Ron Huang, Apple’s VP of Sensing and Connectivity, recently discussed the impressive software powering the new USB-C AirPods Pro 2 in an interview. The upgrades focus on adaptive sound, voice detection, and faster connectivity.
Adaptive Transparency Adapts Noise Cancellation
A new adaptive feature dynamically balances Transparency and Noise Cancellation modes based on the ambient sound environment. It analyzes sound, activity, volume levels, and more to optimize settings.
For example, nearby conversations remain audible while suppressing distant noise. The feature even enables noise cancellation automatically during calls for improved clarity.
Creating adaptive audio posed challenges during development. Early approaches relied on iPhone location data to guess indoor versus outdoor environments.
However, this method proved inaccurate since indoor spaces aren’t always quiet while outdoor areas can be loud.
Ultimately, Apple used the H2 chip to analyze ambient sound in real-time combined with AI learnings. Testing spanned tens of thousands of hours across scenarios to perfect the adaptive effect.
Dialogue Awareness Lowers Volume When You Speak
Another upgrade is Dialogue Awareness, which automatically lowers volume when the wearer speaks but not for other voices.
The H2 chip, mics, and motion sensor work together to detect the unique jaw movements involved in vocalization. This avoids false triggers like lowering volume when the user yawns.
Faster Switching and Call Improvements
Slow audio switching between devices has been an AirPods weak spot. The new model significantly improves switching speeds during calls for near instantaneous audio handoffs.
Wearers can also tap AirPods to mute themselves during calls using the built-in Phone app.
New 5GHz Wireless for Lossless Audio
While most Bluetooth headphones use the crowded 2.4GHz band, the H2 chip adds 5GHz support in the AirPods Pro 2. This enables lossless audio and reduces interference.
Unfortunately the 5GHz upgrade doesn’t extend to other H2-powered AirPods models like AirPods Max via software update. Those will require new USB-C hardware versions, Apple Explains Why Only USB-C AirPods Pro 2nd Gen Get Lossless Audio on Vision Pro.
From adaptive audio to faster switching, Apple has creatively enhanced AirPods Pro 2 through intuitive software. As Apple transitions its lineup to USB-C, we can expect more models to gain 5GHz support.