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‘Adaptive Transparency’ isn’t coming to older AirPods after all

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Last week, an odd story emerged on Reddit when original AirPods Pro users noticed that the latest iOS 16.1 beta had added Adaptive Transparency to the first-generation model. As we speculated at the time, this appears to be a bug and it seems like the next beta iOS 16.1 will remove the toggle from the Settings app altogether.

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. The new AirPods Pro 2 expand on this functionality with a new Adaptive Transparency Mode feature.

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.”

Transparency mode makes it possible for listeners to stay connected to and aware of the world around them. Now, Adaptive Transparency takes this customer-loved feature even further. The powerful H2 chip enables on-device processing, which reduces loud environmental noise — like a passing vehicle siren, construction tools, or even loud speakers at a concert — for more comfortable everyday listening.

The feature was advertised as exclusive to the AirPods Pro 2, which makes sense because they are the only ones that feature the H2 chip. This is why it came as a surprise when iOS 16.1 beta 3 added the “Adaptive Transparency” toggle for first-generation AirPods Pro users. The update also added the toggle to AirPods Max, which again, uses the H1 chip not the H2 chip.

Well, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman says that he has been told this is a bug. As such, we would expect the Adaptive Transparency toggle to be removed when iOS 16.1 beta 4 is released sometime this week or next week. Adaptive Transparency will remain exclusive to AirPods Pro 2, so you’ll have to pay up if you want it.

Have you picked up AirPods Pro 2 yet? If so, what do you think of the new Adaptive Transparency feature? Let us know down in the comments.

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