On October 28, Apple has unveiled the much-rumored AirPods Pro. They are priced at $249 in the US and are being shipped starting today.
These new AirPods Pro are designed to be a replacement for the standard AirPods, but rather a more premium version of them as the name suggests. The main highlights of this new product are – Active Noise Cancellation, Water Resistance, and some other unique features.
The incorporation of Active Noise Cancellation has been a long time coming. Also, Apple has finally made a second-pair of in-ear headphones apart from the now-defunct Apple In-Ear headphones. Moreover, the AirPods Pro comes with three sets of ear tips that provide some amount of passive noise isolation before the electronics take over. Then there’s also a vent system that is used to balance the pressure such that the wearer doesn’t feel uncomfortable.
Noise Cancellation | AirPods Pro
The in-ear headphone makes use of two microphones to cancel out any noise, actively. Of these two microphones, one is on the outside while the other sits inside the earphones. The external microphone monitors ambient noise and then gives out an inverse audio signal to cancel out the noise. Whereas the internal microphone monitors sound within the earphones and adjust the noise cancellation for each ear automatically based on the amount of noise seeping in.
Transparency | AirPods Pro
Furthermore, AirPods Pro has a feature known as Transparency. The feature works by mixing in some of the ambient noise in with the audio. As such, the wearer can hear things around them, like – Traffic, Announcements at an Airport, etc.
Water-Resistance | AirPods Pro
The AirPods Pro further features an IPX4 certification, which means that the device is water and sweat resistant. This means you can use these at a gym or when out on a run without worrying about ruining them. However, you cannot use these at a pool, since these are only water-resistant and not water-proof. Also of note is the case, which isn’t water-resistant.
Pressure Sensitive Stalks
The stalks of the earphones are pressure sensitive as well, such that squeezing them invokes various functions. You can also press and hold to switch between active noise cancellation and transparency mode. Then there’s also press once to play or pause, twice to skip tracks, and thrice to skip back.
Now on the audio front, the AirPods Pro makes use of a new custom high-excursion audio driver paired with a custom high dynamic range amplifier. And since the audio is consistently monitored using the internal microphone, you get the best audio quality regardless of your ear shape and ambient noise.
H1 Audio Processor
The AirPods Pro makes use of a custom silicon known as the H1 Audio Processor. It is a custom chip that enables these headphones to have low-latency, noise cancellation, and hands-free ‘Hey Siri’ requests.
The AirPods Pro is just as smart as the standard AirPods. You only need to the lid of the case near an iOS device and, they’ll immediately show up for easy pairing. Moreover, you can just pull them out of your ears to pause the music while putting them back resumes playback. Another new feature is the Ear Tip Test that uses the internal microphone to measure the sound level and have you select the right tip for a better seal.
Further, much like the AirPods, the AirPods Pro also has the Audio Sharing feature with select iOS and iPadOS devices. You can also connect two sets of AirPods or the Pro to listen to the same content in parallel.
Now despite the new features and smaller design, the battery life continues to be identical to the AirPods. So just to get an idea, here are some figures.
- 4.5hrs of Music w/Noise Cancellation;
- 5hrs of Music w/o Noise Cancellation;
- 3.5hrs of Talktime w/Noise Cancellation;
- 24hrs listening time w/Charging Case; and
- 18hrs Talktime w/Charging Case.
In fact, the case does feature fast charging, which provides 1hr of music or calls after just 5minutes of charging. The Charging Case has also been redesigned and now works with any Qi-enabled wireless charger.
Availability & Pricing
The AirPods Pro will go on sale in 25 countries, starting with the US at $249.