I love software updates that make after-market devices smarter. Last night my AirPods received a new firmare: 6A300 for the AirPods (Max) and 6A301 for the AirPods Pro 2. I am running iOS 17, which is a prerequisite for some new features.
Most important addition for people who use AirPods for conference calls: you can now mute/unmute a call with a single press. A double press will hang up the call. As a reminder: all current AirPods have Personalized Spatial Audio. The iPhone camera determines the shape of your earlobes and adjusts the spatial audio experience.
Another important customization is a part of the Headphone Accomodations inside Settings/Accessibility/Audio/Video. It lets you tune your AirPods to your hearing profile. The difference is absolutely stunning. I know somebody with a 90 percent hearing loss on one ear and only the AirPods allow him to hear stereo. You can build this profile with the Mimi Hearing Test. Once you built this profile, AirPods can act as a hearing aid focussing on the person in front of you.
The second generation AirPods Pro take all of this one step further. After the update, they can seamlessly adjust between Transparency and ANC, they will adjust the volume depending on the sound around you, and they will automatically lower media playback when you start speaking and switch on Transparency with a focus on the person in front of you.
Ever since the AirPods Max blew me away with their computational audio, I have amazed of what Apple is doing in the audio space. This stuff keeps getting better, and if possible without buying new devices.