AirPods Pro Review : Not for Runners!

AirPods Pro review

Apple’s contender in the truly wireless earphones market, the AirPods Pro has provided customers an easy alternative. And it is doom for its competitors. This is the AirPods Pro Review.

Apple has always remained in the growing area for the past few years whenever it launched a new product. The phones and devices the company launched where good, but not great. And it was mostly met with lukewarm reviews. This time, they have changed that with the AirPods Pro. Apple has done something incredible with the new buds; they have listened to their customers.
This review is not going to be a long one because there are not many negative things to say. We have summarized the whole review into sub-sections so you can read about the specific feature that concerns you. But if you are in a hurry, here’s an overall encapsulation of the long review article; the Apple AirPods Pro is currently the best wireless earbuds for the price range they’re being offered. But if you’re buying these for heavy workouts and running, then these aren’t a great option for you. And the reason for that is not stability or waterproofing. 

AirPods Pro Review: The Build Quality.

Apple earphones
Image: Apple

No matter what Apple launches in their hardware department, it assures that the build quality is top-notch. I have never seen an Apple device that felt inferior or cheap (and it never was cheap). The same is the case with Apple AirPods Pro. The design of the buds, the weight distribution, and the material used for crafting these wireless buds are done perfectly. It feels premium and solid. The hefty price that you pay for them is translated very well in the build quality.

The Design and Ergonomics 

Apple earphones
Image: Apple

The one issue I had with the original AirPods (which was simultaneously the reason I never got them) was the design. In no way, those hideous abominations looked like true wireless earbuds. It seemed as if someone took wired Apple earphones and cut the wires off. The long vertical stem made it look stupid. And the in-ear module was uncomfortable with its plastic build. Not just that it was uncomfortable, excessive rigorous movements made the pods come out. This added to the fear of losing the earbuds while running. 

However, there are no such complaints in this AirPods Pro review. These buds look like they were designed to be wireless, a case where Apple listened to its customers. The stems are angular and small, so no stupid protrusion from your ear making it look like you’re wearing a hearing aid (yes Microsoft, this one’s for you). The AirPods Pro is smaller and its easier to put them in. 

Now thanks to the silicone in-ear tips, they feel secure inside your ears. The silicone provides a grip and an assurance that it will hold on to your ears no matter what. And it’s true too. During a test to see how secure these AirPods Pro are, I executed some ridiculous jarring motions that would have scared the people around me if it was done in public. However, this demon summoning ritual of mine did prove that the AirPods Pro will be in your ear, even if your head falls from your body. Anything for the review.

Sound Quality.

AirPods Pro review
Image: Apple

The AirPods Pro sounds great. But don’t let the Pro in its moniker mislead you. There’s nothing pro about these pods. I suppose Apple just took the name to match the iPhone 11 Pro lineup. I am sure professionals won’t be using these AirPods for their work. But these pods are an upgrade from the previous AirPods in terms of sound quality. 

The brilliant bass gives a visceral thump and increases the immersion. Add this with the terrific treble and the crystal clear audio output and you get something that is on-par with the Bose QuietComfort 35 II and Sony WH-1000XM3, the two wireless earphones that are the best offerings in their price range. 

After using the AirPods Pro for the review, now my other buds are ruined because they don’t sound as good as these bad boys. And the same applies to you too. So if sound quality is a major concern for you, then you can buy these pods with blind trust, but with open ears! Also at loud volume, there was no distortion or cracking, which is a good thing.

The Active Noise Cancellation.

The reason why the AirPods Pro comes at $250 is that they have a technology to remove the unnecessary noise from the outside. Before we move on, I have to clarify the name here. The Active Noise cancellation is different from just noise cancellation. Amazon’s Echo buds (review’s on the pipeline) offer assisted noise cancellation, but it isn’t active.

AirPods Pro review
The Magic of AirPods Pro. Image: Apple

The ANC (Active Noise Cancellation) on the AirPods Pro is great. I call it great not because it perfectly blocks the outside noises. It doesn’t do that, there is some amount of noise that creeps in. The reason why I call it great is that Apple has managed to put such technology that works so well into such a small form factor. The size of the AirPods is no match for the giant over-the-ear headphones that offer ANC. But it terms of performance, the tiny AirPods Pro comes close to those giants.

In a loud environment, like a busy cafeteria, traffic with impatient honkers or airplanes, these buds work great. They don’t completely block the noise and there is always some amount of noise that mixes with the song, but they work very well. Great for flights and chilling in bistros or cafes or the pub. And fantastic in a moderately loud environment. You won’t hear anything if people are talking around you, even loudly. Try the same thing with Echo Bud’s noise cancellation and you’ll realize how great Apple AirPods Pro is. Ever wondered how noise cancelation worked? Read this article to find out.

The Transparency mode is another great feature to use when you want some outside noise to come inside. This feature is useful when you’re commuting and want to be aware of the surrounding. It works as expected.

The Interaction with AirPods Pro.

Apple has also changed the way you interact with the new AirPods Pro. And it’s a lot different from before, so much so that it found a separate section in the article. There are no more taps on the buds to change the song or answer a call. It is the age of squeeze.

The stem of the AirPods Pro has a new feature called the “Force Touch” and it allows you to interact with the buds. So you press the stem once to play and pause or answer calls. Press twice to skip forward and thrice to skip backward. Press and hold to switch between ANC and Transparency Mode.

This new mode of interaction has its ups and downs, but the ups are more frequent. Previously, tapping on the AirPods was very uncomfortable for me. Since the buds were lodged inside my ears, tapping them made my ears hurt. Squeezing the stem is much more convenient. Plus there is clicking sound each time you squeeze the stem that gives you the impression of clicking a button. That makes it much more clear that the click worked. 

AirPods Pro review
This is not so easy while running. Image: Apple

Not For Runners.

While the squeezing does make interaction with the AirPods Pro easier, it is a nightmare to use while running. Imagine you’re running or even jogging and you have to get a good grip of the stem and then squeeze it just to change the song! This is where the tap was much more useful. That holds for heavy workouts too. It is very difficult to grip the step and squeeze it once or twice when your whole body is moving.

The Range and Speed.

A review of the AirPods Pro will not be complete without mentioning the range up to it works and how fast it connects. For the connection speed, it is just like the previous AirPods. The H1 chip allows a seamless connection right after you open the case. The range is also great this time. I was at an unreasonable distance from the phone and the music was playing smoothly. It worked very well with walled interference. So keep the phone in your room and listen to music from wherever you are in your house. Disclaimer: I don’t happen to live in a mansion so if your house is huge, we cannot vouch for the AirPods to work!

Sony’s new headphones are a threat to this AirPods

The Battery Life.

This is part of the review where you’ll get to hear the term “mediocre.” The battery life of the AirPods Pro hasn’t improved. While the company claims so much, we got a playback time of 4 hours with ANC turned off. Turning the ANC takes a toll on battery life. While you won’t be using the ANC always, we needed to try. The battery works for around 3.5 hours of continuous playback and the volume differed at times, but the volume was always above 50%

Apple AirPods Case
The Not-so-new Case. Image: Apple

The case allows a full day battery refill and that is appreciated. However, since the case has increased in size, we expected a little more juice. But whatever is being offered is great too. The case is very similar to the previous one. If you turn the previous AirPods’ case by 45 degrees, you get the new case. It felt very similar, so there is nothing to talk about here.

The Verdict.

If you are looking for new truly wireless earphones and/or upgrading from the original AirPods, do not think about the price of the device. Even though the device is a little on the expensive side, it is worth every penny it asks for. We recommend it.

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