iOS 17: New AirPods Features YOU Need to Know!

Every New AirPods Feature in iOS 17

By Stacey Butler - Senior Staff Writer
2 Min Read

iOS 17 doesn’t just add new features to the iPhone – it also brings new functionality to the AirPods. Most of what’s new is for the AirPods Pro 2, but there are a few additions that are for all AirPods.

AirPods now make it easy to mute yourself on calls and improve auto-switching between devices. The AirPods Pro (2nd generation) get a new audio mode, and you can track each AirPod’s location individually.

Adaptive Audio and Conversation Awareness

Up until now, the AirPods Pro offered the choice between Noise Cancellation, which blocks out outside noise, and Transparency, which allows outside sounds. Now the AirPods Pro (2nd generation) also offer a third choice, Adaptive, which is a middle path between Noise Cancellation and Transparency.

Another new option for the AirPods Pro (2nd generation) is Conversation Awareness. When you start talking, this setting automatically lowers media volume and tunes your AirPods Pro to pick up voices.

To try either of these settings:

  1. Open Control Center.

  2. Touch and hold the volume slider to reveal audio options.

  3. Here, you can tap Noise Control to switch between Transparency, Adaptive, and Noise Cancellation and you can tap Conversation Awareness to try out that feature.

Personalized Volume

Again for the AirPods Pro (2nd generation), in Settings > AirPods Pro Name , there is a new Personalized Volume option that automatically adjusts media volume in response to the noise level of your environment. The ‌iPhone‌ is able to learn more about the volume that you prefer over time, tweaking as necessary to match your desired sound level.

Press to Mute and Unmute

You can now press the stem of your AirPods Pro or third-generation AirPods during a phone call to mute your microphone. This also works on AirPods Max if you press the Digital Crown. Handy if you have to cough or sneeze!

Improved Auto Switching

In theory, your AirPods should switch between devices automatically as you do. However, this has often been unreliable and slow. Apple says the ‌AirPods can automatically switch between Apple devices much quicker in ‌iOS 17‌ and iPadOS 17.

Improved auto switching requires AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, or AirPods (2nd generation or later), plus one of the following (or later models):

  • iPhone XS or iPhone XR

  • iPad Pro (2nd generation), 12.9-inch

  • iPad Pro, 10.5-inch or 11-inch

  • iPad Air (3rd generation)

  • iPad (6th generation)

  • iPad mini (5th generation)

Track AirPods Individually

You can now track each AirPod separately in the Find My App. Go to Devices > AirPod Name and you should see entries for Left Bud and Right Bud.

Dark Mode

In a small but notable change, when you connect AirPods to an ‌iPhone‌ with Dark Mode enabled, the connection popup will also be in ‌Dark Mode‌.

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By Stacey Butler Senior Staff Writer
Stacey is a senior staff writer at GeeksChalk and has been writing about Apple for nearly a decade. She covers all things Apple for GeeksChalk, including iPhones, iPads and Mac. Based in Honolulu, Hawaii, Stacey is often found hiking precarious landscapes or tinkering with a camera.
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