Following up on the incredible success of the original Apple AirPods, the new AirPods Pro get a few new features to differentiate them from the base model AirPods, but are they worth the upgrade?
The original Apple AirPods recently got an update that added an auto-switching feature that many users absolutely love. This smart feature allows the AirPods to detect which of your Apple devices you are using and automatically connect to that device on the fly. You can go from watching a YouTube video on your iPhone to firing up a movie on your iPad and the AirPods will seamlessly switch to the active device.
The new AirPods Pro also get this feature along with everything else the original AirPods can do, but they also bring some new features to the table that makes them a worthwhile upgrade.
Active Noise Cancellation
This was a feature sorely lacking on the base model AirPods for many users that appreciate the increased usability of having earbuds with active noise cancellation. The new AirPods pro even have a “transparency” mode so you can easily hear sounds around you without needing to remove your earbuds.
Built-in Pressure Valve
Earbuds rely on a tight seal to your ear in order to provide a quality audio experience, however this seal can also cause a buildup of pressure inside the ear canal which is uncomfortable for some users. The AirPods Pro feature a built-in pressure valve to relieve that pressure and make them more comfortable to wear.
Custom Eartip Sizes
While the original AirPods feature a one-size-fits-all approach, the AirPods Pro come with multiple eartips of various sizes so you can custom tailor the fit to be the most comfortable for your ear.
The active noise cancelling feature of the AirPods pro requires an internal microphone to function, but Apple has cleverly allowed this microphone to pull double duty and also function as an adaptive equalizer to automatically tune the mid and low frequencies to improve sound quality while also extending battery life.
IPX4 Water Resistance
The new AirPods Pro feature a water-resistant IPX4 rating, while the original AirPods did not. This makes them a much better option particularly for users with an active lifestyle where the earbuds will be subject to sweat and water. (No, you can’t go swimming with them!)
Among other additional differences the AirPods Pro feature a wider soundstage, great frequency range, and are a bit smaller and more ergonomic than the standard AirPods.
However, it should be noted that all these great upgrades come at a cost as the AirPods Pro will set you back quite a bit more than the standard AirPods, but we think most users will find the new features well worth the additional cost.