As someone who likes to multitask and carry more than she probably should, having wireless Bluetooth headphones is a requirement for me. However, when Apple announced the high price tag on the AirPods Pro, I wasn’t completely sold. Was the increase in price worth the upgraded features? I decided to get a pair to put them to the test.
The packaging is very similar to other Apple products — sleek and clean. First, you see the envelope with the legalese and instructions. Behind that are the case and earbuds. When you pull that out, you get your charging cable and interchangeable ear tips. The cable I received was a USB-C to Lightning cable. I’m sure it’s useful for those users who have the USB-C power adapter that comes with the newer iPhone models, or for anyone with a MacBook that exclusively supports USB-C or Thunderbolt. However, my cable will live in the box for a while because I’m still part of the original USB power adapter club. There are also two additional pairs of interchangeable tips, small and large, clipped into a square packaging, while the medium tips are already installed on the AirPods Pro.
These interchangeable tips solve one of the most significant issues I had with the original AirPods – the inability to keep outside noise from affecting the sound quality of my music. AirPods Pro have a feature that will test out the seal of the different sizes of tips based on your ears and tell you what size you need to get the best sound quality. Once you make the adjustment, you’re able to use the different settings to their fullest ability. The varying sizes were wildly helpful for me, as I found that the small size was most comfortable in one ear, whereas the medium fit best in the other.
The AirPods Pro give you three Noise Control options to customize how you listen to your music – Noise Cancellation, Transparency, or you can switch to Off. With Transparency, you’re able to listen to both your music and your surroundings. This is especially helpful for anyone who uses their headphones at work but also needs to be able to listen and reply to coworkers. As for Noise Cancellation, I’ve found this most convenient when I’m on my morning commute in a packed subway car. Because the ear tips are changeable based on your ear, the seal is very effective in blocking out those fellow commuters that you’re not quite awake enough to deal with.
One of the biggest AirPods Pro selling points for avid Apple users is the ability to bounce from one iProduct to the next. This was one thing I was looking forward to the most so that I could go from my iPhone on the train ride from work to my Macbook when I arrived home. However, I’ve found myself having a lot of issues with connectivity. In the middle of a song or video, the sound will cut out, and any video I’m watching will pause until I disconnect and reconnect the AirPods. I’ve had to debug my MacBook Bluetooth about ten times in the last month of using the headphones, but sometimes the connection will remain seamless for a few days before I have to return to troubleshooting.
I do have to give my praise to the sound quality provided by the AirPods Pro. A new feature that adds a big plus for these earbuds is that they equalize your music based on the shape of your ears. I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to the balance of music and audio, and these keep fairly true to the mix that you’d hear out of a high-quality standalone speaker system. When you really want to pay attention to what you’re listening to, click over to Noise Cancellation and let yourself sink into the music.
Overall, the AirPods Pro are a win for audiophiles. They’re low profile, they offer great customization with the tips, and they are a massive improvement in sound capabilities from the AirPods. However, I hope the Macbook connectivity issues are addressed in future firmware updates. Even still, their ability to block out the noisiest subway commuters makes them a must-have in my book.
The Apple Airpods Pro retail for $249, and they are available from Apple.
Source: Personal purchase
What I Like: Sleek low-profile appearance; Noise control options; Customizable fit
What Needs Improvement: Charging cable coming as a USB-C; Connectivity issues to certain Apple products