Expected and finally presented in September, the new Apple AirPods Pro do not disappoint. Wireless headphones are packed with new features without changing the recipe or format that made them successful. They’re tweaking achievements to get even better on all fronts, whether it’s in terms of audio quality, noise reduction, or custom tuning.
In France, due to the euro-dollar parity, its price rises to 299 euros, but the novelties are there to pass the bill. They arrive on September 23 in stores.
The strengths of the AirPods Pro 2
Even more active noise reduction
Once you’ve tried it, it’s hard to do without. But not all active noise reduction technologies (ANC for “Active Noise Cancellation”) are created equal. The one with the AirPods Pro had already been praised. That of the AirPods Pro goes even further. Thanks to the addition of noise reduction microphones and a new rear vent to block out sounds, we’re nearly twice as insulated as before, unwanted noise gone.
Suffice it to say that with the ANC mode activated, it is useless for the person in front of you to speak: you will not hear him. It is quite impressive on a daily basis and fans of noise insulation in transport or on the street will be delighted. And it also works on guard. The AirPods Pro 2 AI manages to block the wind for itself, but also for the interlocutor.
For those who are worried about being totally isolated from the world around them, particularly for security reasons, Apple finally has a real solution: Transparency mode.
A finally useful Transparency mode
If the progress in ANC is amazing, what about Transparency mode? With a click of the stem of an earphone, you can switch from full isolation to a mode that doesn’t isolate you from the outside. Very often, the rocking is a bit violent for the eardrums and the world around us comes to remind us by taking over the music. Apple has found an impressive solution by strengthening its Transparency mode, which manages to adjust the balance between the two in a very fast and very balanced way.
Adaptive Transparency manages to limit repetitive, intrusive, muffled noises (police siren, crowd noise, jackhammer…) in an excessively fast way to put the audio that is heard in the foreground a little better. Spatialized sound suddenly takes over, much to the surprise. Sometimes it even seems that the headphones have stopped working and the sound comes back directly from the iPhone. In fact, it’s nothing, it’s just the precision of the transparency mode that allows you to listen to your music while listening to what’s around you.
Spatialized and personalized sound
To make sure AirPods Pro 2 are perfect for all ears, Apple has added a set of XS-size tips to the three sizes previously offered. This will reinforce sound isolation even before customizing sound spatialization by keeping the earphones perfectly positioned. There’s even a feature in the new dedicated space in settings to let you know if you’ve placed the correct size ear tips.
The settings are also much more precise and personalized with adjustments that can be made to customize the spatial audio that Apple offers. This delivers a much more immersive 360° sound, with dynamic head tracking that’s surprising at first, but quickly becomes enjoyable to listen to (even on a FaceTime call).
You have to use the iPhone camera to detect the shape of your ears and adjust the audio quality afterwards. All Apple devices connected to the iCloud account and using AirPods Pro 2 benefit from this setup that takes no more than a minute. And that’s not a trick: the sound is immediately even more precise and powerful (not louder!). And the first reflex is then to lower the volume to listen.
Significantly improved audio quality
AirPods Pro 2 now includes the H2 chip that works for both noise reduction and music. Above all, this allows them to make a leap in quality with a clearly wider spectrum, a wider frequency range. This is felt when listening compared to the previous generation which, however, was of very good quality.
The sound is more crystalline in the treble, more precise in the bass and, above all, rounder. With the help of personalized spatialized sound, listening takes on another dimension and is also much more comfortable over time. The adaptive equalizer, which makes the internal microphones adjust the low, mid and high frequencies of the music based on the noise, makes everything richer, even when you call Siri from the headphones.
Longer battery life and bonus tip
The autonomy of the AirPods Pro was quite correct, but it is still noticeable that it gains in duration. For a single charge, it thus goes to 6 hours per earphone with ANC activated (7 hours without ANC) and goes up to 30 cumulative hours using the recharge that the transport case allows (35 hours without using ANC). It is also possible to recharge the case using the charger supplied with the Apple Watch. Ideal for owners of both products who don’t want to put all the chargers in their bag.
Find your headphones and case more easily
The Find My app linked to the iCloud account until now allowed you to find your AirPods individually by indicating their position. Now it’s even easier to find the carrying case. It is enriched with detection technology and will beep – thanks to a speaker placed under the case – so you can find it when you use the app’s search system.
AirPods Pro 2 Weaknesses
If your ears are too big…
Apple added a mini tip, but not a maxi one. Oversized earmuffs still risk losing the earphones.
We still can’t change songs
Finally it is possible to change the volume of the AirPods Pro at the level of the touch controls of each earphone. But we would have liked that the brand also allowed to change songs by touching an earphone, as it happens with previous versions of the classic model. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
Apple had already struck a blow with its AirPods Max, its headphones that ticked all the boxes for music lovers. The second-generation AirPods Pro do the same thing, taking a huge step forward in both improved audio quality and functionality.
Without a doubt, they are still among the best very high-end wireless headphones and have a quality close to Sony or Bose models. In terms of active noise reduction processing and adaptive transparency, they even speed up compared to the competition.
Source: BFM TV