A report on cnet confirms that the new, and massively unexpected, AirPods Pro are due to drop into stores on Wednesday after their announcement on Monday. They come with a fresh design and active noise cancellation, and have been available to order from Monday priced at $249.

AirPods Pro. Image credit: newatlas.com

Why You Need Them in Your Life (Spoiler – They’re Awesome)

They Fit Your Ears Like a Dream

Everyone’s ears are different, and finally there’s a set of Apple earphones that recognise this! The new AirPods Pro have three different sizes of silicone fittings to go over them to make them fit nice and snug. This also makes them much better at isolating noises; the old, wired EarPods and wireless AirPods were hard, moulded plastic so couldn’t seal off other sounds from your ear canal. These new coverings solve the problem of AirPods not fitting everyone’s ears, and they are also better at resisting sweat and water in general.

The Sound is Massively Improved

The bass performance has been amped up in the new AirPod Pros, making everything better. The old design that didn’t have the perfect ear seal meant you’d lose bass, especially when you were on the move. According to Apple, the AirPods Pro “tunes music to the shape of your ear for a rich, consistent listening experience,” due to the new Adaptive EQ. 

They Let You Tune Into the Outside World

Ever been vibing in a train station, but worried you’re going to miss the platform announcement? With the new Transparency Mode and active noise cancelling, you can choose to let the outside world leak in, similar to Sony’s WF-1000XM3. The new Pros will continuously adapt to the sounds around you, with 200 adjustments per second.

You can switch between transparency and noise cancelling without having to reach for your phone, there’s a force sensor on the buds’ stem that you just need to pinch to toggle between the options. It also means that you can control your music directly, with play, pause, and skip all available as well as hanging up calls when you’re through talking.

They Haven’t Compromised on Battery Life

These new AirPods Pro let you do the standard “Hey Siri,” and call upon their virtual assistant, thanks to Apples H1 chip, along with the voice recognition feature that’s always on. This puts the new buds on par with the old AirPods and the Powerbeats Pro and Solo Pro from Beats. Beats are directly owned by Apple, and this new piece of kit is going to be direct competition to the Powerbeats Pro which has been marked down to $200 of late, with a standard price of $250.

Even with the improved features, Apple says that the new Pros have the same battery life as the standard AirPods – lasting up to five hours on one juicing when listening to tunes. Even when using the active noise cancelling feature, you don’t lose much performance and should get a good four and a half hours of listening out of them. For battery life, they’re not market leaders, with the Master & Dynamic MW07 ($300) true wireless earbuds lasting significantly longer. But when has such details put off Apple’s dedicated followers? 

AirPods Pro. Image credit: 9to5mac.com

What’s In the Box

For the price of $249, you get the wireless charging case which will work with any Qi-compatible charging mat. You’re going to need a device that’s running on a minimum of:

  • iOS 13.2 
  • iPadOS 13.2
  • WatchOS 6.1
  • TVOS 13.2
  • MacOS Cataline 10.15.1

Or later.

Apple have listened to the flaws users have found with their AirPods and have decided to spring these new AirPods Pro onto the market with little warning, but plenty of fanfare. The battery may not be the best-in-class, and they’re going head to head with the Beats Powerbeats Pro, but there’s no doubt these are going to be picked up by avid Apple fans no matter what.