Apple Announces AirPods Pro

Apple said today that the long-rumored AirPods Pro will ship October 30 and will cost $250. They are now available for preorder.

“With AirPods Pro, we’re taking the magic even further,” Apple senior vice president Phil Schiller said in a prepared statement. “The new in-ear AirPods Pro sound amazing with Adaptive EQ, fit comfortably with flexible ear tips and have innovative Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency mode. We think customers are going to love this new addition to the AirPods family.”

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AirPods Pro appears to solve many of the problems with previous AirPods, most notably their tinny sound quality. The Pro version supports Adaptive EQ for superior sound quality (a low bar) and Active Noise Cancellation, and it comes with three different sizes of silicone ear tips for a more comfortable fit. AirPods Pro also uses a vent system to equalize pressure, minimizing the discomfort common in other in-ear designs, Apple says. They are also sweat- and water-resistant.

AirPods Pro also provides a Transparency mode so that you can hear the world around you, which will be important for dodging busses and other objects while commuting. You can switch between Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency modes using a new force sensor on the stem of the Pods.

You can learn more about AirPods Pro from the Apple website.

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Conversation 43 comments

  • fishnet37222

    Premium Member
    28 October, 2019 - 12:56 pm

    <p>I have a pair of AirPods and they don't sound tinny to me. </p>

    • jchampeau

      Premium Member
      28 October, 2019 - 1:03 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#484091">In reply to fishnet37222:</a></em></blockquote><p>Me too neither (as my late grandmother would say). I think they sound great for what they are.</p>

    • ejuly

      28 October, 2019 - 3:25 pm

      <h1><em>They are tinny and lean heavy toward bass sounds. Lots of people like that base sound because they are use to the old iphone headset. I had a pair for 6 months and went back to the Jabra Elite Active</em></h1><h1><br></h1><blockquote><em> </em><a href="#484091"><em>In reply to fishnet37222:</em></a></blockquote><p><br></p>

      • bearded_wacko

        Premium Member
        28 October, 2019 - 4:42 pm

        <blockquote><em><a href="#484149">In reply to ejuly:</a></em></blockquote><p>&lt;humor&gt; Did you type that with your headphones on?&lt;/humor&gt;</p>

    • mattbg

      Premium Member
      28 October, 2019 - 5:35 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#484091">In reply to fishnet37222:</a></em></blockquote><p>Agree – they are essentially the same quality as the wired Apple earbuds to my ears, and that's not a bad thing.</p><p><br></p><p>One reason they may be seen as "tinny" is because they are open-air, so they don't block out outside sounds. That is a big plus for me, but if you're used to in-ear earbuds then there will be a loss of fidelity just from the open-air aspect.</p>

  • bbennett40

    28 October, 2019 - 12:59 pm

    <p>Airpods PRO….LOL</p>

    • BrianEricFord

      28 October, 2019 - 4:31 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#484092">In reply to bbennett40:</a></em></blockquote><p><br></p><p>Hahaha. Wait. Why are we laughing?</p>

    • Stooks

      29 October, 2019 - 8:01 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#484092">In reply to bbennett40:</a></em></blockquote><p>Apple’s next BILLION dollar making device. Lol!</p>

  • rosyna

    28 October, 2019 - 1:03 pm

    <p>Paul, I had thought in a previous piece (or on What The Tech) you said you had never used the original AirPods before, has that changed?</p>

  • Thom77

    28 October, 2019 - 2:18 pm

    <p>Airpods Pro: Where the magic goes to 11</p><p><br></p><p><br></p><p>I still dont know how these things stay in people ears. I guess they are magical after all.</p>

    • BrianEricFord

      28 October, 2019 - 4:30 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#484138">In reply to Thom77:</a></em></blockquote><p><br></p><p>I don’t know either, but they do.</p><p><br></p><p>My theory is that 99% of the time wired headphones (and most to the point previous wired buds from Apple) pop out is due to the wire catching.</p><p><br></p><p>No wire solves that issue.</p>

      • Andi

        28 October, 2019 - 4:53 pm

        <blockquote><em><a href="#484198">In reply to BrianEricFord:</a></em></blockquote><p>In reality, down at the metro station they are collecting lost airpods by the shovel. Apple evangelist Gene Munster lost 10 pairs.</p>

        • BrianEricFord

          28 October, 2019 - 5:18 pm

          <blockquote><em><a href="#484203">In reply to Andi:</a></em></blockquote><p><br></p><p>1) Gene Munster is a moron analyst with an abysmal track record and 2) if you say so. </p><p><br></p><p>In reality, millions of people use them every day at the gym with no problems. That they sometimes fall out isn’t surprising or limited to AirPods. </p><p><br></p><p>Anecdotally, mine fall out less than my wired buds did. Scouring the data, millions and millions of people seem to have decided they fit just fine.</p>

