Apple Airpods Pro 2nd Gen Review – The new AirPods Pro look like the old AirPods Pro, but carry some minor tweaks. Credit: Stan Schroeder/
Apple has improved AirPods Pro (2nd generation) in several small ways. They sound great and the noise cancellation is fantastic, but if you already have the original AirPods Pro, the new ones aren’t a major upgrade.
Apple Airpods Pro 2nd Gen Review
It took Apple three years to develop its AirPods line and release AirPods Pro in 2019, a more premium pair of wireless headphones with advanced sound and features such as active noise cancellation, but a higher price tag.
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With an upgrade called AirPods Pro (second generation). The new AirPods Pro look very similar to the older model and cost the same $250, but come with a number of small improvements, including more active noise cancellation, a new feature called Adaptive Transparency, and longer battery life. best.
I tested the new AirPods Pro for about a week and I can tell you that these headphones are great, although they may not be worth the upgrade if you already have the original AirPods Pro.
Let’s get one thing out of the way: No one will notice you’re wearing second-generation AirPods Pro. They look the same as the old AirPods Pro, with a short nut, an elliptical white head decorated with black speaker grilles, and a silicone ear tip.
An extra-small silicone insert is now included in the box, but otherwise, the design is the same, down to the way these tips are cut on the nuts.
Airpods Pro (2nd Generation)
Even the white charging case appears unchanged, unless you look closely and notice the lanyard loop on the side and the three speaker holes below next to the Lightning port (yes, the new AirPods Pro also use the Lightning charging cable).
For more details about the look, feel, and design, you can check out our review of the original AirPods Pro. That’s how similar these two models are.
Relief. The silicone tip they come with is fine for me, but I also tried the larger one and the fit was even more snug. They never fall off, even during vigorous exercises. I was able to wear them for hours without realizing they were in my ears.
I even put them to the ultimate test: I played some relaxing music and slept a little while wearing them, and they didn’t cause me any trouble. I guess that’s one reason Apple hasn’t changed much in design – it’s pretty good the first time around.
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As for the touch commands, they are good but not perfect. Pressing the stick to play/pause and skip to the next track works fine. Pressing and holding the stop to activate transparency mode and noise cancellation, however, is hit or miss. When someone is talking to you and you want to hear them by activating the transparency mode, there is a one second delay to activate the feature which feels a bit too long. Also, adjusting the volume by moving your finger up or down the stick takes some getting used to – and it never worked perfectly for me.
Battery life for the new AirPods Pro is indeed as advertised as I managed to squeeze roughly 7 hours out of one charge. Although it should be noted that, to achieve this result, I combined audio playback with a temporary use of noise cancellation and automatic transparency modes. If you’re carrying your case with you, rest assured that battery life will never be an issue. But even without the case, these headphones will have plenty of juice for very long trips.
The new AirPods Pro support Bluetooth 5.3, which is a big upgrade compared to Bluetooth 5.0 on the original AirPods Pro, improving sound quality and energy efficiency. There are speculations that the new AirPods Pro will support lossless audio quality, but Apple has never mentioned it. (We’ve asked Apple about it and will update this article when we hear back.)
Bluetooth 5.3 doesn’t support lossless audio itself, but Qualcomm has a chip that offers audio over this standard, so it’s possible that Apple plans to introduce the feature at a later date. It’s hard to say whether it will be as noticeable as the sound really is (more on that later), but it’s a bummer given that losslessness is one of Apple Music’s key features.
Apple Airpods Pro (2nd Generation) White Mqd83am/a
As for the new Adaptive Audio feature, well, it works a little differently than on other headphones I’ve used. Instead of letting sounds from the outside in and turning the volume down, the new AirPods Pro leave the volume at the same level. This is fine if you want to listen to music while being aware of your surroundings, but not ideal when you just need to hear what the person next to you is saying. The “adaptive” part of Adaptive Rendering doesn’t really do much for me. Maybe the feature really kicks in in certain situations, such as an ambulance siren blaring nearby, but I didn’t notice it.
Advanced sound and active noise cancellation are the most important new features of AirPods Pro. This is where Apple really delivers.
The first time I turned on the active noise cancellation while walking on a busy street, I was scared. The sounds around me completely disappeared, which I did not expect from wireless headphones. I turned off the music and some outside noise came through the silence, but the screeching cars were reduced to a manageable volume, and everything but the loud noise was played down to barely noticeable.
Once you open the case, nearby Apple devices will recognize the new AirPods Pro. Credit: Stan Schroeder/
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In some places, the active noise cancellation is even better than my daily drivers: B&W’s excellent PX7 headphones. For example, the new AirPods Pro are better at canceling the noise of people talking (again, this may not be the best for people who want to drown out background noise but still listen when someone is talking to them). These are the first pair of headphones I would actually consider taking on a plane (instead of my bulky and over-the-ear headphones).
I’m happy to report that it is. I put the new AirPods Pro through a very diverse palette of genres, mostly on high-quality Apple Music programs. They treated Ryan Adams’ acoustic performance at Carnegie Hall as they did dirty hard rockers All Them Witches on their self-titled album, The Knife’s electronic masterpiece.
I’ve always had plenty of bass from the new AirPods Pro without it being over the top, as well as crisp vocals, and even some sense of sound level on live performances. Today’s headphones are sometimes tuned for a couple of popular genres and fall apart when given something different, but the new AirPods Pro do a fairly good job with complex jazz acts and very heavy guitar tracks.
, I found that the sound was muddy and the background vocals near the end of the song were louder than they should have been. I fixed that by turning on Dolby Atmos and Spatial Audio in the settings. It’s a known issue with Apple’s implementation of live audio – it just doesn’t work for all music.
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The new AirPods Pro have a number of small improvements that probably won’t make you spend the money for an upgrade (especially if you have the last generation AirPods Pro), but they add up. For example, the MagSafe Charging Case is sweat- and waterproof. It has a loop for easy portability and can be charged with the Apple Watch wireless charger.
Also, headphones now have sensors for in-ear detection, which mostly work, but occasionally I’ll only get one headphone to work, with the other stubbornly “detecting” that it’s not in my ear.
This doesn’t happen often, but it’s these little issues, and the occasional unexpected cut-out from the music source, that make me wish for the days of USBd headphones. At the time, I did not encounter these problems with the second-generation AirPods Pro very often.
The AirPods Pro (2nd generation) are a great pair of wireless headphones. They sound amazing and have almost no active noise cancellation. Apple also upgraded them in many small ways, although you probably won’t notice some of them. For a first-time buyer who can afford the $250 price tag, they’re not negligible.
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If you’re thinking about upgrading from the first generation AirPods Pro, however, the choice isn’t easy. The new AirPods Pro look about the same on the outside and the improvements, while substantial, are minimal. You won’t regret buying them, but they aren’t a major upgrade.
Stan is the Senior Editor at , where he has worked since 2007. He has more battery powered gadgets and band t-shirts than you. He wrote about the following ground breaking article. Typically, this is a phone, a coin, or a car. Your ultimate goal is to know something about everything.
Don’t forget to add portable, clean water