New Gesture Controls And Audio Enhancements Coming To Apple AirPods

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Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference which began on Monday has already seen a slew of major announcements. But behind the headlines of its push into the AI space, one of the smaller announcements – Apple bringing new features to its AirPods– may have slipped below the radar. Apple has revealed how its AirPods will evolve later this year.

AirPods users will be able to respond to Siri by nodding their head if it is a yes or gently shaking their head if it is a no in response to Siri announcements.

Apple says that the latest features are enabled “by machine learning on the H2 chip”. The Siri Interactions allow users to answer or dismiss calls, interact with messages and manage notifications all by using their gestures.

Apart from working on the way users interact with the product, Apple says that it has also worked towards improving call quality. AirPods Pro will now have Voice Isolation technology which is already available on its Mac, iPhone, and iPad. Here too, machine learning, running on the H2 chip in AirPods Pro and the paired iPhone, iPad, or Mac, isolates and enhances voice quality while removing significant background noise such as wind around the caller for the listener on the other end.

New updates coming to the AirPods mean that Personalised Spatial Audio with dynamic head tracking will be available for gaming across AirPods (3rd generation), AirPods Pro, and AirPods Max.

Personalized spatial audio only works on select content like Dolby Atmos Music from Apple Music. According to Digital Trends, with iOS 18, Apple is releasing an application programming interface (API) for personalized spatial audio that will let third-party developers implement the feature in a variety of apps.

Apple noted that the new AirPods features will be available “this spring” without giving an exact date for the release, as a free firmware update. Siri Interactions, Voice Isolation, and improved voice quality will be available with AirPods Pro (2nd generation).

Here in Australia, on the official Apple website, the AirPods Pro (2nd generation) is available from A$399, while the AirPods (3rd generation) starts at A$279 and the AirPods (2nd generation) begins at A$219.

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