AirPods Pro (2nd generation).
I’ve been testing Apple’s new $249 AirPods Pro (2nd generation) for a few weeks. It’s available to order now and will hit stores on Friday. Of all the things Apple revealed earlier this month, these excite me the most.
I love my old group of pros, but the upgraded headphones have features I didn’t even know I wanted.
This is why you need to buy Airpods Pro (2nd generation).
Transparency mode is already transparent
When you’re using AirPods Pro and aren’t in noise-canceling mode, you’re in what Apple calls transparency mode. When you press and hold the stem of your AirPods and you can hear the sound closing or filtering, you are toggling between noise canceling and transparency mode.
Noise canceling and transparency settings for AirPods Pro (2nd generation).
What sets the new AirPods Pro apart is that when you’re in Transparency mode, you can really hear what’s going on around you. The older version blocked some sounds even when in transparency mode. Often when I wear the old pros, I’ve had to pull one out in the middle of a conversation. I can now hear everything clearly as long as the transparency mode is turned on.
This advancement is made possible by Apple’s new H2 chip. Thanks to the H2, there is also a feature called Adaptive Transparency Mode, which automatically blocks harsh noises such as a siren or motorcycle. This feature can be turned on or off. I love wearing it to protect my ears from very high decibels when I’m walking around a busy city.
Better noise cancellation
The H2 chip also made active noise cancellation even better. Apple says the new generation AirPods Pro offer up to twice the noise cancellation, and I can hear the difference.
While on a plane, which usually has a lot of loud ambient noise, I was able to perfectly tune the hum of the engine and air conditioner while watching Netflix. When the person sitting next to me started trying to have a short conversation, I couldn’t hear him and only pointed to my headphones. Phew.
There is a new feature that also shows you how much noise is canceling out. When you use AirPods Pro (2nd generation) with your Apple Watch, you can view the level of noise reduction in real time.
When you use AirPods Pro (2nd generation) with your Apple Watch, you can see that the noise level is reduced in real time.
Control volume directly on AirPods
Touch control on the new Pros lets you lower or raise the volume by swiping up or down gently on the stem of your AirPods.
I was initially afraid this might be too sensitive, but after a few weeks of use, I’m happy to report that I’ve never done this feature by mistake. I often sleep with my AirPods on, so I was impressed that the volume controls didn’t activate when I was tossing and turning.
Charging case works with Apple Watch charger
The new AirPods also come with a new MagSafe charging case. You can even use an Apple Watch charger for the new pro, which is very convenient.
You can now charge AirPods Pro (2nd generation) using an Apple Watch charger.
Aside from the ease of charging, the battery life on the new AirPods is noticeably better. Overall, Apple says battery life has improved by 33%. Now you can get up to 30 hours of total listening time while active noise canceling is on. That’s up to six hours from the previous generation.
The headphone in the box is great for lost AirPods
If you’ve read my previous reviews, you may have noticed a common theme: I lose things a lot. There is a speaker built into the new AirPods Pro that plays a sound so you can locate your lost AirPods.
The new AirPods case also comes with a new U1 chip, so you can use the Find My app to find out the exact location of where you left your AirPods.
There is a lanyard loop on the side of the case that allows you to attach AirPods to your wrist or handbag. I haven’t tried a rope yet since it’s sold separately by third parties, but I can see how that will help me keep up.
high quality sound
The new AirPods Pro have superior sound for a number of reasons. First, there’s a new extra small ear tip, so hopefully people who say AirPods fell out of their ears or who didn’t get a good seal will see this one as the solution.
There is also a new feature called Custom Spatial Audio. Using your phone’s front camera, the iPhone remembers the size of your ears and helps ensure that the sounds you hear are tailored to your individual ear size.
In AirPods Pro (2nd generation) settings, you can see and hear how spatial audio works.
In Apple Music there are songs specifically designed for spatial sound, and you can really hear the difference. When you’re in your AirPods settings, you can even play a sound by going to the tab under Spatial Audio that says Watch and hear how it works. You can tell how attractive the sound quality is when spatial sound is activated.
You can test the spatial audio feature in the settings of your AirPods Pro (2nd generation).
Bluetooth technology switches seamlessly between devices
One complaint I hear a lot about AirPods is that previous generations claim to switch seamlessly and intelligently between whatever device you’re using, but this feature doesn’t work very well. I think this may have been fixed with the new pros.
I was in my kitchen cooking, watching an iPad with my AirPods. When I got a call, I was able to easily switch back to the call, and then when the call ended, I went back to watch my show. When I finished watching my show, I asked Siri to play the podcast I wanted to hear on my iPhone, and I was able to stop listening on my iPad and pick up where the podcast left off last.
I really appreciate this smooth transition. Having trouble connecting to Bluetooth and switching between devices can be daunting, especially when you’re working remotely. Being able to jump on different devices without doing a hard reset of bluetooth was a luxury I didn’t miss.
Should you buy the new AirPods Pro?
I don’t have anything bad to say about the new AirPods Pro. It’s comfortable to wear, noise canceling and transparency modes are noticeably better, and battery life is improved. You’ll hardly miss it with all the new features, you can control the volume without having to touch your phone, and most importantly, the sound quality is excellent.
When I was too lazy to rummage through my bag and get my new AirPods Pro, I listened to an audiobook with my older AirPods. I can totally hear and feel the difference. Not only do I recommend buying the new Pros, but my advice to previous generation AirPods owners is to upgrade if you have the money. I think you will notice a big difference.
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