Over the past decade, Apple has been releasing a Pro version of its most popular products. We’ve had MacBook Pro, Mac Pro, iPad Pro, iPhone Pro and now we have AirPods Pro.
All these products bring more features, and of course, a significantly higher price tag, when compared to their standard version. But are these products considered as “Pro” like Apple has been naming them?
For the sake of this article, we’ll focus on the newly released AirPods Pro.
Since Apple introduced its iconic AirPods, they’ve become its newest successful product. In fact, they’re one of the best true wireless earbuds on the market right now, if not the best.
The second generation of AirPods wasn’t really a big step forward from their predecessors. They look identical design-wise, have the same battery life and touch controls. The only meaningful updates are the wireless charging case, which is optional, and the new H1 chipset that brings a better user experience.
If we use some rational thoughts here, the new AirPods would be the equivalent of the “S” version of an iPhone. So, why did Apple call them the second generation? Well, it’s pure marketing strategies.
Fast-forward to AirPods Pro, which are truly the second generation of AirPods, but again Apple used clever marketing strategies and called them Pro.
Now the question that we all need to ask ourselves is at what point does a consumer device become a “Pro”? Is Apple trying to convince us that the AirPods Pro are meant for professional use? What about the standard AirPods, what kind of buyers are they targeting?
New design and features
AirPods Pro come with a few notable updates that set them apart from the standard AirPods. Desing-wise, the new AirPods Pro have undergone a major facelift. They’re now smaller, have much shorter stems, and come with swappable in-ear tips.
In terms of new features, AirPods Pro have more bass, improved sound quality, thanks to an adaptive EQ and better Siri functionality. They also have a nice Audio sharing feature that lets you send music from one iPhone to multiple earbuds. They finally support sweat and water resistance for the first time (at IPX4).
As for battery life, it’s about the same as second-gen AirPods (5 hours on a single charge), only if you turn off Active noise cancelation and Transparency mode features. Otherwise, you’d get four-and-a-half hours of listening time when they’re turned on. Let that sink in for a minute.
The two of the biggest reasons why people would get the AirPods Pro will be a deal-breaker for most users. Think about it for a second. You’re paying more money for a product’s exclusive features that come with a downside when using them. You’re literally getting less battery life than the standard AirPods. I don’t know how you feel about that.
All of these features just don’t justify the “Pro” moniker. They are regular features that average users should expect from a product that comes with a premium price. But Apple keeps slamming the word “Pro” on all its products with more features, devaluating the true meaning of Pro.
Are they worth the price?
According to Apple, these AirPods are “Pro” because they have better features than the regular AirPods. Look, AirPods Pro are not Pro by any means. There’s nothing in the AirPods Pro that is meant for professional use.
Think about professional cameras or professional headphones, these are products that were built specifically with professionals in mind. That’s why they cost thousands of dollars. Do you see average consumers dropping thousands of dollars on professional cameras? The answer is no.
This is just a marketing campaign that Apple uses to potentially charge its customers more money. The company has used a similar strategy with the iPhone 11 Pro. They trick everyone into thinking the iPhone 11 is affordable when in fact, it’s not. The real iPhone 11 is the iPhone 11 Pro, which costs $1000 and the iPhone 11 is the iPhone XR successor with two rear cameras.
Don’t get me wrong. Without a doubt, AirPods Pro are a fantastic pair of wireless earbuds with decent features. If you’re deep into Apple’s ecosystem, don’t give it a second thought, go for AirPods Pro.
But if you’re looking for excellent sound quality, the Sony WF-1000XM3, which by the way is cheaper and has a better battery life, might be a better option for you. In case you just bought the standard AirPods 2 and don’t care about noise-canceling features, there’s no need to upgrade to AirPods Pro.
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