While everyone was talking about the iPhone 15, Apple quickly announced new updates to the AirPods Pro 2, and we got to try them out.

Yes, we’re all excited that the iPhone 15 is due to be released this week and that there’s a new Apple Watch and Apple Watch Ultra, but something people may have missed is Apple’s very quick announcement of updates to the AirPods Pro. There’s a brand new model… kinda. Sort of. But what’s interesting are the new features that can be utilised by anyone who has the second-gen AirPods Pro, features that I’ve been testing for the past few days. 

We tried out the new features on the AirPods Pro

Adaptive Audio

Image credit: Apple

This new feature is the midpoint between active noise cancellation and transparency. Say you’re walking the busy and noisy streets of Hong Kong. Full transparency mode may drown out all of your music but noise cancellation will drown out too much of your surroundings that you may not be aware of what’s happening around you. Adaptive audio allows you to be able to still be aware of your surroundings but drown out any loud noises like construction on the streets. 

After using it for a few days, the feature actually works very well. At first, it almost feels as if you have noise cancellation on but it’s sneaky how it’s able to make sure you still enjoy your music but let you hear what’s going on around you. It’s really helpful especially when walking the sidewalks of Hong Kong that cars frequently use much to people’s dismay.

Conversation Awareness

Image credit: Apple

When buying stuff at the grocery store or 7-11, I usually have my AirPods on blasting music. It’s a first-world problem, but it is a bit of a hassle to have to pause my music so I can hear what the 7-11 staff is saying to me. Why do I even have to do that? I know they’re just asking me if I’m a member anyway, which I’m not, so the answer is always the same. Just to be respectful, I guess, but I digress.

Conversation Awareness automatically picks up when you start speaking and lowers the volume so that you hear yourself and the person you’re speaking to. It’s a pretty handy feature and works okay. The caveat however is that you have to be the one to initiate the conversation, so if the store clerk is asking you something, you’re not going to be able to hear it unless you ask them to repeat what they said, which then triggers the feature. 

Mute and Unmute

Image credit: Apple

Long overdue and thankfully not just an AirPod Pro exclusive, you can now press on the stems to mute or unmute during calls. That stems if you’re using AirPods, the earliest being the 3rd-gen AirPods, or the digital crown on the AirPods Max. 

But also, AirPods Pro 2.5?

Image credit: Apple

I wasn’t able to try it out yet because it’s not due to be released here in Hong Kong until probably sometime next month, but Apple revealed that they’re releasing a new AirPods Pro that now comes with a USB-C case, much like how the iPhone 15 will now have USB-C. That makes it easier to find a cable that’s compatible with it. Apple also showed off how you can charge the new case using the iPhone itself. However, the biggest difference between the USB-C model and the normal AirPods Pro 2 is that it will have lossless audio with the upcoming VisionPro, which means that it’ll provide high-quality audio. However, it’s only for the USB-C model and only on VisionPro. Why it can’t be available on iPhone 15 is a question and a criticism many people have.

[Hero image: Apple]

This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Hong Kong