In July, Apple opened up access to a beta version of the AirPods Pro firmware to a wide range of developers so they could test new features before they were released.Apple also recently released a second version of the AirPods Pro (4A362b).
The second AirPods Pro firmware adds support for Conversation Boost, according to Apple's developer website.Conversation Boost is a feature in iOS 15 that uses beamforming microphones in AirPods Pro to increase the volume level of conversations for people with mild to moderate hearing impairment.
The initial AirPods Pro firmware beta added support for FaceTime Spatial Audio and Ambient Noise Reduction, two other AirPods Pro features coming in the iOS 15 update.
According to Apple's release diary, The FaceTime Spatial audio feature will create a sound field, allowing users to listen to the sounds as if they were talking to friends face to face, with the friends' voices spread out.
For Ambient Noise Reduction, apple's headphones have had this feature before, and this firmware test version may just be an enhancement.
The AirPods Pro firmware is only available to registered developers and requires a complex Xcode installation process.There was a walkthrough of installing the beta profile, but as with all wireless firmware updates, the new software took some time to become available to users.