Apple AirPods Pro review

Apple AirPods Pro review

The AirPods Pro are the perfect earbuds… for Apple fans. Epblogs goal is to be the tech side of trust. We are proud of our independence and of our Apple AirPods Pro review thorough testing methods, in which we take our time with a product. We regularly check our test reports for changes and thus keep them up-to-date over a longer period of time – regardless of when a device was released.guaranteed reviews. Trust our Epblogs comprehensive reviews. We tested the products over a longer period of time and were able to see how they cope with everyday tasks. This is how we help you to find the best product for your read our guaranteed reviews.

Epblogs verdict

For anyone with an iPhone, Apple AirPods Pro are a great option for noise-canceling headphones. They have excellent sound quality, strong noise cancellation, and a ton of useful extra functions. They are less appealing to non-Apple customers.

Quick Summary

Even though the Apple AirPods Pro aren’t the newest earphones from the company, they nevertheless provide the greatest sound. This is due to the fact that, in contrast to the more recent Apple AirPods 3, they offer active noise cancellation, giving them an excellent chance to win the contest for the finest noise-cancelling headphones. In addition, they are more attractive than the original AirPods.

They remain the best Apple headphones you can purchase right now, and they rank among the best earbuds overall on our list. This is especially true if you already own a lot of Apple goods because they are compatible with all of them.

Recently, the Apple AirPods Pro got even better. As part of iOS and macOS updates, these noise-canceling earbuds now have a number of new features. The most significant and significant of these is the addition of Spatial Audio, which works with Dolby Atmos movies and music to give you the impression that you are surrounded by real speakers rather than having sound pumped into your ears. It’s a real game-changer, especially for viewing movies; using other headphones makes the experience feel lifeless afterward.

The Apple AirPods Pro are a great product overall, but many individuals may find the price to be prohibitive. They cost $249, £249, or $399 in Australia. Because of this, even if they come close, we can’t say that they are the best wireless headphones currently on the market. This might change in the future thanks to a reported entry-level model of these identical Apple earphones, possibly dubbed the AirPods Pro 2. But right now, they are incredibly expensive.

These are a terrific option, and one of our top selections for the best wireless earbuds of 2022, if you’re an iPhone user looking for comfortable wireless earbuds with great sound quality. The AirPods Pro have been redesigned to make them much less likely to fall out than their predecessors, and the additional microphones that have been added to the Pro version now provide strong noise cancellation as well (particularly when commuting). They also have a useful Transparency mode that lets you hear the outside world to the ideal degree.

Although they may fit more comfortably than the original AirPods, you’ll still need to get used to using the capacitive, touch-sensitive ridge on each stem to operate them. We did discover that this can take some getting used to, but once it does, it’s a cool method to rapidly engage noise suppression and skip tunes.

It’s rumored that the Apple AirPods Pro 2 will be launching in 2022 to usurp the AirPods Pro. However, details are very thin on the ground, and there’s no confirmation that the rumored earbuds even exist.

The AirPods Pro are the result of many years of labor into a powerful audio product, and if you want some of the best headphones Apple has ever built, you should consider them. Although there are better true wireless earbuds available, they’re a terrific option for iPhone users and Apple fanatics who can afford them. Our thorough AirPods Pro review is below.

Apple AirPods Pro release date and price

  • Available now
  • $249 / £249 / AU$399

The AirPods Pro release date was 30 October 2019 worldwide, and you can pick them up from Apple and a number of other retailers.

The important thing to note here is that they are not a replacement for the 2019 AirPods model… and that’s reflected in the AirPods Pro price point.

You can buy the AirPods Pro for $249 / £249 / AU$399 – which is a considerable hike over the 2019 AirPods’ $159 / £159 / AU$249 (with the standard charging case), and even the $199 / £199 / AU$319 with the AirPods’ Wireless Charging Case bundled in. AirPods Pro deals are often available, but don’t expect any huge price cuts.

You can buy the AirPods Pro for $249 / £249 / AU$399 – which is a considerable hike over the 2019 AirPods’ $159 / £159 / AU$249 (with the standard charging case), and even the $199 / £199 / AU$319 with the AirPods’ Wireless Charging Case bundled in. AirPods Pro deals are often available, but don’t expect any huge price cuts.

