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After using the AirPods Pro headphones extensively, it's safe to say that Apple has hit another home run with their latest premium wireless headphones. In short these earphones fit better compared to the standard AirPods, sound better, and perform the noise cancellation function very well.
Read on for further details.
Main Features & Functionality
The AirPods Pro are primarily designed to work with iPhones, Macs and iPads. They integrate seamlessly with these devices as you'd expect them to and work like a dream.
All you're required to do is flip the case of the AirPods Pro open and you'll get a pop up screen on your iOS device prompting you to connect. You have to pair the AirPods Pro once, and then they will be accessible on all Apple devices donning the same Apple ID. You won't need to pair then again on these devices.
The AirPods Pro come with three different silicone tip sizes. Users will appreciate the sound test feature Apple has included. The sound test essentially allows you to test that there is a good seal between the silicone tips and your ears. iOS will then detect whether there is any sound leakage and prompt you to change to different size ear tips if required. Impressive!
Those that don't own iOS devices can also use these earbuds provided that the device has a bluetooth connection.
In terms of the engine room of the AirPods Pro, the same chip as the AirPods 2 is used inside - the H1 chip. This chip establishes a very stable connection between your paired devices and allows you to use Siri.
Audio & Noise Cancelling
You can expect top of the range, high quality sound if you decide to take the plunge and purchase the AirPods Pro. Although some audio companies are currently offering headphones with potentially better sound quality, that doesn't take away from the superior sound quality of the AirPods Pro compared to most of its competitors in the market.
Audio quality stays at a high level irrespective of whether you're listening to music, podcasts or audio books. Another thing of note is that the sound quality of these earbuds is head and shoulders above the standard AirPod earbuds. Bass and treble is a lot richer and deeper compared to the traditional AirPods.
Perhaps the main selling point of the AirPods Pro is the Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) feature. Although there is room for improvement, there is no denying that the ANC functionality is excellent.
At a fundamental level, the idea of ANC is to cancel out all surrounding noises while you are using the earbuds. The in-ear design of the AirPods Pro lends itself to accommodate this feature. Whether you're in a noisy bus, train, or out for a run - these earbuds allow you to cancel out a lot of noise successfully.
One thing to keep in mind, however, is that little bits of sound can still creep in. You won't benefit from complete noise cancellation like you might with other top end over-ear headphones on the market. But the amount of sound creeping in with the AirPods Pro is so miniscule that it won't be a deal breaker at all for most people - especially when you consider the size and portability of the earbuds.
The way you use the ANC feature is very binary - it's either on or off and unfortunately you can't set the strength of the noise cancellation. There is also Transparency Mode which allows you to let sound enter temporarily (when someone is talking to you for example). This can be accessed by holding down on the stem of the earbuds or also through the volume sliders on your iPhone or iPad.
Design & Fit
The change in the visual design of the AirPods Pro compared to the traditional AirPods is very apparent. The charging case is wider, a light glows at the front for status indications and a button also exists on the back of the AirPods Pro to enable you to link with devices that don't support iOS. Of course the lightning port makes a return for charging purposes.
The stem of the AirPods bro earbuds are a lot shorter than the original AirPods, and the silicone tips protrude at more of an angle.
The stems contain touch pads of sorts at the top of each earbud. Tapping these areas allows you to pause, play, or go back and forward with your playlists - a familiar function from the original AirPods. You can also enable Transparency Mode that was discussed above by holding down on the touch pads.
On the downside, there is no way to change the volume of your audio without using Siri or using the volume buttons on your phone.
One of the more welcome aspects of the AirPods pro design is that instead of resting inside your ear like the traditional AirPods, the silicone tips now go right down inside your ear, acting as hooks. This makes the earbuds stay firmly in their place, more so compared to the original AirPods which have a tendency to fall out with too much head movement.
Basic water resistance technology has been applied which should ensure no damage would come of sweat entering the earbuds if used during a gym session or during a run for example. Of course, dropping the earbuds in a bowl full of water will have undesirable consequences as the AirPods Pro have not been designed with that level of water resistance in mind.
The more expressive users will be disappointed to learn that the AirPods Pro only come in the original glossy white colour. Variations in colour is something Apple is yet to introduce ti its AirPod range.
On a full charge, you should comfortable be able to get around 4.5 hours of play time from the AirPods Pro. This rings true even if you are constantly using the ANC feature, so the battery life is more than satisfactory in that regard. A fully charged case, however, will give you 24 hours of charge. So realistically you should never find yourself in a position where your AirPods Pro run out of juice.
Turning off the ANC can potentially increase the battery life of the earbuds by around 30 minutes, taking it up to 5 hours.
Predictably the Lightning ports make a return for the AirPods Pro for charging purposes which will come as no surprise. A USB-C to Lightning cable is also included in the box to allow charging from the modern MacBook. Qi Wireless charging is also supported, which could prove to be very beneficial to those who opt for this technology.
A fantastic new addition to the wireless earbuds range, and oh so easy to recommend. The sound quality, comfort level in terms of usage, seamless pairing technology and of course the ANC feature make the AirPods Pro a top tier contender in the wireless earbuds market. These earbuds are sure to provide hours of joy for users for a long time to come.