A ‘Concert Mode’ for AirPods markbramhill.com

Mark Bramhill:

It’s no surprise Apple is looking to double-down on health for AirPods Pro. Features like Adaptive Transparency and Live Listen are amazing — refining these and getting official certification for their health applications is a no-brainer. But I think Apple has an opportunity in front of them, without any regulatory hurdles, to disrupt a whole product category: concert earplugs.

This is a great idea in every way, with the sole exception of the optics of a crowd of people watching their favourite band while apparently listening to something else. That will never not look strange to me.

I was at the supermarket the other day behind someone who had a set of AirPods in while talking with the cashier. I know AirPods have passthrough modes and I am sure this person was using one of them because they appeared to be participating in the conversation just fine. But, still, it looked odd, and more than a little rude.

Perhaps this is all part of a societal shift we will be obliged to make. At some point, it may not just be headphones which create a barrier of potential distraction between people.