At its iPhone 15 event last week, Apple announced updated second-generation AirPods Pro with a USB-C charging case, additional dust resistance, and support for lossless audio with Apple's upcoming Vision Pro headset. Apple still classifies these as second-generation AirPods Pro, and it does not sell the USB-C case separately.

AirPods USB C Port Red Triad
The updated AirPods Pro have been available to order since last week, and will begin arriving to customers and launch in stores on Friday. Ahead of time, select media outlets and YouTube channels have shared first impressions of the updated earbuds.

There is minimal commentary about the hardware changes, with most reviews agreeing that there is little reason for existing second-generation AirPods Pro users to upgrade. USB-C is a convenient addition, additional dust resistance is welcomed, and lossless audio support cannot be tested until the Vision Pro launches in the U.S. in early 2024.

iOS 17 adds several features to all second-generation AirPods Pro, including Adaptive Audio, Conversation Awareness, and Personalized Volume. Keep in mind that these software features are also available on the original second-generation AirPods Pro released in September 2022, so there is no need to update to the USB-C model to use them.

The Verge's Chris Welch on Adaptive Audio:

Adaptive Audio is meant to be a set-it-and-forget-it mode that blends active noise cancellation and transparency, canceling loud distractions where needed while also helping you stay present in your environment. In my experience so far, this feature rarely cancels my surroundings to the same degree as the full noise cancellation mode (I wouldn’t use it on a plane), but it reduces outside sound enough to not take away from my music — even at lower volumes. To my ears so far, it’s basically an even smarter version of the adaptive transparency that Apple debuted with last year’s AirPods Pro.

TechCrunch's Brian Heater on Conversation Awareness:

Conversational Awareness is a nice addition. It uses a combination of different sensors to determine when you’re talking. That includes obvious things like built-in mics, coupled with more surprising elements like the accelerometer, which detects vibration to determine that you are, in fact, the one who is talking, without having to resort to something like voice recognition. When that's triggered, the audio begins to lower, effectively getting out of your way when talking.

I was impressed by the detection. It didn't trigger when I, say, coughed, yawned or cleared my throat. When I started talking, however, the music began to lower. It doesn't stay down for any specific set amount of time. The company says it relies on an algorithm to determine such things. Factors include the length of time you're talking, so it doesn't mistake a break in conversation for the end of one.

TheStreet's Jacob Krol on both Adaptive Audio and Conversation Awareness:

It feels almost magical as it works as intended. For instance, sitting in a bustling hotel lobby, you'll encounter background noise and chatter from other patrons nearby; once I engaged Adaptive, it lowers the brunt of the noise, and with music playing, it all becomes very faint. If a louder noise appears, like a cart being pushed through the space, it will process it in real time and lower it specifically.

Let's take a more likely or commonly occurring scenario—I'm walking around my apartment with AirPods Pro, listening to some music with Adaptive on. It lowers the brunt of my HVAC system, similar to how the ANC performs, but I can hear a faint knock on my door as I'm expecting a package from FedEx. I open the door, and thanks to Conversation Awareness turned on, I can start talking, and AirPods Pro automatically switches to Transparency mode.

Inverse's Raymond Wong on Personalized Volume:

Personalized Volume uses machine learning to automatically adjust the volume just for your ears. Apple says Personalized Volume is determined by "environmental conditions and volume selections" over time. I didn't notice any meaningful volume adjustments over a week of testing so I turned it off.


Related Roundup: AirPods Pro
Buyer's Guide: AirPods Pro (Buy Now)
Related Forum: AirPods

Top Rated Comments

jrlcopy Avatar
8 months ago
It's amazing how all their talking points are the same... What a coincidence.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
msackey Avatar
8 months ago
I wonder if the "additional dust resistance" rating actually is any different from the actual hardware of the earlier Pro models. It is possible that the same hardware/hardware design recently received that dust resistance rating (e.g., if Apple did not test it for that rating earlier) and nothing about the hardware has actually changed. If that were the case, that's just a matter of obtaining certification.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
msackey Avatar
8 months ago

Not sure about anyone else, but the case of my lightning APP2 drains so fast I have to bring it into apple. Never had that issue with any other AirPods. Drains to nothing every other day. They say it’s normal but insisted on it being looked at under warranty.
When my Apple products are still under warranty, I am more picky about them. My husband laughs at me about that. He gifted me the original AirPods Pro a couple years ago and I purchased AppleCare +. Over a period of two years, I must have exchanged a bud or two like 4 times or so because I was for sure going to make use of that warranty if there's anything even if a little wrong with the buds.

I now have the APP2 and decided not to purchase AC+. Still under warranty, but I haven't found anything about my APP2 yet that I need to nitpick with before the warranty is up. LOL.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
msackey Avatar
8 months ago

Apple just used more glue. ?
Apple instructions: "Who knew that an extra dollop would improve dust resistance! For the next batch, we will add two more squirt dots per bud!" ;-)
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
t0rqx Avatar
8 months ago
They should have added additional scratch resistant. I have seen comments about people saying it will scratch by breathing on it and that was no lie.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
msackey Avatar
8 months ago

For those waiting for the next AirPods Pro, what new or enhanced features do you think we can expect? Is there anything from left field you would like to see?
Better wind noise cancellation, for sure. And even better ANC wouldn't hurt.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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