Apple AirPods Pro Design and use

  • Capacitive force sensors
  • Shorter stems
  • IPX4 water resistance

The AirPods Pro are lightweight; once inserted into the ears, it’s difficult to tell that they are there, as we first discovered in our preliminary testing. Time this lightness is a benefit in terms of comfort, it could be a drawback in other respects. For example, it’s easy to see a scenario in which you lose one and don’t actually realize they’re missing for a while (except that your music would have stopped playing).

The stems are much shorter than on the regular AirPods, and where you were able to tap the body of the older AirPods in order to skip tracks or activate Siri, the fit of the AirPods Pro means that would be a less comfortable experience here.

Instead, there’s a ‘capacitive force sensor’ in the stem, a small ridge on each of the AirPods Pro, where squeezing said area will activate noise-cancelling / Transparency mode, or skip and pause tracks. 

Initially this was a little tricky to get used to, as the shorter stems made it hard to find the ridge, but after a few minutes it became second nature – although as the buds are quite compact, it does feel a little like you’re pulling them out your ear every time you activate it.

After a week’s use, we found that it was thoroughly second nature, and there was an instant instinct to play, pause and skip tracks using this method.

 It’s a shame there’s not a haptic click on the bud itself to confirm the touch, as that would have made the new AirPods Pro feel so much more tactile.

You can change what squeezing the ridge does, setting it to control Siri if you’d prefer, and you can assign a different function (noise cancelling on one, Siri on the other) to each earbud as well.

We’ll tell you one thing that would have been awesome – touch-sensitive volume control on the stems. Straight away we were irritated by having to reach for our phone to do that – the Powerbeats Pro, for instance, have a clickable button to change the sound level and it’s really useful.

Inside the AirPods Pro is an accelerometer, and on the bud itself an optical sensor – combined, they allow the buds to stop and start the music accordingly when your AirPods are  removed.

Speaking of which… the improvement in the fit of the AirPods Pro over the original AirPods is huge. The silicon buds lock them in place snugly, and the earbuds are so light that they don’t bounce around, even if you’re jogging down the road or charging up a flight of stairs at the train station.

We wouldn’t go as far as saying they’re the most securely-fitting earbuds on the market, however. When running and sweat comes into the mix, the silicon tips can start to slide around a little.

Here’s a scientific test: we found that it took four far-too-vigorous-hurt-your-brain shakes of the head to get the AirPod Pro to fall out in the dry, but when they were coated with sweat it was just one violent skull-pivot.

We want to stress they never fell out, but the fit was far looser. If you’re someone who struggled with the fit of the original AirPods when running, these are a huge step forward and fit far more comfortably.

They’re also IPX4 water resistant – which essentially means you can use them in the rain and buckets of sweat won’t affect their performance. Big tick there from us.

The ‘Pods were also knocked them out a little too easily when removing a coat or accidentally brushing them (removing a backpack saw one fly out with minimal contact). But compared to the fit of the original AirPods, the Pro models are light years ahead.

One thing that could explain that slight lack of in-ear grip is the air vent Apple has designed in, so the seal is strong but there’s not a strange ‘sucking’ sensation when removing the buds. 

Honestly, we never really felt this was an issue with other true wireless earbuds, so we can’t comment on whether it’s made a huge difference – but putting the AirPods Pro in our ears was always a comfortable experience.

Ultimately, the AirPods Pro are pricey, but they’re well engineered throughout, with little design tweaks and flourishes that really add to the overall experience. 

Apple AirPods Pro Setup

  • Instantly connect to your iPhone
  • Fit test
  • Interchangeable ear tips

Like so many other Apple devices, the AirPods Pro instantly connect to your iPhone or iPad – you simply need to open the case to get going.

Well, we say ‘simply’ – you’ll need to make sure that iOS 13.2 or above is downloaded to your device so you can get, in Apple’s words, “all the advanced features” on offer – we believe these are the new icons for the AirPods Pro as well as the ability to control the Transparency and noise cancellation directly from the Control Center.

Once activated, the AirPods Pro will be automatically paired with your phone and all Apple devices linked to your iCloud account (including Apple Watch, iPad and Macs), so you won’t need to keep connecting your new buds to your other Apple devices.

