Apple’s AirPods have been a runaway hit since their launch in 2016, with Counterpoint Research estimates indicating Apple owns the majority of the wireless earphone industry.
On October 28, Apple finally launched the true successor to the original AirPods: the AirPods Pro. The new headphones offer key features that Apple’s headphones previously lacked, such as noise cancellation, sweat and water resistance, and ear tips of different sizes.
If you use AirPods Pro it is clear from the outset that they are a big improvement over the first version. The noise cancellation alone makes the AirPods Pro worth considering for those thinking of upgrading the first-generation AirPods they’ve been holding on to. The sound quality has also gotten an upgrade, making them stronger competitors than rivals like Samsung, and a compelling choice over the slightly cheaper Galaxy Buds.
For starters, take a look at the AirPods Pro head, which is larger than the previous buds and contains two black microphone vents. At the top of the stem is another air vent, which hides another microphone. At the bottom there is a thin shiny chrome circle. Towards the end of the bud that enters the ear is a remarkable new addition: a silicone tip.
The stem is shorter than previous versions of the AirPods and now features a small notch. Give the stem a squeeze and you’ll discover a built-in force sensor that lets you toggle between noise cancellation and Transparency mode.
Apple AirPods Pro have a closed design, which differentiates them from previous typical AirPods and affects their audio profile. While they may seem bass-light, there’s no shortage of sub-bass from the other open-back AirPods. These headphones have a fairly neutral audio profile that might sound a bit positive. However, they tend to perform slightly differently as they fail to deliver consistent audio playback with various people. On the plus side, they’re noticeably more versatile than previous models for a wider variety of playing styles and should please most users.
The insulation performance of Apple AirPods Pro is outstanding. Their Active Noise Canceling (ANC) works very well and does a great job of blocking out most background noise. This makes them a good choice for both commuting and the office. Due to their closed-in-ear fit, they lose far less sound than previous models, meaning those around you shouldn’t be disturbed by your audio.
The sound insulation of these headphones is impressive. They do a great job of isolating the low rumble of bus or airplane engines, making them good for commuters. Their mid-range performance is also outstanding, which makes them excellent for blocking out ambient chatter. Their weakest isolation performance is in the treble range, although this is the least important for most situations and they still do a decent job.
The dispersion performance of these headphones is very good and much better than previous models due to their in-ear design. They lose most of the sound in the treble range, meaning the loss will be subtle. These headphones are unlikely to disturb those around you.
The Apple AirPods Pro has 5.5 hours of battery life with ANC on, which is over an hour better than previous models. Unfortunately, they take longer to fully charge, although they are still quite fast at just over an hour. On the plus side, the battery charged to around 70% in just 20 minutes, meaning a quick charge should last around 3-4 hours of playback. When not in use, these headphones go into standby mode which saves some battery, but not completely, as they stay on.
With their exceptional noise cancellation, rich sound, comfortable fit, and quick pairing with iOS devices, the AirPods Pro are a great choice for iPhone users looking for a reliable pair of everyday wireless headphones. . The addition of new features like noise cancellation and sweat resistance gives Apple device owners one less reason to look for alternatives.
The upgrade is probably worth it if your AirPods are a couple of years old now, considering the Pro model also brings Apple updates introduced with the second-generation AirPods, like hands-free Siri support and wireless charging.
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