I have reviewed the iPhone 14, 14 Pro, and 14 Pro Max before and would be remiss not to review them. new AirPods Pro headphones second generation model. We diligently tested the headphones for two weeks, testing sound quality, noise cancellation and battery life.
I have used and tested many brands of earphones and usually chose the first generation AirPods Pro or Bits Fit Pro as my choice for daily use. However, there is no doubt that these latest generation AirPods Pro are ahead of the competition.
Apple hasn’t changed the design much, but they’ve improved it where needed. With better sound, improved noise cancellation, and an optimized transparency mode, these AirPods’ features without a significant price increase make them the best headphones in their class. Unpack everything and increase the volume to 11.
Pros and cons: Apple AirPods Pro (second generation)
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Sound quality: The new driver and amplifier deliver clear and crisp sound for virtually any genre.
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No design change: Although a volume control has been added on the device, there are no real design changes this year.
Active Noise Cancellation: ANC has been improved and still makes it easy to block out the world around you.
No USB-C: The charging case still has a Lightning port.
Adaptive Transparency: Transparency mode is still the best in its class and now reduces sound levels above 85 decibels to a safer level.
Battery life: Generation after generation, the new AirPods Pro last longer with or without listening mode.
Comfort: AirPods Pro still fit comfortably in your ears, and it’s easy to forget they’re inside after a few minutes.
Similar assembly with minor changes
Apple hasn’t changed the design much and the headphones are still only available in one color (white).
As for some minor differences, the optical sensor, which was a small black oval used to detect when the earbuds are in the ears, is now gone. Instead, there is a skin detection sensor inside, first introduced in the third generation AirPods. At the top of every AirPods Pro is new duct also. But that’s about it for any physical design changes.
Additional Ear Tips
Silicone ear cups are inserted into the ears for a more comfortable fit and better sound. With a new set of second-generation AirPods Pro, Apple has expanded its in-the-box earbud offerings. An very small size combines small, medium (pre-installed out of the box) and large. You can also take the earplug fit test, during which the earbuds play different tones to check the tightness – if it’s not quite right, he’ll recommend a different size.
In my testing, I had no problem keeping them in my ears during various activities. Even when wearing them for about eight hours during a work day, I did not feel any pain or discomfort in my ears. AirPods Pro do not have wingtips Bits Fit Pro or other kidneys, which can sometimes cause extra pressure in the ear.
Finally got a headphone volume control
While not immediately obvious in terms of product design, there is a new, very useful feature in the liner foot. With original AirPods Pro (first generation model), you can pinch the stick to play, pause, or answer a call, and long-press to prompt Siri or turn on a listening mode (such as noise cancellation or transparency). You can also set them up in the settings on the connected iPhone.
But now Apple has added a capacitive touch sensor that can be used to adjust the volume on the fly. Just swipe up or down to decrease or increase the volume by one and you will hear a small beep indicating that the request has been accepted.
Carrying and Charging Case Updates
While the left and right AirPods Pro themselves received minimal design changes, the companion carrying and charging case received four major updates.
- New lanyard attachment point
- Find My app support
- A new charging method with the Apple Watch charger
Apple has added space for a strap on the right side, which means you don’t have to buy a separate case. You can pick up really any lanyard or this $12.95 one from Incase it is specially designed for AirPods Pro. It is a handy travel item that can be hung on your wrist or attached to your bag.
The charging case is the same size as the previous generation.
Speaker makes it easy to find lost cases
Next to the lightning port at the bottom is an acoustic hole on the left and three holes on the right for the speaker. What is the speaker for in this case? It will make noise when connected to your phone, but more importantly, its main purpose is to work with the FindMy app.
This speaker (paired with U1 chip inside) allows you to find case for AirPods Pro on the map via Search accuracy, or ping it to play the melody using the FindMy app. It is basically all technologies from AirTag now in an AirPods Pro charging case, and it will be a lot easier to find those $250 earphones if you lose them.
Charge via Lightning, MagSafe, or Apple Watch charger.
As for recharging, you can still connect via physical lightning cablethrow them on MagSafe Charger or post them on Qi compatible wireless charger. Now you can also charge them with Charger for Apple Watch, which is a welcome addition. For iPhone and Apple Watch users, you need one less charger.
Long battery life regardless of mode
You won’t have to recharge your AirPods Pro often. Apple has indeed achieved a significant increase in battery life, but not at the expense of installing larger batteries.
Much of the battery life extension comes from the new Apple H2 chip located inside each of the batteries. AirPods Pro. It boasts over one billion transistors, giving it enough power to efficiently complete tasks and mix audio in real time.
On paper, Apple promised six hours of playback with noise reduction or transparency turned on, but I’m averaging over seven hours with any of them enabled. In fact, most of the days I tested the AirPods Pro with transparency turned on and playback between 50% and 70%.
None of these modes are enabled, I have achieved eight hours, which is a whole hour higher than Apple’s estimate. With the case on, you can expect 30 hours with listening mode on, or 34 hours with it off, and that’s in line with my experience. I only had to fully recharge two or three times in my entire testing period.
Transparency mode is still the best
AirPods Pro have long offered the best transparency mode on any pair of headphones I’ve tested. Whether you work in the office or wear them on the go, they let you hear what’s going on around you easily and naturally. There is no strange buzzing, metallic effect or robotic nature in the voice.
Adaptive changes in the game
As for the second-generation AirPods Pro, Apple doesn’t change anything about its secret sauce. Transparency mode can now tune into different sounds around you.
So if you’re walking past a noisy construction site that’s very loud, AirPods Pro will detect the sound and reduce the volume. Here’s the key though–it must be 85 decibels or higher, and Apple will only reduce the sound, but not change it. So you can still hear the construction machinery, it just won’t burst your eardrum.
This is a handy update that we think speaks volumes about hearing health and overall safety awareness. During my testing in New Jersey and New York, it effectively reduced the volume of sirens and some exceptionally loud cars that ran engines, yet still allowed me to be aware of my surroundings.
And while I haven’t tested it yet, theoretically you could use this in concert to make the volume a little more bearable without sacrificing the melody of the sound.
Noise cancellation is even better
When you want to block out all sounds, you can enable Active Noise Cancellation.
Noise cancellation just got better with this new generation of AirPods Pro. For example, I was flying back in a Boeing 777 and I was sitting next to the engine – with the music set to 40% and noise canceling turned on, it blocked almost all of the engine’s roar.
In the same way, working in an apartment where the carpet is being torn out and replaced in the corridor, and a powerful ventilation and air conditioning system is working, AirPods Pro reduced sounds to hum. It’s just as good at handling heavier low-mid sounds (like the first generation), but this new version does a better job of blocking out the full range of sounds.
Bright sound for any genre
In addition to providing two listening modes – transparency and noise reduction – the H2 chip also improves sound quality. The result is a vibrant mix that is clearly focused on a wide soundstage with a high level of clarity. You will not hear any distortion, crackling or popping, and this is thanks to new amplifier and driver in every bud.
After extensive testing, I found it to be a really good listening experience and one of the best headphones out there. AirPods Pro also work with Spatial audio through Apple Music, which dynamically places sound elements around you for a more immersive listening experience.
Still smooth tuning and switching
Last but not least, AirPods Pro still provides high level of fast pairing convenience. To pair and set up for the first time, simply open the case next to your iPhone and follow the splash screen that appears. You’ll be done in less than a minute, and AirPods Pro sync to your iCloud account so you can quickly switch between the Apple devices they’re connected to.
So, if you listen to music in your…