Apple AirPods Pro was announced in a press release and there are some major changes in the new AirPods. And it’s more expensive than before.
Instead of going for the March event, Apple has silently announced the next version of their truly wireless earphones, AirPods Pro. And unlike the previous update, which had no design changes, this time the changes are radicle. And this time, Apple has made something that I’d want to buy. I’d “want” to. So everything from what’s different in these new AirPods Pro to how long will the battery last, we’ll discuss it all and make sure you get all the information you were looking for. This is the Apple AirPods Pro first impressions.
The Apple AirPods Pro.
I never was a big fan of the last two Apple AirPods and the price was not a factor in that. I never cared about the high price because I knew that those earphones were really great. And I had tested them and the sound quality was amazing. More than that, the seamless integration into the Apple Ecosystem made me feel like I was living in the future. But all the factors that made me dislike the original AirPods are gone from the Pro version. So let’s address both of them so that we can save some time.
The original AirPods looked very dumb to me. Because of the long stem that protruded from the ears made me look so stupid while wearing those. It looked like someone took a wired earphones and cut the wires off. That was one issue. The other issue was the hard plastic that never came in accordance with my ears, and neither did my ears. I never felt comfortable with those in my ears, always the fear of the expensive AirPods falling loomed over me. You’ll never want to go for plastic again once you have experienced the soft touch of silicone.
The Apple AirPods Pro have taken care of both the issues. With a compete restructuring, the AirPods Pro have a much better looking, shorter and angled stem that makes it look like a true wireless earphones (and not like someone cut off the wires off a normal earphones). These earphones look compact, advanced and easy to use while at the same time telling you that they have descended from the original AirPods.
The earphones also come with silicone in-ear tips that are swappable. These ear-tips comes in three different styles: Large, medium and small. This was the other issue that Apple has addressed and worked on. Now not only the AirPods Pro will feel much more secure, but also more comfortable in your ears.
This is where Apple has sort of disappointed me, but again I had somewhat unrealistic expectations. I wanted to see more colors apart from the bland white that we have seen for the past years. Although there are rumors that Apple will be launching more colored AirPods Pro and cases, matching the colorway of iPhone 11 Pro. But we know how frail rumors are. But come on Apple, you can at least do a matte black one. Although bland and overused, the white does not look bad. But then again, what choices do we have?
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The Pro that has been added to the moniker of the AirPods is not just to show that it’s a newer version. That Pro says that it is the best Apple could offer. So what sort of performance boosts are we expecting with the Apple AirPods Pro? Sound quality is one for sure.
The Apple AirPods Pro has the noise cancelation feature inside that small body. The company says that the noise cancellation is adjusted up to 200 times per second to make sure that you get the best acoustic experience. For comparison, the noise cancellation on these earphones will be very similar to the one in the new Beats Solo Pro headphones. It is impressive that Apple has managed to fit all of that into the compact form factor of the AirPods Pro. There are two microphones in each pods, one facing outward to detect the outside noise and one facing the air to help detect any other noise that might come in.
There is another mode called the “transparency mode” that allows some noise from the outside world to come in your ears so that you’re not completely blacked from any auditory input from your surrounding. This feature is useful when you’re out commuting.
All this is achieved by using Apple’s in-house chip, the 10-core audio H1 chip. This is the hardware that lets your iPhone or MacBook pair almost instantly with the AirPods. The new AirPods also come with IPX4 rating which ensures it is sweat and water resistant. Remember, they are resistant to water, not water-proof. So using the AirPods in rain and while working out. But don’t think of swimming while wearing these (who would think of swimming while wearing wireless earphones?). The Apple AirPods Pro also have an expanded mesh microphone port that improves call clarity in windy surrounding.
The Exciting Bits.
Some cool new features of the Apple AirPods Pro are definitely commendable. Since the new AirPods come with silicone tips of different sizes, there is a software feature that will help you choose the perfect size for you. Once you put the AirPods in, the software will run a test by measuring the sound level in the ear and comparing it to what is coming from the speaker driver. And hence it will recommend the best size for you. Then there’s the “Adaptive EQ” that tunes music to the shape of your ears and delivers the best experience for you.
Apple also mentioned that there is a new “Force Sensor” with which you can interact with the AirPods Pro. I think it is more like the 3D Touch on the iPhone but nothing can be said until I try it.
- One Tap – Play/Pause or answer a phone call.
- Two Taps – Skip forward
- Three Taps – Skip backwards
- Press and Hold – Switch between Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency Mode.
- Siri can be accessed by “Hey Siri” command
The Not-So-Exciting Bits.
Apple knows how to balance everything. With some great new features and functionality added to the AirPods Pro, the company has also added a few things that will make you question your decision to buy the earphones. The first one, which is not that big of an issue, is the battery life. The battery life is expected to be around the same as the regular AirPods. Close to 5 hours of listening time per charge. But that number can come down to even 3.5 to 4 hours after you put the new features in the mix.
The Active Noise Cancellation is a great feature. But that comes with a price (literally and metaphorically). The ANC eats up the battery life and if you keep that on always-on, the battery life will definitely take a dip. The numbers Apple puts are not applicable for real-life usage. If you rummage through the boring words in the fine print, you’d find the battery test conditions.
So Apple states that the AirPods Pro were tested using audio tracks purchased from iTunes Store with a volumed capped at 50 percent. Majority of the people don’t apply condition while using the earphones and I, for one, always have the volume above 50 percent. It’ll be interesting to test the battery life.
The other thing that really shocked me was the price. The Apple AirPods are priced at $250 USD. That is a huge jump from the original price tag. The price shocked me until I saw the feature Apple is offering and to be honest, I think it’s a decent price. Hear me out, the wireless earphones with the same features (ANC, sound quality, etc) in the market are priced at $230 to $300 USD. So Apple offering a great wireless earphone with ANC at $250 is a great price.
We’ll have to wait for the AirPods to come, which by the way stars October 30, and review them. But for first impressions, I think these are some really good earphones and definability going to be the best seller truly wireless earbuds, as the previous AirPods was.