I don’t know if this is a review, but you can consider it a recommendation. Whether you have an iPhone or use an Android, the 2nd Gen AirPods Pro are totally worth it. I’ve used them since the beginning of October 2022, and they’re now my everyday carry headphones. I no longer use the Sony XM3s as I used to. I honestly can’t even tell where they are in the house right now as I type this.
I didn’t expect a huge obvious change when I acquired them, compared to the first gen. There is. And it is significant, both in sound quality, paring speeds, and transparency and noise cancellation. If you were planning on getting the Gen 1s, there’s no need to.
Since I’ve never used the normal AirPods, from Gen 1 to Gen 3, I can’t say anything about those. I only know the Pros are better, and if you can get them do so.
Here’s everything I like about the 2nd Gen AirPods Pro:
- Noise cancellation
- Transparency Mode
- Live Listen (creepy)
- Spatial Audio
- Ease of Pairing
- Wear Detection
- Battery Life
- Find My Network
- Fit and Comfort
- Touch Controls
They sound amazing. I don’t like overbearing bass, and they nail it. I don’t know what else to tell you. Better sound reviewers have written better articles. Like this one here.
I don’t think you can cancel any more noise, without basically building a set of earplugs. The new AirPod Pros are perfect, especially in my case with neighbours who are always dragging things at weird hours.
See, this feature makes your AirPods always stay on. And they’ve made it smart such that it reduces loud noises while still having the important sounds reach you. And it is so good, you can forget the buds are in your ears.
Creepy Mode (or what Apple calls Live Listen)
I love the idea of this being a feature that can be used in spy movies. I’ve only demonstrated the feature, never had the need for it, but it is creepy how good it works. You connect the AirPods to your iPhone, switch on live listen and place the phone where a conversation is happening. Then provided the AirPods are within range, you can listen to the conversation no matter how far, or how quiet the conversation. Should help people with listening problems.
Here is another feature Android users may not enjoy – unless your phone supports Dolby Audio (though they’re quite different). The best part of Spatial Audio for me hasn’t been with Apple Music (though it’s really good), but with Apple TV when watching stuff or just navigating the menu. I don’t know how Apple knows exactly where the TV is and how to control the sound to simulate that deeper surround feeling, but they do it so well.
This won’t be the case for people with Androids, but since I’ve slowly been sucked in to the Apple ecosystem and use all their products, I love how easy they pair with my tablet, phone, laptop and TV box. Easy, fast and seamless switching.
Apple now has some feature called skin-detection sensor. This is better than the proximity sensors (or whatever technology was used before). So whenever you take out one of the buds from your ears, the music will automatically pause. And it won’t resume even if you place the buds in your pockets, or wherever, since it doesn’t detect any skin. Auto Pause, Auto Play works so well, and so fast, everything else I’ve used before with such a feature feels like tech from many years ago in comparison.
I have had no battery anxiety in the 3 months I’ve had them. I hate that I have to charge them via lighting, but if you have a wireless charger, you’re good to go. If you have an iPhone, you now know the battery of the case without needing them to be connected to your phone. They just ping that information to your device continuously. It’s a really nice feature.
This is also only for people with Apple devices. You can easily trace each earbud, and the case too, thanks to Apple’s Find My Network. They will beep, and let you know their location in the house should you misplace them. I can’t say that of the big Sony headphones I mentioned in paragraph one – and I don’t know where they are.
There’s also now the option to have a lanyard on them, so you can hang them around keys, bags, etc. or around your neck if that’s what works for you.
Fit and comfort
I like earbuds compared to large headphones. That’s because I can sleep while they’re on, I can walk around town without looking like a lunatic, I can easily remove one to talk to someone. The new AirPods meet all that and more.
Touch and Press Controls
I like how easy Apple have made it to increase and reduce music volume from the buds themselves. Pausing, playing, and even switching between noise cancellation and transparency mode is so easy, and you don’t end up frustrated while doing it in public.
Should you buy?
Yes! Go ahead and get them. If you have an Android Phone, make sure you have a way of accessing an Apple device once in a while in order to allow them to receive updates. There’s no app included with the buds to allow for this.
A couple of problems/issues to take note of with the AirPods Pro 2nd Gen include:
- Microphones still aren’t good for phone calls, especially if you’re not a loud person. Every time I’ve made a call with them, the person on the other end of the line has complained.
- The chip included may ping other people that an unknown tag is following them. This has a couple of times at movies, and in closed parks.
- The case is magnetic and tends to stick to certain surfaces or items, depending on how you store/carry it around.