What you need to know
- AirPods Pro are Apple's first noise cancelling earbuds.
- One audiophile calls the sound "fine."
- But they're still worthy of the crown of "best" earbuds around.
Apple's AirPods Pro have been around for a couple of days now and people are starting to form their opinions on how they perform. One of those is self-confessed audiophile Quinn Nelson who took to his Snazzy Labs YouTube channel to explain his thoughts.
The video is absolutely worth a watch because it steps beyond the usual Apple tech reviewer perspective and goes into things more deeply than you might have previously seen. That means Nelson is able to compare how AirPods Pro really sound when put up against their closest competition, the Sony WF-1000XM3.
On that note it's clear Nelson believes that the Sony earbuds sound better and if they're anywhere near as great as my Sony WH-1000XM3 that's probably the case. But the Sony offerings can't compete on what made the original AirPods so popular – their connectivity and instant pairing abilities.
Overall despite AirPods Pro only sounding "fine" Nelson does conclude that they are the "best wireless earbuds on the market" which is no mean feat. I'd expected that to come with a caveat of "for iPhone users," but it never arrived. So there we have it, even my friends at Android Central should be picking up AirPods Pro.
I didn't see that one coming.
Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.
Got a set of these (per-ordered, delivered on release day) and I want to make one significant point. Legacy Airpods, came in one size and did not fit all. Yea, many people's ears are wrong. My wife was one with un-Apple ears that could barely put a set in without them hurting. So she was never able to enjoy the integration they offered in her Apple iPhone, iPad(s) echo system.
Now for the new AirPods Pro. They're mine (for now), but to check them out, the wife stuck them in her ears with the medium tips that come on them. The test function Apple provides to evaluate their fit is a really nice plus. It said they sealed effectively and she listened for a bit. OK. She wondered if the smalls would work, so I changed them out, the test said they were fine, and she liked them better. I offered to let her use them for a day or two to see how it went. She wore them 5 hours yesterday and said they felt just fine the entire time. Never has she said such a thing about earphones. So, clearly your mileage will vary. I needed the large ear tips to get the Apple seal of approval.
Only reason I'm getting them back is that she doesn't really want white, and there was some rumor about other colors. Seems all the tech blogs that breached that a week before launch aren't even acknowledging they ever said it now. I actually wanted the green. Wife has PowerBeats Pros in rose gold (or whatever that pinkish color is called) so she is fine with those for now.
Point is, if you have had AirPod fit issues in the past, these may fix that. Whether you actually want them because of performance, sound, features, or whatever, there are plenty of reviews that cover that sort of thing to help you decide that.
BTW, the original and version 2 Airpods fit me just fine. I really got these so the wife could try them. Her PowerBeats are geared more for the gym. These would be more so I don't need to hear those YouTube knitting videos on her iPad, while I am trying to rot my brain with TV.
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