Brooke Crothers recently upgraded from the AirPods 2 to the AirPods Pro and found that Apple’s AirPods Pro have secret hidden feature. Mostly because the former wouldn’t stay in his ears. But he’s found an even better reason to upgrade: “Transparency.” That’s the mode on the AirPods Pro that allows sound in from the outside world using the Pro’s microphone array. But there’s more to Transparency Mode beyond Apple’s description.
The other night I was at a Starbucks and was listening, on and off, to a conversation at the next table where a twenties-something programmer was making his elevator pitch to a potential investor.
With the intention of focusing more on my work, I put on my AirPods Pro (with Transparency already on) to listen to music. To my surprise — before I had a chance to switch to the music and turn Transparency Mode off — I found that I was hearing the conversation at the next table a lot more clearly.
Without the AirPods I could only hear snippets of the conversation. With the AirPods in Transparency Mode it was like eavesdropping on the conversation: the voices were amplified and clear.
I’m not saying that the AirPods Pro are hearing aids per se but if you throw in the “Live Listen” feature* (which was available before the AirPods Pro), they can function as basic hearing aids.
MacDailyNews Take: AirPods Pro don’t have this “secret hidden feature” all to themselves. Live listen also works with regular AirPods. As we wrote back in October 2018, “It does work rather well, even in a loud, crowded restaurant, but, of coure, you have to wear your AirPods which aren’t nearly as inconspicuous like real hearing aids. They’ll certainly do in a pinch, though!”