Once you’re in, heading into the Bluetooth settings will assess your fit, checking whether the earbud tips you’ve chosen (whether that’s small, medium or large – medium is the default) are creating the right seal.

Achieving a tight seal against your ear canal is an important aspect of the overall sound quality of the earbuds, and helps to create physical sound isolation and passive noise reduction; in a perfect world, no sound gets in, and no sound leaks out.

This is achieved by the playing of a short piece of music, with the AirPods Pro microphones internally assessing whether this sounds as it should – if you’re like most people and get a good fit, you’re given the green light (or green lettering, to be more precise).

This writer’s ears are just terrible when it comes to having most kinds of earbuds fall out, and we achieved a good fit straight away, with the AirPods Pro feeling like they were in no danger of detaching from the ol’ head holes easily; in the headphones-reviewing world, we call that a plus.

Playing around with the fit and letting them dangle loosely out showed that the AirPods Pro are able to tell when there’s sound leakage – another pal of ours who used the new AirPods for the first time found that Apple suggested a larger bud, and then the seal was fine.

Switching between the tips in the box is, once again, very Apple – whether that’s a positive or negative thing depends on how you feel about the company. Rather than a silicon bud that you have to wiggle onto or off a small stem, these just click into place.

This allows the AirPods Pro to have a more compact design, and makes setting them up feel more premium… but at $4 apiece, they’re not exactly cheap to replace. And while you can pick up new silicon tips for standard earbuds easily, fitting them to the new AirPods isn’t as easy thanks to the little clips, rather than simply wiggling silicon onto a stem.

Getting the eartips on and off is really fiddly though – they don’t snap off instantly, and require a little bit of force to remove. However, the system seems robust and once you gain the confidence to do so, it’s fairly easy – and it’s not like you’ll have to do it that often.

You might want to remove them once in a while for cleaning purposes though, and we’re still not confident taking the bud off and on the stem without worrying a little that we’re going to break something.

Sound quality, noise cancellation and Transparency

  • Improved audio performance
  • Decent noise cancellation
  • Transparency mode lets you talk to others with your music playing

It’s one thing to fit well, but how do the new AirPods Pro sound? Well, Apple is touting custom drivers, improved bass, “clear and detailed mid and high frequencies” and an adaptive equalizer.

We tested the Apple AirPods over a variety of tracks, and found a number of similarities across the genres. We noted that vocals often sounded really rich and the bass, in particular, was more powerful than the AirPods 2.

This was present across acoustic / indie rock, electro, pop, and hip-hop – but equally across these genres, separation between high mid and low was only okay. There is a still a ‘closed off’ feeling (as in, it sounds as though the music is coming from inside your head, which isn’t natural – really good headphones make it sound as if the sound is coming at you from all angles).

Compared to a high-end pair of on-ear headphones (or even some other top true wireless earbuds, like the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1), it was harder to hear all the details in the music in the AirPods Pro.

When listening to electro / pop tune Fortune by Little Dragon, the vocals come through clearly – this shows that mid-frequencies are well balanced and rich. Bass sounds really warm, too, though audiophiles might not like this as it isn’t strictly ‘natural’, but it makes for an enjoyable listen. 

Compare that to the performance when listening to classical music, like Mozart’s ‘Jupiter’ Symphony No. 41 in C Major, sounds a little duller. You can pick out the different harmonies of the strings well enough but the flute is lacking the sparkle that should make it soar above the mix.

Essentially, it feels like Apple is going for a stronger performance when it comes to the vocal or bass elements, which would make sense if it’s aiming to please those that like pop music.

Part of that sound quality is down to the noise cancellation, which is noticeable and strong when turned on – you turn it on by squeezing the capacitive stem of the AirPods Pro, or by heading into the volume section of your iPhone and swiping to the left-hand icon (you can even toggle it on the Apple Watch, with a menu enabling you to turn the feature on and off).

Apple has placed two microphones in the AirPods Pro, allowing for both internal and external sound analysis.

The former will monitor the audio quality in the ear to see if the music that you’re playing sounds as it should, and alter it accordingly using an algorithm. The latter cancels out background sound, and creates a far more serene listening environment.

While we can’t test how well this algorithm that monitors sound inside your ear actually works, as there’s no way to turn it on and off – but the active noise cancellation has a strong and noticeable effect. 

