Apple AirPods Professional Evaluation: Greatest Buds

“Terrifyingly good, the AirPods Pro are a big win for Apple.”

Clear, responsive sound

Excellent noise cancellation


Superior call quality

Wireless charging case

Questionable long-term battery life

This review was last updated by Nick Woodard, employee of Digital Trends A / V, on June 5, 2020.

I can’t remember the last time an Apple product switched from a credible rumor to a product on the shelf in less than three weeks, but that’s exactly what happened to the new AirPods Pro.

When Apple confirmed their existence, real name, and arrival date, many of us were surprised in the technical media. But here we are. You can now purchase the AirPods Pro – a new in-ear version of the radio buds with active noise cancellation – for $ 250.

I hadn’t expected much from the AirPods Pro, other than the fact that they would almost certainly be off the peg. The standard Apple AirPods have never impressed me, although I will admit that I understand why tens of millions of people use them. AirPods are both a communication tool and a way to listen to music and movies. To my great surprise, Apple has a very good pair of buds here.

Still iconic, just smaller

Apple hasn’t given up its golf tee design for the AirPods Pro – the tee is just a little shorter now. Instead of opting for a large disc or oval shape, as we see with so many competing radio buds, the AirPods Pro offer a more hidden aesthetic than their non-professional counterparts. Love it or hate it, the design has become an icon and even a kind of badge of honor for Apple believers.

The shorter stem poses my only real concern. Battery life. We know the battery is not replaceable, and although Apple offers the “Battery Service” option for its AirPods, it means a slight discount on a pair of brand new buds.

This is a problem when the life of the super-small, noodle-shaped battery in the standard AirPods is limited to charging cycles of 2 to 3 years. I am concerned that this problem will worsen with the AirPods Pro because the battery is necessarily smaller.

The Pro has a similar battery power as the standard AirPods and achieves a listening time of around 4.5 to 5 hours and / or a call time of 3.5 hours per charge. The charging capacity of the supplied wireless charging case (wireless) is over 24 hours. The charging case is an upgrade for the standard AirPods. However, the battery bar has since been raised. Options like the Sony WF-SP800N offer nine hours with active noise canceling enabled and 13 hours of playback without ANC.

Here’s a tip for you

Aside from the shorter stem, the most obvious visual change to the AirPods game book is the addition of a silicone earplug.

Instead of sitting outside your ears and shouting at them through the door and letting in many other outside sounds, the AirPods Pro use an in-ear design where they seal the entrance to the ear canal and send the sound directly across the hallway to your eardrum. This seal is important to block out noise and, as a bonus, provides better bass response.

The AirPods Pro come with three sets of silicone earbuds – unfortunately not Comply foam people – but these are not ordinary earbuds. Instead of sliding (with difficulty) on a small knob, as so many other in-ear buds require, the AirPods Pro tips snap into place with a satisfactory click that is both easier to replace and as safe as the more conventional design.

Siri is always listening

As expected, Siri is on deck for iOS users and is constantly waiting for voice commands such as “call mom”, “pause music”, “how do I get to the gym?” And my personal favorites: “What does the fox say? ”

It would be more appropriate to call these “grip controls” or perhaps “grip controls”.

If you want to control music playback, answer a call, or turn on / off noise canceling without saying a word or taking your phone out of your pocket, you can use touch controls built into each of the two earphone sticks. It would be better to call these “grip controls” or perhaps “grip controls” because you have to grip and squeeze the stems.

If you’re an Android user and want to go to the Google Assistant, go to the Google Play Store and download one of the many apps that make AirPods work on an Android phone like an iPhone. If you’re looking for native Google Assistant support instead, check out the Google Pixel Buds 2.

Let it in or exclude it

As is common with most active noise canceling headphones, the AirPods Pro offer the option to either turn off noise or let everything in.

Apple calls the latter function “transparency mode” and it is a fitting title. As we found on the Beats Solo Pro, the sound fed in by the outside world is surprisingly natural – so close to just pulling out the buds as we’ve heard it before.

This is ideal to keep an eye on the bus that will mow you at an intersection. I wish the function would be adjustable, like in the Amazon Echo Buds, where I can choose how much of the outside world to dial into.

What is more impressive than Apple’s transparency mode is how well the noise cancellation technology works. To be honest, I was shocked. I haven’t been impressed by the Beats noise cancellation brand since Apple bought the company, so I didn’t expect much from the AirPods Pro, but Apple’s first attempt at active noise cancellation is right up there with Sony and Bose.

When I pushed the second AirPod Pro into my ear for the first time (which activates noise cancellation – it turns off when a bud is removed), I had the same disturbing growl that I had on many when I first put the Bose QC 35II on Years earlier. The effect is immediately noticeable and very impressive.

I compared the AirPods Pro to the Sony WH-1000XM3 in any noisy environment I could use – in the office, on bus-lined streets, on a light rail train, and pretty much everywhere except on the plane – and found that the noise cancellation Effect between the two was practically indistinguishable. I haven’t had a chance to compare AirPods Pro to Bose Soundsport Free yet, but I expect a similar experience.

Also a note on call quality. The Apple Airpods Pro hit the pants of the Sony WH-1000XM3 for phone calls. Not only did they master the windy conditions better, they also almost eliminated background noise. I was standing next to a bus engine during a call and it was almost inaudible. Bose is likely to launch a new product that is a leader in call quality, but the AirPods Pro should work very well for most users.

Clean, full, detailed

Just when I was amazed at how well the AirPods Pro operated noise cancellation, I was just as impressed with the sound quality. Sure, I’ll look at the sound profile of the Sony WF-1000XM3 or the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 in a direct comparison, but the fact that the AirPods Pro even play in the same league is again a bit of a shock.

Hats off, Apple. You did it well.

I don’t think AirPods Pro demography is the most demanding audiophile, so I think most owners will find the sound quality impressive. Buyers will be more than satisfied. The fact that the AirPods Pro can resolve fine details, has a full, rounded bass that’s as coherent as punchy, clear mids, and a noticeable transient response that goes along with some piquant highs is due to Apple’s lackluster history the sound quality remarkable department.

Hats off, Apple. You did it well.

Our opinion

Apple’s Airpods Pro doesn’t necessarily have to be great for people to buy. Their simple user interface ensures that iPhone owners treat them as standard. The fact that they are great is all the more remarkable. Even Android owners may want to give them a look.

Is there a better alternative?

The above-mentioned Sony WH-1000XM3 offers a slightly superior sound quality while sacrificing call quality and a compact form factor. The Amazon Echo Buds are much cheaper, but they don’t sound as good and are not as effective in noise canceling.

How long it will take?

Based on reports from original AirPods that go extinct after two to three years, I expect the AirPods Pro to experience a battery failure in about the same amount of time.


The AirPods Pro has a one-year warranty only against manufacturer defects – this does not cover any damage. Adding AppleCare + for $ 29 will give you much better protection for up to two years.

Should you buy it

Yes. These are great compact, comfortable, and remarkably effective real wireless earbuds.

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