Apple’s new AirPods Pro sound better, but especially stand out when you’re not listening to music.By Bastiaan Vroegop
The Pro wireless earphones have been upgraded after three years. It addresses a few obvious issues. New hardware, for example, improves the sound. During our tests, we noticed a difference, especially in the low bass. Audio has a little more impact with the new AirPods Pro.
When calling in strong winds with the AirPods Pro, the other person also remains very audible. During test phone calls on the bike, we remained clearly audible, while the AirPods filtered the wind well.
In our opinion, the overall noise reduction is also slightly better, although we had no complaints with the original AirPods Pro. Apple now also provides smaller ear tips in addition to the three standard sizes, so the tips fit better if you have small ear holes.
Finally a volume control
Additionally, the new caps feature a much-requested volume control. This was missing on previous AirPods, so you had to change the volume via Siri or your iPhone. Slide your finger up or down on the rods and you adjust the sound.
Each hit is a jump up. If you want to go from soft to loud in one go, you have to move your finger a lot, but this saves you from accidentally making the sound very loud in one go. In practice, we also mainly made small sound adjustments, so it’s not a big deal.
Easier to find
There are now four small holes on the bottom of the AirPods Pro: three on the right side and one on the left. Behind the holes on the right is a small speaker used for the Find My app. The hole on the left is an “acoustic hole”, according to Apple, intended to relieve the speaker.
If you lost the AirPods, you can play a sound to find them. Also, AirPods Pro work like recent AirTags, so on recent iPhones, a compass arrow points in the direction of where your lost caps are.
Volume control for your daily life
In our opinion, the biggest improvements are in the Transparency mode of the AirPods Pro. Press and hold the stem of your buds and the noise cancellation will turn off like on older models, after which the microphones will let you hear your surroundings better.
With 2019’s AirPods Pro, that ambient noise seemed a bit tinny at times. That’s not the case with the new version: other people’s voices come through naturally, making it sound like you don’t have any earplugs in your ears at all. This in itself is a remarkable achievement.
Additionally, Apple has added a new feature called “Adaptive Transparency”. This ensures that very loud sounds (above 85 decibels) are reduced in volume, but can still be heard clearly. It ensures that a jackhammer, highway or loud concert is less burdensome to your hearing, but can still be heard.
In practice, it looks like a kind of personal sound mixer for your daily life. This is a great added value, especially during concerts: your AirPods make the music clearly audible and deliver a tolerable volume, without missing the tones that old-fashioned earplugs miss for hearing protection, for example .
The new AirPods Pro sound better, but we’re particularly impressed with the improvements in Transparency Mode. It can be a gadget that you also like to wear when you’re not listening to music, just to make your surroundings more bearable. Although the question is how your environment reacts to this: after all, they will think that you are still listening to music.
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The editors of BestGetest previously put the best affordable noise canceling headphones in a row.
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