Apple AirPods Pro – Keep out the noise

Apple added the Pro moniker to another product. Yesterday, the Cupertino company revealed its AirPods Pro earphones, not with a large Keynote event, but through a press release. The new products have built-in noise cancellation, are water-resistant and promise an immersive sound experience in a smaller design.

The new AirPods Pro in the wireless charging case. (Photo: Apple)

The AirPods Pro is a new addition to Apple’s AirPod line. They feature an in-ear design with silicone tips to create a passive seal inside the ear. The devices are also smaller than the regular AirPods while packing more tech inside. The silicone tips help solve the noise bleed problem many users complained about with the non-Pro models. The passive seal should provide some isolation from outside noises and provide a better sound experience.

The AirPods Pro has active noise cancellation and is smaller than the regular AirPods. (Photo: Apple)

The pairing process is the same as the regular AirPods. The H1 chip enables seamless connections with other Apple products. By opening the charging case near an iOS or iPadOS device, the setup process will begin. After which, the devices will be connected to every other Apple device that uses the same Apple ID such as a Mac, Apple Watch or Apple TV.

By far the biggest feature on the new “Pro” AirPods is active noise cancellation. The device uses two microphones along with software to reduce the effect of external noise. The outer mics listen for ambient noise, then the software generates “anti-noise” to cancel out the background sounds before it reaches the user’s ears. The second, inner mics then listen to the sounds being sent to the ear and cancel any remaining noise.

There’s also a pressure-equalizing vent on each earbud to help prevent the clogged-ear feeling that may come with in-ear headphones.

You can switch between modes in the Control Centre. (Photo: Apple)

If you don’t want to be completely isolated from the world or need to hear your surroundings, there’s “Transparency Mode.” This setting allows the user to hear a mixture of whatever is playing along with environmental noise. You can switch between “Transparency Mode” and noise cancellation modes by interacting with the new force-sensitive stem. The stem can also be used to play, pause or skip tracks, and answer or end phone calls.

Another clever feature to the AirPods Pro is the “The Ear Tip Fit Test”. The AirPods Pro can determine if the silicone tips selected are creating the best seal in your ears. The internal and external mics work along with software to analyse the sounds in each ear, then compares it to the sounds being produced by the AirPods Pro. The software can then tell you if the tips you’re using fit the best. If not, the system will recommend another ear tip.

The internal view of the AirPods Pro. (Photo: Apple)

The new Apple products are IPX4 water-resistant. Fitness junkies won’t have to worry that their sweat will break their earphones.

The AirPods Pro require Apple devices running iOS 13.2 or later, iPad OS 13.2 later, tvOS 13.2 or later, watchOS 6.1 or later, or macOS Catalina 10.15.1 or later.

The AirPods Pro will retail for a whopping US$250. Pre-orders started on October 28 and the device will start shipping on October 30.

— Written by Renor C.