Apple AirPods Pro getting free upgrade with a hidden new audio feature

There are plans to AirPods Pro and Pro 2 owners more ANC tools

Apple AirPods Pro 2 review
(Image credit: Matt Kollat/T3)
Quick Summary

Code has been found in the latest AirPods Pro firmware beta that suggests a new ANC mode is coming.

You will be able to customise the strength of noise cancellation if the code ends up in the final release.

Apple AirPods Pro and AirPods Pro 2 are to get a new, useful feature this autumn, according to code found in the latest firmware.

The latest beta build includes includes a mode for owners to manually adjust the strength of noise cancellation on Apple's best ANC earbuds.

AirPods Pro models already offer an adaptive audio mode, which allows them to automatically adjust noise cancellation based on your surroundings – much like rivals such as the Sony WF-1000XM5.

However, bar activating the mode, you can't currently tailor it to suit your own tastes.

That's what's coming with a new "customisable adaptive audio mode" found in the latest beta. It enables you to further adjust the level of cancellation and/or transparency yourself. Options to "remove more noise" and "remove less noise" have been spotted (by Headphonesty) and could therefore appear in a full firmware release later this year.

Considering Apple plans to launch iOS 18 in a few months time, it would come as a major surprise to learn that the new mode is part of the full public release.

It is likely that you'll be able to access the additional controls through the AirPods Pro menu in settings, which is where you can currently find the other "Noise Control" modes when the earbuds are paired.

It is here that you can also change the touch activations for each AirPod, and turn on or off personalised spatial audio.

Other new features coming to AirPods Pro later this year include voice isolation, which will use better algorithms to counter background noise, such as the wind, to present your voice more clearly during a call. There will also be new gesture controls, such as the ability to answer or refuse a Siri request by nodding or shaking your head.

These were detailed by Apple during WWDC 2024 earlier in June. There are a number of new AI technologies coming to multiple devices later this year, all under the new banner of Apple Intelligence.

Rik Henderson
News Editor

Rik is T3’s news editor, which means he looks after the news team and the up-to-the-minute coverage of all the hottest gadgets and products you’ll definitely want to read about. And, with more than 35 years of experience in tech and entertainment journalism, including editing and writing for numerous websites, magazines, and newspapers, he’s always got an eye on the next big thing.

Rik also has extensive knowledge of AV, TV streaming and smart home kit, plus just about everything to do with games since the late 80s. Prior to T3, he spent 13 years at Pocket-lint heading up its news team, and was a TV producer and presenter on such shows as Channel 4's GamesMaster, plus Sky's Games World, Game Over, and Virtual World of Sport.