AirPods Pro 2 upgrade analysis: Your AirPods will get smarter the more you use them

At this year's Apple conference, Kaiann Drance, Apple's vice president of marketing, briefly mentioned the updates to the new AirPods Pro 2 in just one sentence. For the founder of the TWS market, this treatment is really not generous enough.

Fortunately, recently, Ron Huang, Apple’s VP of Sensing and Connectivity, carefully explained to consumers the software and hardware updates of the new AirPods Pro 2 in an interview with foreign media.

In the software update of AirPods Pro 2, Apple added an "adaptive" function to it. This function does not simply automatically switch between "Transparency Mode" and "Noise Reduction", but adjusts the ratio of the two in real time based on ambient sound.

In addition to automatically analyzing ambient sound, AirPods Pro will also analyze whether the user is listening to audio or calling, and the volume level. It combines multi-dimensional data to provide a good and accurate "adaptive" effect.

In other words, after turning on "Adaptive", users can hear the conversations of nearby pedestrians but will not hear the roar of distant vehicles. Previously, many users were worried that noise reduction would reduce people's perception of the environment, and the emergence of "adaptive" was precisely to solve this problem.

This feature also has a little easter egg – when you use AirPods Pro to make calls (including WeChat calls) after turning it on, the headphones will automatically turn on noise reduction.

Although the function sounds simple, the development process is not simple. Ron Huang said that Apple had many ideas in the early stages of research and development, one of which was to use the iPhone's positioning function to determine whether AirPods Pro can reduce noise. For example, when the user is at home, the iPhone will promptly remind the AirPods that "we are at home", thereby commanding the AirPods to turn on "Transparency Mode".

The disadvantages of this idea are obvious, because the home is not always quiet, and the street is not noisy 24 hours a day. Therefore, the "adaptive" effect may be inaccurate.

Ultimately, Apple decided to abandon this approach. Instead, it uses the H2 chip to analyze environmental sounds in real time. In order to ensure that the H2 chip can produce correct analysis results, Apple has spent tens of thousands of hours testing different scenarios to truly understand various noise interference factors to ensure that the H2 chip can face Accurate response to different scenarios.

"Conversation Sense" is the second new feature introduced by AirPods Pro. When turned on, AirPods Pro will automatically reduce the volume when the wearer speaks, but this feature will not be activated when outsiders speak.

To achieve this effect, in addition to using the H2 chip and omnidirectional microphone, Apple also uses the motion acceleration sensor that comes with AirPods Pro to detect the movement of the user's chin. The combination of the three allows AirPods Pro to perfectly capture the two characteristics of human speech-vocalization and mouth opening. It can also effectively avoid the embarrassing situation where the user yawns and AirPods Pro automatically lowers the volume.

The improvement of switching speed is also a key point. Slow switching speed is a long-term problem of the AirPods series. Previously, it took about 5 seconds for a user to switch from the speakerphone to AirPods when making a call. Users who have experienced it all know that the 5-second pause during a call feels like forever.

The upgraded AirPods can clearly know what iPhone, iPad and Mac are doing, so as to prioritize (calls have the highest priority). When the user is on a call, AirPods will give priority to connecting to the calling device.

Apple has also added a small function for the call scene. Clicking AirPods during a call will turn on mute. However, this function is currently only available with the built-in phone software, and WeChat calls are not supported yet.

At present, most Bluetooth headsets use the 2.4 GHz frequency band, which makes this frequency band very "noisy". This is why Bluetooth headsets may be temporarily disconnected when used in crowded environments. The 5 GHz frequency band not only solves the problem of noisy channels It can also effectively reduce delays and increase the amount of data transmitted.

In addition to updating the USB-C interface, the new AirPods Pro 2 also adds support for the 5 GHz band in the H2 chip, making it the first headset in the AirPods family to support lossless audio playback. Unfortunately, although the old AirPods Pro 2 and AirPods Max are both H2 chips, Apple cannot add support for the 5 GHz band through software updates.

Although Apple's updates to the AirPods software have given the old AirPods products a brand new look, it is a pity that only the new AirPods Pro 2 supports 5GHz. As USB-C interfaces are fully popularized in Apple products, maybe Apple will "mercifully" add support for the 5 GHz band when updating the USB-C versions of other AirPods products.

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