Apple AirPods Pro review
Well finally we get the chance to do an Apple AirPods Pro review. We decided to wait a bit to let the dust settle from the latest firmware update that was recently done.
It’s been rumored for a while, but the AirPods Pro are finally here. They have a new design, new features, and a new price tag, but they’re still unmistakably AirPods. While the original model caught a lot of (deserved) flak for not sealing the ear canal, the Apple AirPods Pro not only seal the ear, but they also provide active noise canceling. On paper, these are light-years ahead of the old ones simply by this fact alone. But are they worth $250?
Who should buy the Apple AirPods Pro?
Apple iPhone users who want true wireless earbuds will get the most out of the AirPods Pro, and for them: these are the best true wireless earbuds for the latest generation of iPhones.
True wireless enthusiasts will like them, mostly because the options for active noise canceling in this type of gadget is fairly rare unless you pick up Beats, Sony, or Huawei models.
Gym rats and cardio monsters will appreciate that actually, y’know, stay in your ears. The sweat-resistance is a big plus here too.
How do you use the AirPods Pro?
When you first start using the AirPods Pro, you’ll want to find the right size eartip to use, because the rest of your experience hinges on it. If the eartips are too big, they’ll be painful, and if they’re too small, they’ll likely fall out.
Once you’ve installed the correct ear tip size, they’ll fit securely in your ear canal. After you pair with your phone, you should be able to jump right into music listening without futzing with too many settings. Like any other Apple product, the product’s ethos is to be something that “just works.”
To that end, there are a few features that the AirPods Pro adopted to make them more useful than your garden variety true wireless earbuds. For example, transparency mode allows you to pump in surrounding sounds so you don’t miss your stop, or you can join in a conversation without skipping a beat. You can easily enter transparency mode by long-pressing the stem which is now actually functional instead of unsightly (though still a little ugly, let’s be honest). A single squeeze on the stem will pause or play music, a double squeeze will skip to the next song, and a triple squeeze will skip to the next song.
Additionally, there’s even an ear tip fit test that you can do to ensure that they’re in your ear correctly. To do this you have to go into Bluetooth settings, and then tap on the small “i” icon next to the AirPods. From there, get a few more options if you’re on iOS such as the ability to rename them, control whether you want ANC on or off, customize the function of tap and hold on each earbud, and do the ear tip fit test. This will test whether you should use a different set of ear tips or whether the active noise cancelling is working properly. Given how poorly the original AirPods fit in our testing, this is a great improvement and kudos where they’d do because Apple actually listened to user complaints in this instance.
While we’re on the topic of the ear tips, these have been redesigned as well. Unlike basically every other pair of earbuds that pretty much universally use the same ear tips, these are designed specifically for the AirPods Pro. Around the speaker driver of each earbud is a small section where the ear tip clicks into nicely and securely stays put. No more pinching the silicon ear tip in order to squeeze them around the nozzle, though to be fair these don’t have a nozzle.
How do you connect on iOS?
Connecting to the AirPods Pro is as simple as ever on an iOS device, though you will need to update to iOS 13.2 in order to connect. Thankfully, if you aren’t up-to-date the first thing that pops up on your device will be a prompt telling you to update. Once that’s done, connecting is just like pairing with any other Apple audio product thanks to the H1 chip. A small card pops up from the bottom and then all you have to do is press “Connect.”
After you do that, they will be paired with every other device on your iCloud account as well. The card that pops up will give you some helpful information like battery life on the charging case and both earbuds. One cool feature is that if you place only one AirPod back in the case, you’ll see a small red “x” where battery life should be. I’m sure if you lost one you’ll know that by the time you try to put them back in the case, but it’s still pretty cool.
How to connect Airpods to Android?
If you’re on Android or using a Windows PC then the process is a little different, though it remains unchanged from the previous AirPods. Just long-press the button on the back of the charging case to enter Bluetooth pairing mode, and then search for it in the Bluetooth settings of your device. Once paired, you should be good to go. It’s worth noting that you won’t get certain features if you’re using them with Android. Specifically, the auto-pause detection when you remove one earbud from your ear won’t work and obviously saying “Hey Siri” won’t work either. Thankfully, active noise cancelling and transparency mode work just fine as it’s controlled by a hard press of the stem.
NB: A number of AirPods Pro users have noted that they have had connection issues even after updating the firmware of the earbuds. If you’re reading this review looking for a fix: you won’t find one here. You need to contact Apple tech support and potentially arrange for a new pair. True wireless earphones are notorious for skips, stutters, and other connection issues, and it seems that the AirPods Pro are no different. Be sure to update the firmware as soon as it becomes available, and to practice good battery habits for best results. We cannot guarantee that this will help, but it will give you the most ammo when you take your product back to the Genius Bar for replacement.
This is our Apple AirPods Pro review. Would we buy it? Probably yes. It has a great sound. Maybe the price could be a bit lower though.
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