Apple just announced a new version of its iconic wireless earbuds, the AirPods Pro. The new headphones have a new design, new set of features, including noise cancellation technology, and of course, a higher price tag.
Unlikely with an October event, the company issued a press release to announce the new wireless headphones. They will start shipping this Wednesday, October 30 with preorders starting today.
AirPods Pro will cost you $250 compared to the second-gen AirPods that costs $159. To put that into perspective, that’s more than a 50% increase in the base price from AirPods 2.
It’s not clear whether the new AirPods Pro are an entirely different line of AirPods or just the successor of AirPods 2. There are a couple of main features of the new AirPods Pro that make them better and set them apart from the standard AirPods. Let’s check them out.
With a simple glance, you can identify the new AirPods Pro from somebody’s ears. They now have shorter stems with soft and flexible silicone ear tips that come with three different sizes. You’ll be able to swap them to find the perfect fit for your ears.
This is clearly Apple’s effort to attract those iPhone users who never bought the AirPods because of comfortability issues. The AirPods Pro charging case is smaller and more compact than the previous model.
Active Noise Cancellation
Each earbud of the new AirPods Pro got two microphones to listen to background noise and actively cancel the sound around you. One that faces inward to listen to the sounds inside your ears. The other one faces outward and detects environmental noise. The AirPods Pro create a combined “anti-noise” to cancel other sounds.
Active noise cancellation is the fancy name of the technology AirPods Pro used to block background noise for a “uniquely customized, superior noise-canceling experience.” Apple says noise cancellation continuously adjusts the sound signal up to 200 times per second.
There’s a new force sensor feature that lets you control music playback and answer or hang up phone calls. It will also allow you to activate transparency mode, a new feature that lets you hear your surroundings while you’re wearing the AirPods Pro. You can easily switch between the two modes with the force sensor feature.
The AirPods Pro are sweat- and water- resistant with an IPX4 rating, according to Apple. But just don’t go for a swim with them because they are designed for “non-water sports and exercise.” A feature that the regular AirPods should have had, but Apple decided to make it exclusive to the Pro version. You can expect to see these a lot in the gym.
There are other notable new features, like the new in-house H1 chip. It handles everything from real-time noise cancellation, high-quality sound to respond to Siri requests.
In terms of battery life, nothing has changed. Apple said the new AirPods will have the same five hours of listening time on a single charge as the standard AirPods. But this number can go down to 4.5 when using the active noise cancellation feature. A pair of earbuds with that kind of price should have a much better battery life.
The AirPods Pro require devices running iOS 13.2 or later, iPadOS 13.2 or later, WatchOS 6.1 or later, TVOS 13.2 or later or MacOS Catalina 10.15.1 or later.
As of this writing, Apple continues to sell the AirPods with Charging Case ($159) and the AirPods With Wireless Charging Case ($199) alongside the AirPods Pro.
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