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1st gen AirPods Pro gets ‘Adaptive Transparency’ after update

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One of the new features announced with the second generation AirPods Pro is “Adaptive Transparency,” which takes Transparency Mode to the next level by minimizing specific sounds while still letting users hear what’s important around them. However, with the release of iOS 16.1 beta 3, those with first-generation AirPods Pro are also seeing this option in the iOS Settings app.

Adaptive Transparency for first-generation AirPods Pro

For those unfamiliar, Transparency Mode is a feature available in the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max that uses the built-in microphones to let users hear the world around them without having to take off the earphones.

Apple says Adaptive Transparency in AirPods Pro 2 uses the new H2 chip (which is not available in any other AirPods) to “minimize the intensity of loud noises like sirens or power tools.” But for some reason, users who have updated their devices to iOS 16.1 beta 3 (released this week to developers) can now enable Adaptive Transparency for the old AirPods Pro.

As noted by some users on Reddit, the latest iOS beta also comes with a new AirPods beta firmware (build 5A304a) that enables Adaptive Transparency for the first-generation AirPods Pro. However, it’s unclear at this point whether the feature actually works or if it’s just a bug.

In the past, Apple has mistakenly enabled options in iOS that shouldn’t be visible to everyone, so this could be the case for owners of the original AirPods Pro seeing Adaptive Transparency in the Settings app. We’ll probably have to wait until more users test and compare the new option to see if it really works.

The second-generation AirPods Pro costs $249 in the United States, but you can find it (or even the first-generation AirPods Pro) for lower prices on Amazon.

More about iOS 16.1

iOS 16.1 enables battery percentage for more iPhone models such as iPhone 11 and iPhone 13 mini. Apple has tweaked the battery indicator so that it now has a dynamic icon when the percentage is enabled.

The update also adds a Clean Energy Charging option, Live Activities API, early support for the Matter protocol, and the option to delete the Wallet app. For iPad users, today’s beta of iPadOS 16.1 brings Stage Manager for older iPad Pro models with the A12X and A12Z chips.

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