This is the pair of buds to get for only $50 USD more than the original model with the wireless charging case. The AirPods Pro sound better than the originals and have a much better fit as well as active noise cancellation. Get this if you have an iOS device.
The Apple AirPods Pro have a new design, new features, and a new price, but they are still unmistakably AirPods. While the original model received much (deserved) criticism for not sealing the ear canal, these Apple earbuds not only seal the ear canal, but also provide active noise cancellation (ANC). Simply by this fact, the AirPods Pro are light-years ahead of the originals. But is it really worth the money?
How do you use the AirPods Pro?
When you first start using the AirPods Pro, you’ll want to find the right size ear tip to use because it will determine the rest of your experience. If the ear tips are too large, they will be painful, and if they are too small, they will fall out. They’ll fit snugly in your ear canal once you’ve installed the proper ear tip size. After pairing the AirPods Pro with your phone, you should be able to start listening to music without having to fiddle with too many settings. The product’s ethos, like that of any other Apple product, is to be something that “just works.”
While we’re on the subject of ear tips, these have also been redesigned. Unlike almost every other pair of earbuds that use the same ear tips, these are designed specifically for the AirPods Pro. Each earbud has a small section around the speaker driver where the ear tip clicks nicely and securely stays in place. There’s no more pinching the silicon ear tip to squeeze it around the nozzle, though to be fair, these don’t have one. Changing the AirPods Pro tips can be difficult at first, but it’s difficult to go back to standard ear tips.
Apple announced the new AirPods (3rd generation) on October 18, 2021, and with it, it quietly updated the charging case for the AirPods Pro. The AirPods Pro case is now MagSafe compliant, allowing you to use the same MagSafe wireless charger as your iPhone 12 or later.
How do you control the AirPods Pro?
Instead of traditional touch controls, each earbud has a pressure-sensitive stem. To carry out a command, you squeeze the stem in a specific way. Squeezing the stem once will pause or play music, twice will skip to the next song, and three times will skip to the next song. By long-pressing the stem, you can easily enter transparency mode. A complete list of AirPods Pro controls can be found in the table below.
What software features do you get with the AirPods Pro earbuds?
The AirPods Pro incorporates a few features that make them more useful than standard wireless earbuds. You can even perform an ear tip fit test to ensure that they are properly seated in your ear. This will determine whether you should use a different set of ear tips or if the active noise cancellation is functioning properly. To accomplish this, navigate to Bluetooth settings and then tap on the small I icon next to the AirPods.
If you’re using iOS, you get a few more options, including the ability to rename them, control whether active noise cancellation is turned on or off, and customize the function of tap-and-hold on each earbud.
If you’re the type of earphone owner who frequently loses your buds in your couch, don’t worry: the Apple AirPods Pro includes the Find My AirPods feature. iPhone users will be able to use their phones to track down misplaced earbuds if their batteries are still charged. Given how easily a single earbud can be misplaced, this feature is far more important than many people realize.
Keep in mind that all of these features, including Spatial Audio (more on that later), are exclusive to Apple devices. You won’t find any of this in your Android device’s Settings menu.
What Bluetooth codecs do the AirPods Pro support?
The AirPods Pro earbuds are Bluetooth 5.0 enabled and support the SBC and AAC codecs, delivering consistent, high-quality audio to iPhones. AAC works on Android, but its performance varies depending on your hardware. Reminder: these aren’t the earbuds for Android phone owners, but there are plenty of great Android earbuds to choose from.
How long does the battery last on the AirPods Pro?
In our testing, we were able to get 5 hours, 6 minutes of continuous playback with ANC turned on (connected to an iOS device), which is slightly more than average for most true wireless models. It’s worth noting that Apple claims you’ll get about 4 hours and 30 minutes of continuous playback with active noise cancellation enabled and the volume set to about 50%. The charging case provides enough charge to last you 24 hours of total listening time, and it is fully compatible with any Qi wireless charger or MagSafe charger.
One issue is that the charging case still requires a Lightning cable for various reasons. The included cable is now USB-C on one side and lightning on the other, which is incredibly inconvenient because you’ll now need to bring this specific cable with you wherever you go. Of course, if you already have the newer iPhone, it comes with the same cable, but if you haven’t upgraded yet (or don’t plan to), this is an annoying inconvenience you’ll have to live with.
How good is the noise cancelling on the AirPods Pro?
The most important feature of the new version is without a doubt the active noise cancellation, and this headset tops our list of the best ANC earbuds for iPhone users. While it does not completely muffle the low rumble of planes and trains, it does make midrange sounds half as loud as they would be without any ANC. Is the AirPods Pro’s ANC mind-bogglingly good? Absolutely not, and while the Sony WF-1000XM4 and Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3 are still better in this regard, the AirPods Pro are adequate for most people.
How does the AirPods Pro sound?
