Apple’s WWDC 2023 event was an action-packed one, complete with plenty of software and hardware announcements. But with so much going on it was easy to miss some of the smaller improvements coming to Apple devices. And in the case of the AirPods, some of those improvements might actually be pretty big.
Alongside the big announcements like the Vision Pro headset and the 15-inch MacBook Air, Apple also confirmed that it is adding some new features to how AirPods handle switching between devices and more.
The new AirPods features won’t be available until later this fall, but we do at least have some details on what we can expect once they arrive.
It all sounds good
Starting with device switching, Apple says that AirPods should be able to do it more quickly and reliably than before. Device switching is what happens when your AirPods automatically disconnect from one device, like an iPhone, and connect to something else, like a Mac. It’s like magic when it works, and it seems it should work better than ever later this year.
Apple also confirmed that Adaptive Audio is coming to the AirPods, a feature that will listen to your environment and then adjust the noise cancelation and Transparency mode accordingly to create the best possible listening experience. Personalized Volume will do something similar, adjusting the volume based on the ambient sound.
Finally, Conversation Awareness will automatically turn the volume of your AirPods down when someone speaks to you, increasing it again after the conversation is finished.
All of these changes will ship alongside iOS 17 and the rest of Apple’s fall software updates, so it’s going to be a few months before they arrive, unfortunately. But at least we won’t have to buy new AirPods to get them.