It won’t shut out all other sound around you – if you’re in an office and there’s music playing, a small amount might still bleed through – but, when walking down the street, the AirPod Pros practically shut off all the noise of a motor bike, and any constant noise (like a fan or constant wind) is shut out very well. 

The AirPods Pro noise cancellation worked particularly well on a train, with the difference when the mode turned on and off being particularly stark.

One odd thing we did note: if you just have the AirPods Pro switched on, but with no music playing, a strange, hushed ‘wub wub’ sound can sometimes be emitted as the noise-cancelling tech tries to deal with no sound going into the ear. It’s pretty infrequent but still feels strange when it happens.

Transparency is the other end of the noise-canceling scale from Apple, with the microphones inside the AirPods Pro able to pass external sound through ably.

It’s well-implemented feature, with the world fading slowly in and out when Transparency is turned on, rather than a sudden dump of sound landing in your cranium. You can have a conversation with someone even with your music playing (although if you’re over half-volume it’s a little tricky), and when there’s no music playing you’re barely aware you’ve got headphones in at all.

One thing that irks: the videos advertising the AirPods Pro make it seem like a simple brush of the capacitive stems on the earbuds is all that’s required to turn on Transparency, where in actual fact it takes quite a forceful and prolonged touch.

As with adjusting other settings, it’s something you get used to quickly, but it’s different from what we expected based on the videos.

One thing we did find interesting: if you’re planning on using the AirPods Pro to take calls when you’re out and about, you may find that you struggle when noise cancellation is turned on.

This seems to be because one naturally lowers their voice when the sound is more encompassing, and this stops the microphones picking up your voice as clearly as they might.

Turn on Transparency and the world comes back to life, sonically, and you’ll find that you automatically speak louder. You can have a decent conversation using the new AirPods, but it’s still not as good as just holding your phone to your ear.

One extra feature that we’re pretty into: hearing health. If you use the AirPods, Powerbeats Pro or the AirPods Pro, they send exact volume levels to your iPhone and you can see if you’re listening to things too loudly.

We noticed a marked improvement in the volume being pumped into our ears when switching from the AirPods Pro from the Powerbeats Pro – showing that the noise cancellation allowed us to drop the sound levels a little and still enjoy the same quality of audio.

So if you’re into saving your hearing health, the AirPods Pro offer an improvement over the original AirPods or even the Powerbeats Pro.

Apple AirPods Pro Battery

  • Five hours from the earbuds
  • Around 24 hours with the charging case included
  • Wireless charging

Let’s talk about the battery life of the AirPods Pro. When fully charged, the charging case will provide you with over 24 hours of listening time. Each full charge of the AirPods Pro will provide you with five hours of listening time (with noise cancellation or Transparency off; you’ll get four and a half hours with it on), or three and a half hours of use if you use them as a hands-free microphone for calling.

In practice, you won’t really use the AirPods without Transparency or noise cancelling turned on, but you’ll hardly ever run into a dead battery while taking them in and out of the case.

Should your new AirPods Pro die on you, Apple claims you’ll get one hour of listening time from just five minutes of charging, and we found that to be a little stingy – chucking them in the charging case from dead yielded 35% battery life, which was a little over an hour’s use.

That charging case is slightly annoying in that it’s hard to know how much juice is left in it. When you take the AirPods out you can head to your iPhone’s battery widget to check out how much power is left, but otherwise you’re left looking at the small LED on the front, which is only ever green or amber

While we only needed to charge the case twice over a week’s hard use, we did hit a situation where it was completely dead – it would be nice if there was an early warning somehow.

In terms of charging the case, Apple has unhelpfully put a USB-C-to-Lightning cable in there. Unless you’ve got a new iPhone 11 Pro, or new MacBook, you won’t have the necessary charging block (as there isn’t one in the box either).

However, the good news is that nearly every person that buys the new AirPods will have a standard Lightning cable or two kicking around, so you’ll be able to charge them that way.

Don’t forget that this is a wireless charging case, so you can plop it down on a charging pad and get juicing. You might think this is something of a ‘nothing’ feature that you don’t want to pay for, but trust us, invest in the ecosystem.

There’s something really awesome about being able to just put down a phone or set of AirPods and have them charge up over the day – get one of our best wireless chargers and you’ll rarely run out of power again.

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