Apple AirPods Pro, AirPods Max headphones get Find My upgrade
Lost high-end AirPods will work more like AirTags, while another new feature promises to improve face-to-face conversations.
Ty Pendlebury is a journalism graduate of RMIT Melbourne, and has worked at CNET since 2006. He lives in New York City where he writes about streaming and home audio.
ExpertiseTy has worked for radio, print, and online publications, and has been writing about home entertainment since 2004. He majored in Cinema Studies when studying at RMIT. He is an avid record collector and streaming music enthusiast.Credentials
Ty was nominated for Best New Journalist at the Australian IT Journalism awards, but he has only ever won one thing. As a youth, he was awarded a free session for the photography studio at a local supermarket.
Apple has announced new features coming to its high-end earbuds and headphones, including Conversation Boost and improved tracking via the Find My network. The company revealed the new features during its annual WWDC keynote.
AirPods Pro and AirPods Max users will soon be able to locate their earbuds or headphones more accurately using the Find My network, just like locating objects with the recently announced AirTags. The AirPods Pro and Max now send out a secure Bluetooth beacon that can be detected by other Apple devices. The new proximity view in the Find My app lets you know when you're getting close, and you can choose the Play Sound option, which makes the devices emit a chirping noise. You can also set up a separation alert to notify you if you leave your AirPods behind.
Conversation Boost, another new feature, is "designed to help people with mild hearing challenges to stay more connected in conversations" by using spatial audio to focus on the person talking in front of you. "Computational audio and beamforming microphones" help position the speaker in face-to-face conversation, and the feature can also reduce the amount of ambient noise.
The company also introduced spatial audio on its Apple Music service, as well as adding it to FaceTime calls.
Another new feature, called Announce Notifications, will let Apple's Siri voice assistant read time-sensitive notifications over AirPods connected to Apple devices. Apple cited as examples notifying you of a dinner delivery or supplying a shopping list.