When Apple evolved its best-selling flagship AirPods into the second generation earlier this year, many tech fans expected more. "Same 'ol ear tips", "Wireless charging is still uncommon", we'd heard. That's some of the dealbreakers which saw many AirPods users cherishing the debut generation still. Fast forward half a year later, Apple rolled out the newest member of the AirPods family—the AirPods Pro.
In accordance with iPhones, Apple has tagged 'Pro' to the latest headphones and it's apt. So, below are the AirPods Pro's anchor features that'll appeal you to make the upgrade.
All-new physical form
Retaining the in-ear aspect but presenting through an entirely new shape, the AirPods Pro sports flexible ears tips which fit snugly and comfortably in your ear canal. Now it's truly suitable for gym use without having a feeling fearful of losing or misplacing a single pod again.
Comfort and fit are a priority. So, each earbud comes with three different sizes of soft, flexible silicone ear tips that conform to the ear's contours, providing both feather-lite fit and a superior seal—a critical factor in delivering immersive sound.
In addition, AirPods Pro bares a part of its body with an innovative vent system. Shouldn't it be completely enclosed instead? Nay. Apparently, it equalises pressure, thus minimising the discomfort common in other in-ear designs.
For maximise results, execute the Ear Tip Fit Test (under Settings) to detect if the silicone ear tip is appropriately plugged in your ear by measuring the audio playing to your ear and matching it to the audio produced by the earbud drivers, sans outside noise distortion. If fitted improperly, active noise cancellation will not be accomplished effectively. Yes, included with your AirPods Pro purchase are small, medium and large ear tips.
Active noise cancellation
Stray sounds are everywhere and AirPods Pro can block them out with active noise cancellation. Using a duo-microphone system (one inside and the other, out), background noise is efficiently suppressed.
The outward-facing microphone detects external sound to analyse environmental noise. Then, AirPods Pro creates an equivalent anti-noise that cancels out background noise before it reaches the listener’s ear.
On the other hand, the inward-facing microphone listens toward the ear, eliminating the remaining noise. It'll continue to adapt the sound signals that'll ensure clear audio. Apple notes that the process adjusts itself 200 times a second. Impressive.
Note that battery life will suffer if active noise cancellation is operating constantly. Therefore, you'll only get four-and-a-half hours of listening time. Not a big issue. There's the wireless charging case for juice.
Often on the move? Stay alert with transparency mode, which allows ambience noise to seep in through a pressure-equalising vent system located on the buds' exterior. Hence, your own voice will sound natural while the audio continues to play.
Switching between Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency modes is a cinch using a new, innovative force sensor on the stem. The force sensor also makes it easy to play, pause or skip tracks, and answer or hang up phone calls. Constantly on your phone? You can press on the volume slider in Control Center on iPhone and iPad to control settings, or on Apple Watch by tapping on the AirPlay icon while music is playing.
Time to practice nipping or pressurized touches on the stem. Volume control is excluded from the stem though.
Don't remain passive if you have the smarts. On the AirPods Pro, superior sound quality can be achieved with Adaptive EQ. This technology tunes the low-and mid-frequencies of the music to the shape of an individual’s ear—resulting in a rich, immersive listening experience.
A custom high dynamic range amplifier produces pure, incredibly clear sound while also extending battery life, and powers a custom high-excursion, low-distortion speaker driver designed to optimise audio quality and remove background noise.
Although priced significantly higher than its predecessors (and rightfully so), the AirPods Pro delivers both form and function. Furthermore, it's lightweight enough to not feel its presence. There's a grip though: Its modest battery life may turn off musicophiles who has to plug in constantly. Otherwise, there's no contest. AirPods Pro's sound quality definitely triumphs its 'Pro-less' siblings.
Apple AirPods Pro is priced at S$379 and is now available from both online at apple.com/sg and in stores (Apple Orchard Road and Apple Jewel Changi Airport).