The 2nd generation AirPods Pro combines a number of changes in an almost identical form and will be well received by users.
In my week of testing, they definitely produce some of the best sound you can get in this form factor. Additionally, there’s a new “personalized spatial audio” that uses the true depth camera on your iPhone to scan your ear to give you a unique sound profile.
Does it work? Does it matter? I can’t really say – I’m not sure if the before and after John Farnham and Crowded House I’ve been listening to are different or better.
The audiophiles among us can spot the difference.
The real difference this year for most users is new controls and a simpler search for your missing AirPods.
Small indentations on each arm are now pinch controls for activating noise canceling or skipping tracks, but these are also touch sensitive, allowing you to swipe up or down to raise or lower the volume of your voice.
This very simple feature is one of those that many other brands offer and therefore it has been a long time and it works very well.
It’s an unnatural touch at first, but you get used to it pretty quickly.
For those of you who seem to have misplaced our AirPods, you have a much better chance of finding them now because in the real case now there is a speaker and it makes a piercing sound when called, so you will definitely find them.
The buds are still individually identifiable, but when they’re really firmly seated on the seat cushion it’s a little hard to hear.
Battery life has now gone from four to five hours to six hours, and while not best-in-class, that’s great – there are those with eight hours or more of battery life, but I must quickly point out that I remember wearing headphones this long at a time.
Perhaps most critical to AirPods Pro 2’s uniqueness in the market is the way they approach Noise Cancellation and Transparency.
Transparency is what Apple calls mode with Noise Canceling turned off, and the sound around you is amplified to your ears.
If you push the AirPods Pro 2 against your ear, it will naturally block the sound, thus reopening the world around you when Transparency is on.
And this is pretty surprising. If you lose track of the fact that you’re wearing them, you can literally forget about it.
They sound light, the world around you feels normal, and it’s really a way to see them being worn longer.
When this really matters, when you enter a noisy area, AirPods Pro 2 slowly reduces that volume so you can still hear it – but not to dangerous levels.
It’s pretty remarkable and probably the biggest feature of the AirPods Pro 2.
Some long-overdue features and some new innovations have made Apple happy here with the AirPods Pro 2, but at $399 they’re still among the most expensive in-ear headphones on the market.
Ease of use on Apple devices is one reason many are willing to pay that amount, and for others it’s the iconic nature of the product.
Cell phones of the last 30 years
Other than the price, you’re unlikely to be disappointed with the new Apple AirPods Pro 2.