          • Andi

            28 October, 2019 - 5:59 pm

            <blockquote><em><a href="#484222">In reply to BrianEricFord:</a></em></blockquote><p>Millions of people use them because they are: 1) deemed fashionable first and foremost, 2) they have exclusive pairing privileges with the iphone. No choice on no 2.</p><p><br></p><p>The metro story is true as it has been reported by WSJ. To be fair all wireless airbuds face the same fate. Bad design I say.</p>

            • SvenJ

              28 October, 2019 - 9:22 pm

              <blockquote><a href="#484235"><em>In reply to Andi:</em></a><em> </em>I don't get were you get this 'exclusive pairing privilege's' thing from. I can pair Airpods with anything BT, and I can pair my iPhone with any BT earphones or headset. It just works better in the Apple ecosystem…as it should…which is why people like them.</blockquote><p><br></p>

              • Andi

                29 October, 2019 - 2:00 pm

                <blockquote><em><a href="#484279">In reply to SvenJ:</a></em></blockquote><p>I'm not holding anything against Apple. I was just mentioning that the fast pairing and switching that are unique to airpods could theoretically be available to competing manufacturers. </p>

        • Stooks

          29 October, 2019 - 8:00 am

          <blockquote><em><a href="#484203">In reply to Andi:</a></em></blockquote><p>In my Family of 5 no one has lost them yet. </p>

    • illuminated

      29 October, 2019 - 7:58 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#484138">In reply to Thom77:</a></em></blockquote><p>No magic. Just super-glue.</p>

  • dontbeevil

    28 October, 2019 - 2:55 pm

    <p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34);">LOL the&nbsp;surface earphone were expensive&nbsp;for 250…now suddenly the APPLE airpods PRO are not expensive anymore</span></p>

    • puggsly

      28 October, 2019 - 4:14 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#484142">In reply to dontbeevil:</a></em></blockquote><p>I didn't see where he indicated that $250 was not expensive, but for Active Noise canceling wireless earbuds $250 is inline with most similar products. Note, this is something the surface buds lack as is the always on listening I believe. </p><p>Bottom line it is not just price, but both price and features that make people feel something is too expensive.</p>

      • dontbeevil

        29 October, 2019 - 12:16 am

        <blockquote><em><a href="#484194">In reply to puggsly:</a></em></blockquote><p>Funny that in this case you talk about features and price… In most of other cases apple provide less features and higher price</p>

        • Jeffsters

          30 October, 2019 - 10:48 am

          <blockquote><em><a href="#484310">In reply to dontbeevil:</a></em></blockquote><p>Lol…uh huh. </p>

  • dohsoft

    28 October, 2019 - 3:22 pm

    <p>£250 for a pair of poxy little in-ear headphones!! Apple really are taking the mick sometimes. I assume they are gold or platinum? </p>

    • illuminated

      29 October, 2019 - 7:57 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#484148">In reply to dohsoft:</a></em></blockquote><p>Goes well with aluminum monitor stand I guess.</p>

  • dano

    Premium Member
    28 October, 2019 - 3:27 pm

    <p>Finally "three different sizes of silicone ear tips"</p><p><br></p>

  • buzzmodo

    28 October, 2019 - 3:29 pm

    <p>I have been a long time fan of Eytomic Research earphones. Will be curious to see how the "silicone ear tips" work, as the present AirPods don't work for me/fit me at all. I highly recommend Etymotic, but you have to live with a "cord". And it's not the end of the world! </p>

  • randallcorn

    Premium Member
    28 October, 2019 - 3:31 pm

    <p>I bet it only works with the newest iPhones. Just kidding?</p><p><br></p><p>I thought the first ones were the best thing since sliced bread? Am I missing something?</p>

    • mattbg

      Premium Member
      28 October, 2019 - 5:39 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#484154">In reply to randallcorn:</a></em></blockquote><p>The first ones are great, but they are definitely not good for noisy places.</p><p><br></p><p>I have enthusiastically used my AirPods for the last couple of months, but I just took them on a flight and it was not that great :)</p><p><br></p><p>This seems to be their way of addressing that. Of course with the Pro moniker because professional earbud listeners need active noise cancellation just like professionals who resize and crop photos for a living need balls-out full Photoshop. Still, if Cottonelle can sell professional toilet paper then Apple can sell Pro earbuds.</p><p><br></p><p>AirPods 1/2 are otherwise an amazingly well-designed product if they fit your ears and you're in the Apple ecosystem. They do look a bit dumb, but it's a tradeoff.</p>

  • bls

    Premium Member
    28 October, 2019 - 3:53 pm

    <p>Thinking about trying these to (finally) consume my Apple Store credit from a phone trade-in a couple of years ago ?</p>

