AirPods, now one of the most ubiquitous wireless earphones and a sensation in the world of memes, has gone Pro. The AirPods Pro (SGD 379) comes months after Apple’s follow-up AirPods Generation 2, with an all-new in-ear design, active noise-cancelling capability, and IPX4 sweat- and water-resistant rating.
Transitioning from convenient and (almost) universal earbud design, the in-ear AirPods Pro comes with three sizes of silicone ear tips to aid in noise isolation – a feature long-awaited by users all around. An innovative vent system equalises pressure in the ear with the surroundings to alleviate comfort issues found on other true wireless in-ear designs.
Design changes also improve durability – with IPX4 water- and sweat-resistance adding peace of mind despite the proven resilience of Apple’s regular AirPods and AirPods 2nd Generation products.
Utilising two microphones on each side, and paired with advanced software, the AirPods Pro will provide customised noise cancelling. The outward microphones analyse ambient noise to generate an initial anti-noise inverse sound signal, while the inward-facing ones detect all residual noise for a second round of elimination – adapting 200 times per second.
A new Transparency Mode will serve as a counterpoint to the ANC on board the AirPods Pro. Accessed via new innovative force sensors on its stem, pressure-equalising vent system work in tandem with software to help users hear through the noise-isolating seal for a conversation or for better situational awareness, rendering the user’s voice natural.
The sensor also enables other controls, which will also be accessible by holding the volume slider in the Control Centre on iPhone or tapping the AirPlay icon on the Apple Watch.
The inward-facing microphone also allows for an unprecedented level of customisation. Adaptive EQ tunes the low- and mid-frequencies of audio output to the unique shape of an individual ear, while the Ear Fit Test detects the quality of the seal by comparing in-ear sound levels and the volume of the audio emanating from each driver.
This ensures high-quality audio befitting its “Pro” pedigree, with custom, high-excursion, low-distortion speaker drivers built to enhance audio signals, reduce background noise, and to provide superior efficiency. With a consistent low end all the way down to 20Hz, the drivers on the AirPods Pro will also deliver detailed mids and highs.
The AirPods Pro will dish out the same battery performance as the AirPods, with five hours of listening time, 4.5 hours with ANC activated, and 3.5 of talk time on a single charge. The included Wireless Charging Case will extend it over 24 hours, or to 18 hours of talk time, with charging via Qi-certified wireless chargers or via Lightning cable.
As usual, the AirPods Pro will instantly pair with iOS and iPadOS devices by opening the charging case nearby, and will pair to all Apple devices signed in to a user’s iCloud account, including MacBooks and Apple TV. With 10 audio cores, the H1 chip enables real-time noise cancellation, adaptive high-quality audio and “Hey Siri” activation concurrently.
The AirPods Pro will be available in Singapore and most markets from October 30 at SGD 379.