Apple Improves AirPods Call Quality with Clever Audio Trick

Siri Interactions on AirPods

Calling on AirPods is about to get better, thanks to a new firmware update that Apple is rolling out in beta. This update addresses a long-standing issue: the drop in audio quality when using the AirPods microphone.

Previously, using the AirPods microphone for calls meant sacrificing sound quality. How? This tweet explains it:

This update allows for crisp, high-fidelity audio (at a rate of 48000kHz) even while the mic is active. This removes sounding like you’re in air traffic control during a call.

The exact technical details behind this improvement are under debate. Some speculate it’s a clever engineering feat, where AirPods switch from stereo to mono audio during calls. Mono audio, well-suited for voice calls, might be the secret sauce. Others believe it might involve some proprietary hardware Apple has developed. The latter doesn’t make sense to me. However, while we are on the topic of hardware, Apple might be bringing AirPods with built-in cameras in 2026.

Either way, the user experience is set to be much improved. Users can expect natural-sounding calls without compromising on audio quality. Not just this, with high-quality audio maintained during calls, using AirPods for professional voice recording with software like Ableton or Logic Pro might also become a reality.

This update could be linked to Apple’s new voice isolation feature in iOS 18, further improving call clarity.

While the update is currently in beta testing and has some bugs to be ironed out, it can be a major improvement for AirPods users who rely on them for calls.

On the other hand, a user finds this clever trick to trace the untraceable AirPods case.

More here.

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