Your AirPods are about to get smarter about muting distractions

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Whether you want to block out a screaming siren or chat with a friend on the street, your AirPods Pro are about to get better at helping you focus on your audio.

During Apple’s WWDC keynote on Monday, Apple announced a series of features coming to the latest AirPods Pro that will make the earbuds smarter at deciding which sounds to let in, and which to screen out.

Due to arrive this fall in a software update, the new Conversation Awareness feature for the second-generation AirPods Pro will automatically detect when you begin speaking to someone, and will automatically lower the volume of any music or podcasts you’re listening to, focus the sound of voices in front of you, and reduce the level of ambient noise.

Also coming with the update is Adaptive Audio, a feature that blends active noise cancellation and Transparency mode and will automatically “tailor” their respective levels depending on the ambient sound conditions, presumably upping the ANC for emergency sirens, jackhammers, and other transient loud noises.

Next, Personalized Volume will use machine learning to automatically “fine-tune the media experience” according to current “environmental conditions” and your long-term listening preferences. We’re curious to learn more about what Personalized Volume is, and precisely how it works.

Another new feature is coming to additional AirPods beyond the second-gen Pros. The Mute or Unmute feature will let you press the stem of your AirPods or the Digital Crown of your AirPods Max to quickly mute or mute yourself.

The Mute or Unmute feature will work on the first- and second-gen AirPods Pro, as well as the third-ten AirPods and the AirPods Max.

Finally, Apple says that Automatic Switching between AirPods and other Apple devices will be getting better, with the update making seamless switching “faster and more reliable.”

All the new AirPods features will arrive this fall in a free software update, Apple says.

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