Apple’s second-generation AirPods Pro will begin arriving to customers and will launch in stores on Friday, September 23. In advance, the first reviews of the wireless headphones have now been shared by select media publications and YouTube channels.
Priced at $249, the second-generation AirPods Pro features audio quality, longer battery life, and up to 2x more noise cancellation than the original AirPods Pro. They also have swipe-based volume controls, an improved built-in skin-detect sensor that turns audio playback on or off more precisely, and a new XS ear tip option.
The new AirPods Pro come with an updated charging case with built-in speakers and a U1 chip for Find My support with Precision Finding, an opening to attach a lanyard for carrying convenience, and IPX4-rated water and sweat resistance. Huh. In addition to Lightning and MagSafe, the case can now be charged with an Apple Watch charger.
We’ve rounded up both written and video reviews of the new AirPods Pro below.
ledgeK Chris Welch Said that there are “substantial” improvements in active noise cancellation:
But Apple has made a substantial profit with its active noise cancellation. The company says, on average, the new implementation is twice as effective as the original AirPods Pro. And while I lack any scientific measurement equipment, this claim doesn’t seem unrealistic. In our office, I recently moved the desk and now sit near an air vent that whistles constantly. The original AirPods Pro leaves a trace of it in noise-canceling mode, but it’s completely quiet and imperceptible with the second-gen pair. I can still hear coworkers chatting if they walk right next to my desk, but most of the time, the AirPods Pro gives me a lot of peace. I’ve also noticed legitimate improvements when traveling in the subway, and less overall street noise making its way when traveling in Brooklyn on a day-to-day basis.
Welch also noted the better sound quality overall:
Let’s dig right into the sound quality. Apple completely revamped the amplifier and driver in the AirPods Pro, and while those drivers are 11-millimeters in size, the third-gen AirPods have better sound and are the cleanest of any AirPods ever. , provide the most dynamic output.
Engadgetbilly steel Achieved about six hours of battery life as advertised:
During my tests, I clocked six hours and fifteen minutes with noise cancellation, transparency mode, and a mix of calls. That’s more than the previous generation (4.5 hours) and it’s on par with most of the competition these days. Sure, some companies offer 10-plus hours on a charge, but the average for the noise-canceling products I tested is about five to seven. More battery life will always be nice, but if you take a short break then six or seven hours of Apple muster is enough to get you through the workday.
gizmodoK Andrew Liszewski said the new swipe-based volume control feature is a welcome upgrade, but could be “a bit finicky” on occasion:
It’s a welcome upgrade, but unfortunately one that I found a bit difficult to get working. It sometimes needs a few swipes before anything happens.
As someone who generally hates wearing my earbuds while I’m wearing them (it inevitably dislikes them a bit) I’ll probably continue to use Siri voice commands for volume adjustments or track skipping. Will keep (one thing Siri does very well).
Mobile SyrupK Patrick O’Rourke said that the swipe-based volume control is their favorite new AirPods Pro feature, which provides a more convenient listening experience:
In my experience, the new AirPods Pro volume touch controls are extremely responsive and work with subtle changes. For example, if you want to lower or raise the volume just a notch or two, you can do so with a brief swipe. The controls are also marked with a slight clicking noise, indicating they are active and working. During my several days with the AirPods Pro (2nd-Gen) I didn’t run into any accidental presses, even on the long stem to toggle active noise cancellation on/off or jump between songs To double-press.
The on-device touch volume control is by far my favorite new AirPods Pro feature. Can’t really explain the convenience and ease of transferring volume levels directly on AirPods Pro (2nd-Gen) without needing to take out my iPhone.
O’Rourke said that iOS 16’s Personalized Spatial Audio feature isn’t too noticeable:
In theory, I like the idea of tuning the audio specifically for the size of your ear, but in practice, it doesn’t make much 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 to be hit or miss with music, especially when a track is natively tuned to the technology. Considering it was not recorded and was redone.
wiredparker hall said that the charging case’s new built-in speaker “sounds loud enough” to aid in Find My Location tracking, but he wishes the case had a USB-C port for wired charging instead of the usual Lightning connector:
Need to find a case through Apple’s Find My app? Now you can, and it rings quite loud. It also jingles a bit when charging. Speaking of, you can charge wirelessly as usual (the case also supports MagSafe), but it’s a shame to see Apple still relying on a Lightning port instead of USB-C.