Apple’s WWDC 2023 introduced a bunch of new and improved features coming primarily to the latest AirPods Pro (2nd generation).

Apple’s annual Worldwide Developer Conference brought with it the usual updates to all of Apple’s operating system, including iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS, as well as an unusually large number of hardware updates, including the new 15-inch MacBook Air, plus updated Mac Studio and Mac Pro with the new M2 Ultra chip, not to mention the announcement of Apple’s first VR headset, the Vision Pro. Alongside these software and hardware updates were a number of changes that will enhance the experience for AirPods users.

AirPods Pro 2nd generation, released in September last year, are getting three brand new features: Adaptive Audio, Personalized Volume and Conversation Awareness. AirPods Pro 1st and 2nd generations, AirPods 3rd generation and AirPods Max are all getting an easy mute/unmute switch for calls. All AirPods models are getting improved Automatic Switching.

Adaptive Audio is a new listening mode that dynamically blends Transparency mode and Active Noise Cancellation. AirPods will determine the best experience based on your environments throughout the day and tailor the noise control to suit. WWDC shows this as a new switch in Control Center, with the wearer aware of a bicycle bell from behind, while noises like leaf blowers are lowered.

Video credit: Apple

Personalized Volume automatically delivers the best media experience, using machine learning to understand the environmental conditions and your listening preferences over time.

When you speak, Conversation Awareness quickly lowers the volume of music, enhances voices around you, and reduces background noise. This should make it easier to start a conversation, without needing to manually switch modes. We’ve seen similar ‘Speak-to-Chat’ features on other active noise cancelling headphones, like the Sony WH-100XM-series.

Automatic Switching is already available across all AirPods, making it seamless to move to the device you’re using, whether that’s iPhone, iPad, Mac, Watch or TV. The feature is getting a small but useful update that makes connection time between devices faster and more reliable.

Finally, Apple are introducing a mute/unmute feature to all AirPods with stem-controls or the Digital Crown (not the AirPods 1st or 2nd generation). Simply press the stem or Digital Crown on AirPods Max to quickly mute or unmute a call.

Image credit: Apple

All of these features are coming to AirPods users in the fall as a free firmware update. The beta is available today to Apple Developer Program members on

The video below will jump straight to the AirPods updates, so you can see a demo of the new features. Click here to watch WWDC 2023 from the start.