Along with the announcement of the iPhone 15 smartphone family, Apple launched the AirPods Pro wireless headphones with a USB-C port on the body, while their other features remained largely unchanged compared to last year. At the same time, software innovations in noise reduction technologies have proven significant, as early eyewitnesses have confirmed, and now these functions are managed by artificial intelligence.
Speech as noted in the publication CNBCWe are talking about the Adaptive Audio and Conversational Awareness functions, which are most clearly manifested in comparison to the basic functions of last year’s second generation AirPods Pro. By the way, all owners can add new functions to their wireless headphones in this series purchased from September 2022 by downloading a software update for both the headphones themselves and the smartphone. There is also a personalized volume feature that automatically adjusts the volume in the headphones based on the user’s previous preferences.
However, two other innovations deserve closer attention. A CNBC resource representative who tested the Adaptive Audio feature of the new AirPods Pro admitted that it doesn’t always work properly, but it allows you to increase the comfort of listening to music in an urban environment. This is essentially active noise reduction with elements of artificial intelligence, which is intended to decide which external noises are important to the user and which are not.
Particularly on a busy city street, Apple’s software sometimes highlights sounds that shouldn’t reach the user’s ears, but overall the feature increases safety by reducing the chance that nearby cars won’t be heard. On the other hand, announcements over the loudspeaker at the station were not clearly audible, which significantly affects the usability of the function when using public transport.
In an office environment, Conversation Awareness is designed to make communicating with colleagues more comfortable without having to take headphones out of your ears or pause the music for a quick exchange. In practice, the automatic stop of playback mainly occurs when the headphone user starts a conversation, and not by those around him. For those who are used to singing along to the beat of music or regularly “talking to themselves”, this may be an inconvenient function, as the sound in the headphones is interrupted at such moments. On the other hand, during a correctly recognized conversation, the system even slightly amplifies the sound of the conversation, allowing you to communicate with headphones in your ears without losing information. The same applies here: If the interlocutor is the first to enter into a conversation, the user of AirPods Pro headphones will most likely either not recognize his original sentence or will perceive it in a distorted manner. Another practical thing about the new algorithms is that the automatic playback returns the volume to the existing level after the conversation has ended.