Apple confirms that Adaptive Transparency on older AirPods was a bug

AirPods Pro 2 on a mosaic table
AirPods Pro 2 (Image credit: Gerald Lynch / Future)

Apple has confirmed that Adaptive Transparency is not coming to older AIrPods models.

Last week, people spotted that the Adaptive Transparency feature that was announced for AirPods Pro 2 was showing up for older models like the original AirPods Pro and AirPods Max in early iOS 16.1 developer betas. This lead many to hope that Apple, while marketing the feature for its newest earbuds, would bring it to existing models as well.

Unfortunately, that does not appear to be the case. As spotted by MacRumors, the latest developer beta of iOS 16.1 has removed the feature for older AirPods models.

Today's news doesn't come as a surprise. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman took to Twitter earlier this week saying that he had been told that the feature showing up for older models "is a bug."

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It's AirPods Pro 2 or nothing

If you're familiar with the original AirPods Pro and AirPods Max, you're probably used to using Transparency Mode, which will bring outside sounds in more clearly.

With AirPods Pro 2, Apple announced Adaptive Transparency, which will automatically reduce loud noises around you like "a passing vehicle siren, construction tools, or even loud speakers."

Transparency mode makes it possible for listeners to stay connected to and aware of the world around them. Now, Adaptive Transparency takes this customer-loved feature even further. The powerful H2 chip enables on-device processing, which reduces loud environmental noise — like a passing vehicle siren, construction tools, or even loud speakers at a concert — for more comfortable everyday listening.

While it's sad to see that the feature on older models turned out to be a bug, it does make sense. The feature appears to only be possible due to the faster processing of the new H2 chip which was debuted on the new AirPods Pro 2.

So, if you want Adaptive Transparency, it's AirPods Pro 2 or nothing! Until Apple releases its next generation of AirPods Max, of course.

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.