  • Stooks

    28 October, 2019 - 4:22 pm

    <p>If you have an iOS device that you use a any type of ear buds with the originals were just fantastic. I can only imagine these will be even better. </p><p><br></p><p>Pairing that just works and works fast compared to any other BT device I have ever used. Switch from iPhone to iPad in seconds. Battery charge indication second to none. The charging case is great. The features like pulling one out and it pausing or it working with the Apple TV as well.</p>

    • Andi

      28 October, 2019 - 4:57 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#484197">In reply to Stooks:</a></em></blockquote><p>I believe it must be mentioned that Apple makes use of proprietary BT extensions for the fast and seamless pairing and switching. Great for them but that means that any other BT device cannot match due to lack of access and not technical expertise.</p><p><br></p><p>The end result means airpods don't work as they should outside Apple hardware.</p>

      • BrianEricFord

        28 October, 2019 - 5:20 pm

        <blockquote><em><a href="#484206">In reply to Andi:</a></em></blockquote><p><br></p><p>Why must that be mentioned? Outside of Apple they work pretty much as any other Bluetooth headset would work and inside Apple they work better than that.</p>

        • Andi

          28 October, 2019 - 5:50 pm

          <blockquote><em><a href="#484223">In reply to BrianEricFord:</a></em></blockquote><p>The OP mentioned competing BT devices. Those don't have access to exclusive APIs that allow airpods to work as they do with idevices. That's OK, it's Apple's prerogative but it's not something to hold against 3rd parties. </p>

          • rbgaynor

            28 October, 2019 - 6:32 pm

            <blockquote><em><a href="#484232">In reply to Andi:</a></em></blockquote><p>Why not? Apple does something that works better than most (if not all) competing devices, seems to be perfectly reasonable to hold that against 3rd party devices.</p>

        • illuminated

          29 October, 2019 - 7:56 pm

          <blockquote><em><a href="#484223">In reply to BrianEricFord:</a></em></blockquote><p>True. Somebody buying airpods does not have anything non-Apple. Other standards? Pfft…. Dirty peasants…</p>

      • Stooks

        29 October, 2019 - 7:58 am

        <blockquote><em><a href="#484206">In reply to Andi:</a></em></blockquote><p>That is the point really. Air Pods with say a Samsung phone are NORMAL BT headphones. With an Apple device they so much more. </p><p><br></p><p>I can’t see why anyone would buy them to use with a non Apple device. </p>

  • red.radar

    Premium Member
    28 October, 2019 - 11:01 pm

    <p>I can’t wait for the pitch men on YouTube to race to publish their click bait headlines so I can watch them wear these things and make fun faces to convey the sound quality to me. </p><p><br></p><p>cynicism aside… I buy them this instant If they came in a color other than white </p>

  • wright_is

    Premium Member
    29 October, 2019 - 7:23 am

    <p><em>"flexible ear tips"</em></p><p>It has only taken them 12 years to catch up with the rest of the world!</p>

    • hallmanac

      Premium Member
      02 November, 2019 - 10:00 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#484364">In reply to wright_is:</a></em></blockquote><p>That fact has baffled me all this time. I tried the wired ones for like 2 weeks to see if I could "get used to it" and felt like I had bruises in my ear after wearing them for extended periods. But hey, Apple knows best. *sigh*</p>

  • wocowboy

    Premium Member
    29 October, 2019 - 7:47 am

    <p>Just having soft rubber tips will provide a large degree of noise isolation, making these better for sidewalk listening while still being able to hear things you need to hear for safety. Full noise cancellation will be great on plane flights and more sedentary listening. I don't consider that they look "dumb" any more at all. The market has spoken on that front with the sheer numbers of AirPods you see every day. The sticks coming out of your ears were unusual at first, but they contribute to much better voice pickup by getting the microphones closer to your mouth, and every millimeter helps in that department. I will definitely be checking these out to see how they sound.</p>

    • wright_is

      Premium Member
      29 October, 2019 - 9:46 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#484366">In reply to wocowboy:</a></em></blockquote><p>They look smaller than the previous ones, which looked like you were running around with a pair of toothbrushes stuck in your ear. A definite improvement.</p>

  • briantlewis

    29 October, 2019 - 7:16 pm

    <p>I was at the gym listening to my Sony WF-1000XM3 headphones when the announcement came down. Without hesitation I picked up a pair. The Sony's sound really good. They're terrible for calls. Airpods are great for calls, bad for the gym. Provided the noise cancelling is at the level of the Sony's they'll have a winner.</p>

  • hallmanac

    Premium Member
    02 November, 2019 - 10:07 am

    <p>Serious question, how good is the microphone on these? Noise cancellation for listening is all the rage (and rightfully so) but if I can't talk on them without being in a soundproof room, what's the point of having them for your phone? I have honestly never tried the airpods, or had someone speak to me on the phone while using them. </p><p><br></p><p>I personally have a bluetooth headset that I've settled on after years of trying several different ones. They don't have "great" listening sound quality but the microphone works quite well at blocking out sounds other than my voice.</p>

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