Original AirPods Pro could gain Adaptive Transparency mode from newer model

Original AirPods Pro could gain Adaptive Transparency mode from newer model

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AirPods Pro settings
Original AirPods Pro could get one of the best features of the new second-generation version.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The new Adaptive Transparency feature found in second-generation AirPods Pro earbuds could make its way to the original model. The feature blocks loud noises above the 85 dB threshold to protect the wearer’s hearing.

iPhone users running iOS 16.1 beta 3 and the latest AirPods Pro beta firmware spotted the Adaptive Transparency toggle for the wireless earbuds in the Settings app.

Adaptive Transparency toggle appears for original AirPods Pro

Apart from iOS 16.1 beta 3, the AirPods Pro must be running the latest 5A304A beta firmware for the option to show up on the iPhone. It remains unclear if Apple indeed plans to bringing Adaptive Transparency to the original AirPods Pro or if this is just a bug in the latest iOS 16.1 beta.

There are no confirmed reports of the feature actually working on the first-gen AirPods Pro yet. Redditor u/ddpacino first spotted the Adaptive Transparency toggle on his iPhone.

iOS 16.1 beta 3 packs several other changes, including laying the groundwork for Emergency SOS via Satellite and an updated Wallpaper UI.

The Adaptive Transparency toggle shows up for AirPods Pro in iOS 16.1 beta 3.
The Adaptive Transparency toggle shows up for AirPods Pro in iOS 16.1 beta 3.
Photo: Reddit

Adaptive Transparency protects your hearing from loud noises

On the AirPods Pro 2, Adaptive Transparency is powered by Apple’s new H2 chip. The feature protects the wearer’s hearing from loud noises while allowing important sounds to pass through. During the onstage demo of the second-gen AirPods Pro, Apple showcased Adaptive Transparency blocking loud sirens and construction noises while letting other sounds pass.

So far, all older noise-canceling AirPods models, including the AirPods Max, only offer a standard Transparency feature. It allows surrounding noise to pass so wearers can converse without removing the earbuds.

Even if Apple brings Adaptive Transparency to the original AirPods Pro, the feature might not work as well as on the newer model. This is because of the additional processing power provided by the H2 chip on the second-gen model.