The new generation of the Apple AirPods Pro come after its first sibling which was released in 2019. The iconic design, while remaining the same on the outside, has received a major upgrade inside.
The new AirPods Pro sound much better than the originals, with noise cancellation getting a massive upgrade, in addition to better controls, and upgraded case, and better battery life.
Build and Design
As we mentioned, the case itself isn’t different than the original model, but has been slightly upgraded to incorporate a speaker on the bottom, lanyard support on the side and can now even be charged using the Apple Watch charger. Of course the USB-C port and wireless charging capabilities are still there. Additionally, the case (and the buds) received an IPX4 water-resistant certification as well.
The new speaker on the case serves as a notification used by Find My app, and alert tones if the battery gets to a low level, and also notifies once pairing is complete.
Apple has also added an additional size of silicone ear tip (XS) to the options that come in the box (S,M,L).
Faetures and Controls
While the earbuds look and feel the same in your ear, there are changes that Apple implemented in terms of controls, like the capacitive touch controls stems which can now control the volume +/-. Other controls like pausing, resuming, skipping songs remain unchanged from the original model.
The charging case has Apple’s U1 chip, which boosts it functionality to Find My App, and can now even display battery levels to your iOS device even if the earbuds are placed inside the charging case, if you are within a short range of your device.
iOS 16 also brings a new section dedicated to the AirPods once they are connected. Unlike the previous iOS version, you no longer needs to go to the bluetooth section to access the options. The new menu section allows users to enable ANC, Transparency mode, and run a fit test to see which silicone tips work better for your ears. You can also set up Personalized Spatial Audio from the same menu.
Sound Quality & Battery life
This is where the main changes happened!
As we mentioned before, while the AirPods look the same on the outside, the internals have been totally upgraded to reproduce superior audio and better noise cancellation. Apple’s new H2 chip promises better ANC, performance, and battery life on top of Adaptive EQ, and Bluetooth 5.3.
Straight away, you you can feel that the (2nd Gen) AirPods Pro deliver a much richer sound output, with songs sounding much more detailed, wider and with a significant better bass.
ANC wise, on the AirPods Pro (2nd Gen), noise cancelling is much better than before, which we think puts it on par with the big boys of the over-ear ANC in the market. Apple was able to achieve same results of over ear ANC in an earbuds design. The overall tests we did proved how capable these AirPods are, and specially in an airplane where I recently tested them and compared them to the Sony WH-1000XM5. The results were impressive, and the AirPods Pro (2nd Gen) achieved near identical isolation and quality in much smaller package.
Transparency mode has also been improved, and are now more accurate. Additionally, the new Adaptive Transparency mode work great and reduces volumes automatically based on your surroundings.
Another improvement in the new AirPods Pro is the upgraded Personalized Spatial Audio which is enabled by the H2 chip and works through your iPhone’s TrueDepth camera to get a 3D scan of your ears and setup the surround accordingly.
The 6-hour battery life of the new AirPods Pro, and the 30 hours from the charging case, is a major step up from the previous generation, and is definitely a welcomed upgrade.
The verdict won’t be much of a surprise here, the AirPods Pro (2nd Gen) are by far the best earbuds on the market right now. The noise cancellation is just amazing and on par with other major headphones in the market, along with the sound quality overall and barely life. These are easily recommended.