AirPods Max noise isolation reduction may be related to ongoing court battle

Posted:
in General Discussion edited November 2022
A patent troll lawsuit against Apple may be the reason behind a recent reduction in active noise cancellation for AirPods Max.

AirPods Max ANC reduction may be tied to patent troll
AirPods Max ANC reduction may be tied to patent troll


Active lawsuits cannot be discussed with the public, so that could explain why Apple changed how active noise cancellation works on its devices without notice. This assumption was shared by a Reddit user named facingcondor with a range of evidence to support the theory.

A patent troll under the name "Jawbone Innovations" purchased audio-related patents from the defunct Jawbone company. It then sued Apple for violating these patents in September 2021.

This lawsuit is still underway with no word on how this has affected Apple. However, it seems Apple is protecting itself from further damages related to the case by eliminating the violating features.

Apple removed noise cancellation from the iPhone 13 microphone when it was released. An update to AirPods Pro in 2021 changed the ANC algorithm.

Finally, AirPods Max was updated in 2022 to change the ANC algorithm, resulting in worse noise cancellation.

Apple hasn't made any reason behind these updates public. However, it does seem reasonable to assume that the updates are tied to the ongoing court case.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 5
    Apple's ANC is meant to be used in combination with audio. It's not meant to be used by itself with no audio playing. All the people who claim they can hear a difference in ANC based on the firmware used would likely fail a blind test when the ANC is combined with an audio source.
    mike1Oferdavwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 5
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,669member
    Apple's ANC is meant to be used in combination with audio. 
    According to whom?
    chasmmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 3 of 5
    chasmchasm Posts: 2,616member
    Apple's ANC is meant to be used in combination with audio.
    I'd be interested in seeing your source on this, because I haven't seen anything in Apple documentation that states this. I have taken entire airline trips with ANC on and nothing whatsoever playing, just working to reduce the overall ambient noise. and it has done the job.
    muthuk_vanalingamentropysFileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 5
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,793member
    I often use my APP without audio, just to cut the ambient noise down.

    it does give the illusion of working even better when you have audio occupying a bit of the “bandwidth” to the old brain.
    FileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 5
    Another "Batterygate scandal".
    watto_cobra
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