First, let's go through the basics. The new AirPods Pro earphones do not replace conventional AirPods, while Apple is diligently expanding its lineup to hold the palm of the market and calm sleep of shareholders. Do not forget that there is still such a small pocket company Beats, and there also will soon be a new model with noise reduction, Beats Solo Pro. By the way, they will cost almost like AirPods Pro, 21,990 rubles.
The second thought: at Apple, as always, they come with their products to the heyday of current trends. Bose QuietComfort was once the first active noise canceling headset – and at first it was not a niche product for everyone. They went on sale in 2000, in 2003 the second version appeared, well, next year there will be a small anniversary: twenty years of the series. And now the Bose NCH 700 hold the lead among full-size headphones. But nobody has done good little ears with active noise reduction. Well, except for Apple.
The third thought: the increased interest in noise-canceling headphones is explained very simply. The society has a high level of stress. Stress seriously affects health, interferes with life, interferes with relaxation, and interferes with work. And the Pro prefix in the name of these headphones is not accidental: I'm sitting in the office now, Kazakov is walking around and saying something, Valya Tunitsky is trying to shout out to someone from another room, the DJI robot is driving – do you think it’s normal to work in such an atmosphere ? Usually I sit and get high in Bose, but now I can safely tell you: Apple managed to make a small version of Bose QuietComfort. They are really as comfortable as possible, the active noise reduction system works great here, and there are still a lot of all sorts of interesting chips. Now I’ll tell you everything. Flew!
The Lightning cable is a USB Type-C cable, don’t forget, the case can be charged using the iPad Pro (this is useful on the plane). There are nozzles here – apparently, Apple will sell them separately. Silicone cushion, mesh, tricky and at the same time simple fastening system. The case is the same as with regular AirPods, only a little was heard to the sides. It is convenient to carry it in a pocket, to open too. Headphones instantly magnetize into grooves, no confusion. And even the packing of nozzles deserves applause – and why did not one of the manufacturers think of this before?
I opened the lid, the headphones were determined in iOS, connected, you watch the introduction to new functions. Here, everything is slightly different compared to regular AirPods: press harder the volume bar and you can quickly switch between noise reduction and transparency modes.
Well, or you can traditionally do this in the Bluetooth menu – immediately choose the destination of the taps, calibrate, change the name. Calibration is a very tricky thing: music is heard, the microphone in the earphone compares the level with the level outside, and AirPods Pro understands how well or poorly the nozzle fits. Sometimes the system advises to replace it. I advise you to do a calibration, this affects the quality of music and noise reduction.
Keep in mind, like other Apple products, AirPods Pro will also receive updates, you just won’t know about it. Hi Siri, the team works just fine, the chip is like in the second version of AirPods, Apple H1.
Since the shape of the earphone changed, the sensors were transferred to the legs of the microphones: you need to take them with your fingers for action, the action is confirmed by a click (you hear it, not feel it). There are no holes at the ends of the legs. For Play / Pause, you just need to touch, to enable noise reduction or transparency – touch and hold. Since both headphones are identical, all actions are repeated here, but in the settings you can select actions for long presses. Everything is done is not entirely obvious, but in a few minutes you can figure it out.
To adjust the volume, you need to get the phone or ask to make Siri louder. The compression pads are visible in this photo – see these flat surfaces? Black parts are grids covering the microphone.
As soon as I posted the photo of the headphones on Instagram, my friends attacked right away: how they sit is the most popular question. There are two types of people, some cannot wear AirPods, the second can wear them and cannot live without them. I belong to the second category, I can walk with AirPods for hours, they don’t drop anywhere, nothing hurts, everything is ok. But AirPods Pro is made completely wrong. Their shape resembles not even in-ear headphones, but custom-made “custom” ones: you have an earbud in your ear, there is a driver in it (we’re trying to understand one or two), the driver looks into your ear canal and the silicone nozzle fixes the whole thing. Nozzles are very cool removed and fixed, you need a certain skill, but it is easier than with ordinary ones. I have already said this, but I am not too lazy to repeat it.
DO NOT BUY AIRPODS PRO WITHOUT EXAMPLE.
Do not do this under any circumstances. I am sure they will suit a lot of people, millions of buyers, but even in my usual ears, the right earphone presses a little, I want to fix it. Of course, in a couple of days there will be a habit, everything will be ok, I would buy them a second time, and a third, but you have my idea in mind.
Another point: there are no problems with inserting / pulling out, everything is like with AirPods.
Active noise reduction
Each of the five grams (5.4 grams weighs each earphone) – this is just incredible electrical miracles. Here is a healthy custom driver, and a ten-core processor, and a battery, a pair of microphones, and a pair of sensors – when you pull out the earphone, the music pauses. As for the processor, many flippers, but somehow forget that for the operation of the noise reduction, first of all, “brains” are needed. The H1 chip detects noise from the outside and delivers it in antiphase, plus a second microphone is also analyzed inside the ear – it is needed not only for calibration.
Yes, the noise canceler will not cope with the vacuum cleaner near your desk, but all the same, even sharp noises will be smoothed out, the stress level is reduced, you can sit and work quietly. And these are the only compact headphones with such an effective active noise reduction system that works better than the Sony WF-1000XM3. No noise reduction levels yet – I guess Apple does not want to complicate the life of users: the headphones themselves know how to do it well.