The AirPods Pro (cyan) sound great, and its frequency response closely resembles our consumer house curve. This means that most music should sound good to most listeners, with little need for equalization via a third-party app or the EQ on your streaming service. Furthermore, Apple’s Adaptive EQ equalizes your music based on the shape of your own ear (for more information, see What is a DSP?). As a result, the AirPods Pro sound more consistent from person to person than other headphones. Furthermore, with actual noise cancellation, this sounds far superior to its predecessors because your music isn’t competing with bus engines, airplane cabins, or noisy streets.
Lows, mids, and highs
The low end in Bad Bunny’s Callaita is loud and clear, including the sub-bass synths. Drum kicks and deep voices sound great, though if you’re coming from a cheaper headset, it may be a little quieter than you’re used to. Mids and treble notes sound great here, though high frequencies are a little quieter than our house curve suggests. You should be able to hear high-pitched detail from Cory Chisel’s song Songbird. Strumming and guitar squeaks sound good and not grating here.
What is Apple spatial audio?
Apple announced compatibility for “spatial audio” with the AirPods Pro during WWDC 2020. Spatial Audio is Apple’s version of simulated surround sound; it places sound cues around you in 3D space using a combination of software algorithms and the accelerometers in your AirPods Pro. This simulates the immersive experience of being seated in the center of a full surround sound setup. The accelerometers in the AirPods Pro sync with the accelerometer in the source device on which you are watching videos. As a result, if you’re in a car or on a plane, the audio you’re listening to will change only when you move your head, rather than when the vehicle turns.
Is the AirPods Pro good for phone calls?
When it comes to AirPods, one use case that cannot be overlooked is the microphone. Nowadays, I see more people talking on the phone through their AirPods than through their phones. Fortunately, the Pro still has a very good microphone for picking up human voices. Listen to our demos down below.
Is the Apple AirPods Pro worth it?
If you want AirPods or have an iPhone, the AirPods Pro are the only Apple earbuds we recommend for a variety of reasons. It not only sounds significantly better than the open-fit AirPods, but it also has more features and useful accessories. Sure, the AirPods Pro are more expensive than the latest AirPods with wireless charging, but you get a lot more for your money. If you use Android, you should avoid the AirPods Pro. Sure, it’s nice if you get a pair as a gift for some reason, but you’ll miss out on a lot of the features that make the buds worth considering due to a lack of cross-platform support.
It can be difficult to decide where to buy your AirPods Pro, but there are a few key things to remember before purchasing any electronic device: Is the vendor’s warranty satisfactory? How is its customer service? Is there a live chat function? We’ve put together a detailed guide on where to buy headphones to alleviate your concerns, but keep in mind that better warranty coverage and customer service will cost you more.
What to consider instead of the AirPods Pro if you have an iPhone
While the AirPod Pro true wireless earbuds are a significant improvement over the original AirPods, there are numerous other models to choose from. Apple-owned Beats also offers a few options, including the Beats Powerbeats Pro and Beats Fit Pro. The Powerbeats Pro has an ear hook design that stays in place no matter what, and a single charge provides well over 10 hours of battery life. The Beats Fit Pro, on the other hand, is significantly smaller and includes premium features such as ANC and spatial audio with head tracking.
These AirPods alternatives work with any smartphone
Choose either the Sony WF-1000XM4 or the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds for the best ANC that true wireless technology has to offer. Both of these earbuds effectively cancel out low-frequency sound and come with a custom EQ module in their respective apps (iOS/Android). You also get an IPX4 rating for either set of earbuds, which means you can work out in them without worry.
Consider the Jabra Elite 4 Active and the Amazon Echo Buds (2nd Gen) if you want to go a little cheaper. Both offer competitive performance at a reasonable price. The Amazon Echo Buds support hands-free Alexa and compare favorably to the AirPods Pro, whereas Jabra’s earbuds are a multipurpose option with excellent app support. The Nothing Ear 1 has a similar price-to-performance ratio to the Echo Buds, and you can see how the Ear 1 compares to the AirPods Pro here.
Furthermore, they have all of the drawbacks of wireless earbuds, such as batteries that will only last a couple of years at most. If you’re looking to make a wise investment in your audio, I’d recommend looking at the Bose QuietComfort 45 or Sony WH-1000XM5 before purchasing this. The batteries in on-ears and over-ears will not only last much longer than the tiny cells in true wireless earbuds, but they will also be much more durable and long-lasting.
What to consider instead of the AirPods Pro if you have an Android phone
If you’re an Android user looking for an AirPods-like aesthetic with Android functionality on a budget, consider the TCL MOVEAUDIO S600 or the slightly quirky HONOR Earbuds 2 Lite. Meanwhile, the less expensive Google Pixel Buds A-Series lack active noise cancellation but are a serious contender in the true wireless market for anyone who uses the Google Assistant on a daily basis. If ANC is important to you, the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 are an excellent choice, especially for Samsung users who can benefit from the Samsung Scalable Codec.