It has taken Apple two years for a new iteration of its AirPods Pro. For a company that releases new models annually, two years is considerably slow – and the expectation is that the longer the wait, the better the product.
Is it? Apple says it is, and we agree. In short, the new AirPods Pro deliver even better sound quality and a more immersive listening experience thanks to some powerful upgrades. You’ll have to plug in to hear the exceptional acoustics for yourself, but we’ll give you an inside look into what makes the second-gen AirPods Pro worth the upgrade.
An improved case
The new charging case is designed such that your AirPods are always within reach. At the side of the case is a lanyard loop, and it has a built-in speaker that pings audibly to help you locate it in your surroundings. Plus, with Precision Finding, your iPhone can lead to your charging case with guided directions should you misplace them.
What we also appreciate with the updated case is its flexibility when it comes to charging, which can be now juiced up with an Apple Watch charger in addition to a MagSafe charger, Qi-certified charging mat or the Lightning Cable.
Sound is everything to a pair of earphones, and the new AirPods Pro takes what already good to new highs. Powered by the new H2 chip, it cancels twice as much noise over its predecessor, so you hear nothing except what you choose to play. Coupled with a new low-distortion audio driver and custom amplifier, the AirPods Pro delivers a beautiful acoustics with richer bass and crystal-clear sound across a wider range of frequencies.
As it’s not always safe to shut out the external noise, AirPods Pro has a Transparency mode for users to be aware of the world around them. Now, Adaptive Transparency takes this feature up a notch, reducing loud environmental noise — like a passing vehicle siren, construction tools, or even loud speakers at a concert — for more comfortable listening.
While most in-ear audio devices only focus on the quality of the sound, Apple elevates the listening experience with Personalised Spatial Audio, a feature that makes what is streamed from your device sound more realistic and multi-dimensional – similar to how Dolby Surround Sound works. To enable this feature, users are to create a personal profile for Spatial Audio, which involves using the TrueDepth camera to “measure” the size and shape of your head and ears.
Once set up, the AirPods pairs instantly to your Apple devices (automatically for iPhones) and the new, dedicated AirPods section in iOS Settings lets you control its features easily. If you’re on the go and would rather not fiddle with your phone, the Touch control on the stem comes in handy for quick volume adjustments with a light swipe up or down. You can also change music, answer phone calls and make requests to Siri hands-free by press on the stem. It also has an improved built-in skin-detect sensor that more accurately turns on or off playback, and delivers better battery life.