Home Tech AirPods Pro might be the sleeper hit of WWDC 2024

AirPods Pro might be the sleeper hit of WWDC 2024

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AirPods Pro might be my favorite headphones, ever. They sound great, fit great, and have so many features that make them indispensable to me. Now, with iOS 18 about to roll off the production line this fall, the earbuds are about to get even better.

Today, Apple hosted WWDC 2024 and announced iOS 18, iPadOS 18, tvOS 18, watchOS 11, visionOS 2, and macOS Sequoia. It also unveiled Apple Intelligence, its big push into the world of generative and assistive artificial intelligence. Despite all of that, some of the new AirPods Pro features might be the ones I am most looking forward to.

One of the big features coming to the AirPods Pro is Siri Interactions, which lets you interact with phone calls, messages, notifications, and more by simply nodding or shaking your head. That’s great for any of us who thought we’d look strange by randomly starting a conversation with Siri around other people.

AirPods are one of the best ways to interact with Siri on the go, and with Siri Interactions, that experience gets even more personal, private, and convenient. AirPods Pro users will be able to simply nod their head yes or gently shake their head no to respond to Siri announcements, which is particularly helpful in crowded or quiet areas where they may not want to speak out loud. Enabled by machine learning on the H2 chip, Siri Interactions allow users to answer or dismiss calls, interact with messages, manage notifications, and so much more — all without speaking.

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Voice Isolation is coming from the iPhone to AirPods Pro. Image source: José Adorno for BGR

Even more exciting, Voice Isolation is now making the jump from the iPhone, iPad, and Mac directly to the AirPods Pro. My parents constantly comment on how windy it is when I call them on a walk, so I’ll particularly appreciate this feature.

Since their introduction, AirPods have been a convenient way to keep in touch with friends, colleagues, and loved ones. To deliver the best call quality no matter the environmental conditions, AirPods Pro introduce Voice Isolation, expanding the game-changing feature available on Mac, iPhone, and iPad. Machine learning, running on the H2 chip in AirPods Pro and the paired iPhone, iPad, or Mac, isolates and enhances voice quality while removing significant background noise — like wind around the caller — for the listener.

AirPods Pro get even better with audio latency with games.

The last feature coming to the AirPods Pro is Personalized Spatial Audio. Wait, they already had that! True, but now Spatial Audio is coming to games! AirPods Pro get even better with games as well with improved latency as well as voice quality at 16-bit, 48kHz audio.

Thanks to their excellent sound quality, AirPods are also an incredible gaming companion, and new updates take that experience even further. Personalized Spatial Audio with dynamic head tracking will be available for gaming across AirPods (3rd generation), AirPods Pro, and AirPods Max — delivering the immersive audio customers have come to love when listening to music, or watching movies and shows. When using AirPods Pro, gamers will now have the best wireless audio latency Apple has ever delivered for mobile gaming. AirPods Pro users can also enjoy improved voice quality, including 16-bit, 48kHz audio, when chatting with teammates and other players. To make it easier to implement the most immersive listening experience for games with advanced sound design, a developer API is now available.

All of this together makes AirPods Pro even better. I love that Apple has continued to improve the earbuds with software updates, especially over the last two years. It still feels weird to buy a pair of headphones that can improve with updates but, after enjoying those updates last year, I’m all for it.



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