and the 3rd-gen AirPods.

AirPlay received some attention as well in today’s slew of announcements. You can soon use Siri to start an AirPlay session with your voice. Additionally, AirPlay in Hotels will allow you to stream content from your device to “supported televisions” by scanning a QR code. The company says it will launch in “select hotels” by the end of 2023. “Built with a foundation of privacy and security, this capability will be available before the end of the year in select hotels, starting with brands from IHG Hotels & Resorts,” Apple said. Additionally, Apple says on-device intelligence will learn your AirPlay preferences over time and adapt accordingly.

Follow all of the news from Apple’s WWDC 2023 right here.

This story originally appeared on Engadget

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