Apple Airpods Pro test: great comfort and noise cancellation
Apple’s Airpods Pro outperformed regular Airpods in every way in our test. Those who are accustomed to the latter will have to get used to the new ergonomics a bit, because these headphones do not just need to be freely “suspended” in the auricles, but will have to be slightly “pressed” into the auditory canal. Small silicone earbuds, like most In-Ear headphones, allow the Airpods Pro to fit well in the ear. Thus, Airpods Pro sit deeper in the ear than very inconspicuous Airpods.
We rate the wearing comfort as “Excellent”: Airpods Pro tend not to fall out even during sports training and other dynamic movements, but they do not press or create unpleasant side effects, like some other in-ear headphones, when worn which produce a sensation of unpleasant pressure in the ear, or produce their own distorted noises. We really liked the Airpods Pro, but given that each person has a unique shape of both the actual ear and the auditory canal, we recommend that you definitely check how comfortable the Airpods Pro will be for you before buying.
Silence in the midst of noise with powerful noise cancellation
Why does the new model compare favorably with the previous one? The reason is obvious — Apple is betting on active noise cancellation (ANC) for the first time here and does not want an overly open design to interfere with this (for example, as is the case with Freebuds 3 from Huawei). Therefore, Airpods Pro must mechanically close the ear, that is, block the auditory canal. Most manufacturers use the ANC function in Over-Ear headphones, and in the True Wireless segment this option is quite rare. The top model in this area is the Sony WF-1000XM3.
Active noise cancellation works very well. We tested the new headphones indoors (using YouTube streams as an example) with very loud aircraft noise and evaluated the noise canceling effect. Indeed, the noise level is significantly reduced: the bass is actually no longer audible, in the middle and upper ranges a quiet, uniform noise is heard, which, however, we no longer regard as annoying. At least when the music is on, you won’t hear any ambient noise at all. The difference with conventional Airpods, which let through, for example, street noise, almost drowning it out, is significant.
We also like the smart headphones feature: as soon as you take one earpiece out of your ear, the other one switches to a so-called transparency mode that specifically transmits ambient noise. That allows you to easily chat or listen to announcements, for example, at the airport. This mode can be activated with a single press of a button on Airpods Pro, even when both earbuds are inserted. For iPhone users, there’s an «ear auto-detect» feature that automatically pauses or starts music, depending on whether you take the earbuds out of your ears or put them back in. True, for those who will use Airpods with an Android phone, this feature is not available.
Excellent sound quality and long battery life
In this model, according to our estimates, Apple has significantly improved the sound. Of course, we also liked the regular Airpods: their sound was warm and pleasant, but sometimes not clear and went into the bass. In Airpods Pro, this shortcoming has been corrected. Compared with conventional Airpods, the sound at high frequencies is clearer and more detailed, corrected for in the bass. Voices sound a bit harsher, but more expressive. The sound of the Airpods Pro is more accurate, but somewhat less romantic than the regular Airpods.
Overall, we like the sound delivery of the new model a little more. However, the sensation of sound is partly subjective and may vary depending on experience, taste and body structure. We consider the Airpods Pro to be one of the best-sounding in-ear headphones among the leaders in our rating, but still, in terms of sound, we prefer, for example, the XM3 from Sony.
Battery life is also excellent, but not quite on par with the best models on the market. A fully charged Airpods Pro battery will last almost 5.5 hours without using ANC (on an Android phone). When recharging in the carrying case, you can expect a runtime of just over 27 hours. With the ANC function activated, the operating time is almost the same. If you have only 15 minutes to recharge a completely discharged earbuds, then you will definitely be pleased with the very good residual operating time after such a short recharge — just over 2.5 hours. In addition, the total charging time of 2.5 hours is also a very good result. To sum it up, Airpods Pro have great battery life and are great for any day to day use.
Apple Airpods Pro — headphones with excellent equipment
Aside from active noise cancellation, the Airpods Pro offer a host of other handy features: First, the button controls work really well. At the bottom of the earpiece is a very small button for transparency, noise reduction, play/pause, and track switching. Unfortunately, there is no volume control, to activate this function you will have to talk to Siri or pick up a smartphone. Siri usually hears always and is always ready to communicate.
As always, Airpods turn on automatically when you take them out of their transport/charging case. When you put them back, they turn off and start charging. A handy case (which is slightly larger than regular Airpods) holds the earbuds in place with a magnet. The case can be charged wirelessly using a Qi charger.
As mentioned above, the headphones have a transparency mode, and iPhone users can use the «ear auto-detect» feature. Airpods Pro are well suited for sports as they are IP 4X splash-proof. They do not have NFC, there is no disadvantage for iOS users, because Airpods Pro headphones can be easily and quickly paired with an iPhone.
Very good noise reduction
Long battery life
Not all features are available for Android devices
Sony WF1000XM3, In-ear True Wireless Smart Earphones Black
For Android users looking for the best noise-canceling True Wireless earbuds, we recommend the Sony WF-1000XM3. They have great sound and great battery life, but like the Airpods Pro, they are quite expensive.
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