Playing with the AirPods Pro


Last Thursday, October 31, I got the Airpods Pro. As an Airpods user from the beginning, the motivation to upgrade to the Pro are two-fold — first, it is sweat proof (which means it will do better during my morning jog), and second, it is still portable (the charge case is slightly bigger, but definitely more pocketable than the Beats Powerbeats Pro that I have been eyeing for quite some time now). The interchangeable ear-tips will provide a better fit, compared to the original AirPods. The addition of the Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) feature is definitely a huge plus.

The Airpods Pro come with 75% charge, so it was almost good to go straight out of the box. The first thing I did was change the ear-tips to the smallest one, and whilst I was replacing it, my iPhone popped up the familiar Airpods pairing card. I hit Continue, and that was it. The Airpods Pro are ready to go!

Wearing the AirPods Pro is a bit different compared to the AirPods — the AirPods just sits on your outer ear, the Pro needs to be inserted a bit deeper to get the much needed seal (to block background noise). Once you have it in, go to your iPhone’s Settings-Bluetooth-AirPods Pro and run a small utility to test the fit of your AirPods Pro (highly recommended that you do this). That’s about it, when it comes to setting it up.

I wore the AirPods Pro at the mall to see how effective the ANC and Transparency Mode are. I have used a wireless earbud that has both before, the Bragi, but the AirPods Pro is far better (technology gets better over time, obviously). The noise cancellation blocked 90%, if I dare to compute, of the background noise. It definitely blocked the music playing at the restaurant whilst I was having lunch, the noise at the grocery, and the music blasting from the Grab car stereo on my home!

Transparency mode, a mode that lets sound in, via the microphones, so you are aware of your background works great as well. I turned on this mode whilst ordering at the restaurant, and on the ride home, just in case the driver starts talking to me (good thing he didn’t).

You can switch among Active Noise Cancellation, Transparency and Off modes from the Control Center, or by squeezing the AirPods Pro stems (which is shorter than the original), or by telling Siri, or even via Shortcuts.

I am not an audiophile, so whilst the quality of the sound that I hear is great for me, it is definitely subjective. The AirPods Pro package is a great buy, at least for me. You can get better sound from wired earphones, better ANC from over the ear models, better battery life from wired and bigger wireless models, but the price, performance and portability of the AirPods Pro is definitely not easy to beat. So, yes, I definitely recommend it.