The mode works at the expense of microphones outside, surrounding sounds amplify. You can talk with a colleague, listen to the announcement at the airport, calmly ride a bicycle and not be afraid that you will be knocked down. Although, as Uncle Zhenya says, it’s better to ride a bike without headphones. Cool mode, everything is ok.
The Bose NCH 700 has a cool feature when you hear yourself in closed headphones – that is, you do not raise your voice, as you evaluate it as it should. This is more complicated here: I talked to AirPods Pro two times, but both times I “regulated” myself – I feel it’s not necessary to yell. The main thing is that the microphones here are ok, it is very comfortable to talk even on the street. I tried today, it was good.
Claimed 4.5 hours of headphones, 24 hours with a case. There is a quick charge, one hour after five minutes of connection. I recommend using original power supplies: for example, PSU for iPhone 11 Pro Max is perfect.
Areas of use
There is something to think about, and I will give out more information when I prepare the operating experience. Nevertheless, there are several thoughts now.
First thought: AirPods Pro is much better suited for the gym, as it has protection against water and sweat, IPX4 stated. But they sit better in the ears, and for sure, compared to conventional AirPods, they are more tenacious in intense training.
The second thought: these headphones are ideal for meditation, listening to audio books before bedtime, using different programs for sleep – when you need to play crickets, surf noise and all that. Do you know why? The answer is simple: when you lie sideways on the pillow, you cannot press the sensor. Apparently, that's why they came up with “tweaks”.
The third thought: thanks to rain protection and a transparency mode, these are ideal headphones for jogging or walking around the city, in the park, and tracking.
The fourth thought: since the microphone legs are not so protruding down and pressed to the ears, wearing AirPods Pro under the helmet is very cool. That is, snowboarding, skiing and yourself substitute your favorite sport.
Fifth thought: playing CoD on an iPhone is very good, but even for a PC it's an ideal headset. And the sounds will be positioned perfectly (I believe in it, but I must try), and the quality of voice transmission at the highest level. Especially if you decide to play on a laptop somewhere on a trip – there are such people, too, right?
The sixth thought: you definitely should buy these headphones if you work in noisy places, use only Apple technology, do not want a large model and generally try to optimize your technology (tablet instead of a laptop and all that).
Well, I’ll save the remaining guesses for the operating experience. At the same time I’ll try everything.
Sound and music
A custom driver is used here, but so far nothing is clear about the amplifier – I think I will be back to you soon with more detailed information. Even more amazing is how one driver produces such a wide dynamic range. There are no obvious failures in the high frequencies or in the middle, the bass is cool.
But everyone has their own preferences, and in our office from AirPods Pro so far only I have fully kicked, but my colleagues didn’t appreciate the sound. You ask: so who to believe? You can only trust yourself.
Apple tuned AirPods Pro for a wide audience of consumers, and whatever the driver is, a lot depends on the content, on the device, and on your preferences. I believe that the company's many years of trying to give users a middle ground in a variety of ways – whether it is the quality of shooting on iPhone cameras, sound in AirPods, a picture on a MacBook monitor – these attempts deserve great respect.
And I would rate the AirPods Pro sound as excellent for Bluetooth headphones. Want to improve it – load FLAC, warm AirPods Pro (no matter how funny it sounds), enjoy. It has its own equalizer. At your disposal are Apple Music and Tidal. Well, for now I will include the Rubberband album of the incomparable Miles Davis and get my portion of positive vibrations.
But if you fly to the ground, then Apple should seriously experiment with the following headphones and use a separate driver for high frequencies and a separate medium-low frequency driver. And then it will be very good – however, maybe it will be so in AirPods Pro 2?
I’ll also say for all fans of electronic music: brothers, this will fly away. In general, I listened to many different genres, for electronics this is a 100% hit. But for vocals, not really.
The last thought about sound: compared to AirPods, this is a completely different matter – you can’t talk about superiority or, conversely, losing. Different character of sound, different sensations, emotions.
I chose AirPods Pro for daily use.
In retail, headphones will cost 21,000 rubles, in the United States cheaper, but there is another problem: the next deliveries have already moved to mid-November. It is gratifying that Apple did not begin to set a barrage price on an innovative product, so AirPods Pro is available to most consumers. Like the original AirPods, they are now in demand. So if you want to give someone a gift for the New Year, then now it’s worth taking care of the purchase.
I liked the implementation of the active noise reduction system, how the “Transparency” mode was made, the ease of control and settings in the Apple style. This is an ideal modern headset for those who want to avoid stress – but here there is a certain contradiction.
Still, it’s not really headphones anymore, and the product is on the verge between audio, communication and, say, clothes – we don’t leave our house without shoes and do not forget AirPods, otherwise what to do on the way to the metro or while sitting in line?
And this is not quite a headset – the talk time is steadily decreasing for most people, everything goes into correspondence.
However, here we will not invent a name for product categories. There is a name, AirPods Pro, they are so alone, without competitors, unique and very, very, very good. Buy it soon.
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