Apple’s second-generation AirPods Pro will start arriving at customers and will launch in stores on Friday, September 23. Ahead, early reviews of the wireless headphones have now been shared by some media publications and YouTube channels.
Priced at $249, the second-generation AirPods Pro offer improved audio quality, longer battery life, and up to 2x more noise cancellation compared to the original AirPods Pro. They also feature swipe volume control, an improved integrated skin detection sensor that more accurately turns audio playback on or off, and a new XS tip option.
The new AirPods Pro come with an updated charging case with a built-in speaker and U1 chip for Find My support with Precision Finding, an opening to attach a lanyard for convenience, and water resistance and sweatproof IPX4. In addition to Lightning and MagSafe, the case can now be charged with an Apple Watch charger.
We’ve collected written and video reviews of the new AirPods Pro below.
The edgeChris Welch said there were “substantial” improvements to active noise cancellation:
But Apple has made substantial gains with its active noise cancellation. The company claims that on average, the new implementation is “up to” twice as efficient as the original AirPods Pro. And even though I lack scientific measurement tools, this assertion does not seem unrealistic. In our office, I recently moved desks and now sit near an air vent that emits a persistent whirring sound. The original AirPods Pro leave a trace of this in noise-canceling mode, but it’s completely silent and unnoticeable with the second-gen pair. I can still hear co-workers chatting if they’re walking right by my desk, but most of the time the AirPods Pro give me plenty of peace of mind. I’ve also observed legit improvements when commuting on the subway, and less overall street noise creeping in when traversing day-to-day Brooklyn.
Welch also noticed an improvement in overall sound quality:
Let’s dig straight into the sound quality. Apple has completely redesigned the amplifier and driver for AirPods Pro, and while these drivers are the same 11-millimeter size as those on third-generation AirPods, they sound superior and deliver the cleanest, most dynamic output. of all AirPods to date.
EngadgetBilly Steele achieved about six hours of battery life as advertised:
In my testing, I managed six hours and fifteen minutes of use with a mix of noise cancellation, transparency mode, and calls. That’s more than the previous generation (4.5 hours) and it’s on par with most competitors these days. Sure, some companies offer over 10 hours of charge, but the average is around five to seven for the noise canceling products I’ve tested. Longer battery life would still be nice, but Apple’s six or seven hours is enough to get you through the workday if you’re taking a short break.
GizmodoAndrew Liszewski said the new swipe volume control feature is a welcome upgrade, but can be “a bit temperamental” on occasion:
It’s a welcome update, but unfortunately one that I found a bit temperamental to get working. It sometimes took a few swipes before anything happened.
As someone who generally hates having to touch my headphones while I’m wearing them (this inevitably dislodges them a bit), I’ll probably continue to use Siri’s voice commands for volume adjustments or track skipping (the only thing I Siri does very well).
MobileSyrupPatrick O’Rourke said the swipe-based volume control is his favorite new AirPods Pro feature, providing a more convenient listening experience:
In my experience, the new AirPods Pro volume touch controls are extremely responsive and work with subtle changes. If, for example, you only want to turn the volume up or down a notch or two, you can do so with a quick swipe. The controls are also marked with a slight clicking sound, indicating that they are active and working. I encountered no accidental presses in my several days with the AirPods Pro (2nd Gen), even long-pressing the stem to toggle Active Noise Cancellation on/off or double-tapping to skip songs. to the other.
The on-device touch volume controls are by far my favorite new AirPods Pro feature. The convenience and ease of use of changing volume levels right on the AirPods Pro (2nd Gen) without needing to pull out my iPhone really can’t be understated.
O’Rourke added that iOS 16’s custom spatial audio feature isn’t very noticeable:
In theory I like the idea of the audio being tuned specifically to your ear shape, but in practice it doesn’t make much of a difference. It’s also worth noting that while I really like Spatial Audio when watching movies or TV shows on platforms like Apple TV+, I find it inconsistent with music, especially when a track doesn’t was not originally recorded with technology in mind and has been remastered.
WIRED‘s Parker Hall said the charging case’s new built-in speaker “sounds loud enough” to help with location tracking, but he wishes the case had a USB-C port for wired charging instead of the connector Usual Lightning:
Need to find the case via Apple’s Find My app? Now you can, and it sounds pretty loud. It also does a little jingle when it starts charging. Speaking of which, you can charge wirelessly as usual (the case also supports MagSafe), but it’s a shame to see Apple still relying on the Lightning port instead of USB-C.
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