I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with AirPods. On one hand, I adore their design and ease-of-use — but, on the other, I think lots of the people who use them are terrible.
Well, friends, gather round; there’s something I have to tell you. Okay, let me take a deep breath. Here we go. I’m now undeniably a terrible person, and it’s all down to the AirPods Pro.
When Apple first announced the latest version of its true wireless earbuds, I was intrigued, but far from excited. Yeah, they looked like an improvement over the previous generation, but also seemed an exercise in branding and marketing.
Well, I shouldn’t have been so negative: The AirPods Pro are an excellent pair of true wireless earbuds.
Over the past couple of months, the earbuds have moved from being something I tested and tried out, to an item I have in my pocket wherever I go. They’re honestly one of the first things I grab if I’m going out of the house. And here’s why.
The AirPods Pro’s design and fit
One of the biggest issues I had with the original AirPods was the way they sat in my ears. While I liked them, I literally couldn’t use them to cycle or walk with — let alone do some proper exercise — as they’d fall out constantly.
I might have weird ears, but surely creating headphones that stay in your fucking ears is one of the first things you’d do in the design process? Or, maybe, this is further evidence to why I’m not an engineer.
Anyway, Apple fixed this dumbass issue with the AirPods Pro.
The silicone tips means they actually stay put when moving around. This, combined with IPX4 water resistance, means you can use them both for going about your daily business (like the adult you truly are) and getting all clammy in the gym.
That’s called being multipurpose — a big reason why these suckers follow me like a bad smell. In a good way.
They’re so goddamn easy to use
Are you an Apple user? Then, my blessed child, you’ll find the AirPods Pro more convenient than a supermarket opening up at the end of your road.
One of my big bugbears with normal Bluetooth headphones is how annoying switching between devices can be. The AirPods Pro don’t suffer from this. Just bring up the audio menu on your Apple device (shout out my iPhone, iPad, and MacBook users), and select your earbuds.
That’s it. That’s all there is it. All that is what there is. Good.
Due to not having much going on in my life, I love this feature. It’s this seamlessness that keeps bringing me back to the AirPods Pro.
The noise-canceling is fantastic
Yes, Apple has found itself embroiled in a bit of controversy over changes to the AirPods Pro’s noise-canceling, but, overall, the way they work is fantastic.
This feature is one of the reasons why the AirPods Pro now go with me on whatever boring adventures I get embroiled in. While I have over ear headphones with noise-canceling on me regularly, they can’t match the portability of having the AirPods Pro in my pocket. You know, for when you have to go to the, uh, club and, erm, throw some, um, movements to the, err, sound box.
Even when I’m not listening to music, I often pop Apple’s earbuds in when I’m writing or need to focus, as they do a fantastic job in blocking out just enough extraneous noise to make concentrating far easier.
I’ve also found that having noise-canceling headphones over my ears can sometimes make me feel a bit nauseous — something I’ve never experienced with the AirPods Pros. And, you know, not feeling physically sick while you’re trying to work is an undeniable Good Thing.
Unless you’d rather go home, at which point feeling rough would help.
Listening to them is exciting
When I test a pair of headphones meant to be used day-to-day, one of the things I look for is excitement. Yeah, there’s a lot to be said for finely balanced headphones that deliver incredibly precise sound — but for most people, they want their headphones to get them pumped.
And the AirPods Pro do that.
Yeah, if I’m looking to really sink into an album, I’ll reach for one of my over-ear pairs of headphones. But if I’m just taking the bins out, or popping for a smoke, the AirPods Pro are perfect for producing some head-bopping, full-throttle noise. Which is another reason why the damn things are always in my pocket.
Not everything is rosy though
It’d be ridiculous of me to talk about the AirPod Pros and not mention their downsides. Yes, they do a lot of stuff right but they aren’t perfect. Also, complaining is fun.
First off, price. $250 is damn expensive for a pair of wireless earbuds. Currently, you can get Sony’s noise-canceling WF-1000XM3 earbuds for under $200 — and I’d say they deliver a better audio experience.
On that note, if you are looking for accurate audio, the AirPods Pro probably aren’t for you. Like I said, they’re fun to listen to and sound great, but they aren’t audiophile-quality.
The control function on the AirPods Pro could also be improved. Basically, on the stem of the earbud is an area you squeeze to pause and play music, or turn noise-canceling on and off. While I’m not used to this, it is pretty fiddly. The older method of tapping on the bud was superior.
Overall though, the AirPods Pro are great
Although they have some downsides, I’ve not found a pair of true wireless earbuds that have the same overall balance as the AirPods Pro. Of course, this might be different if you’ve got an Android device, but as an iOS user the AirPods Pro are the perfect pair of lifestyle headphones.
They’re portable, work seamlessly across my devices, and are just so fucking convenient.
That’s why, months after they were released and having tried a lot of different earbuds, the AirPods Pro have weaselled their way into my everyday life. And I’m cool with that.
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Published March 2, 2020 — 12:32 UTC