Released in 2019, Airpods Pro quickly became one of the most popular true wireless earbuds on the market, offering a more customizable fit, active noise cancellation, and better sound quality than the original AirPods. And while not cheap, they’re still much less expensive than other premium true wireless earbuds.
The Airpods Pro are the best truly wireless earbuds you can buy. Active noise cancellation (ANC) is the biggest new feature of the AirPods Pro, effectively canceling out outside noise so you can focus on your music or podcast. And they are designed to deliver deep bass and clear treble tones.
The Airpods Pro comes with three different-sized ear tips to find the perfect fit for your ears and an adjustable silicone ear tip that helps improve sound quality and create a seal for better noise cancellation. You can also customize the controls in the settings menu. Now let’s look at what makes the AirPods Pro different from the original AirPods and see if they’re worth the upgrade.
What are the Benefits of Airpods Pro?
The Airpods Pro is an upgrade from the original AirPods in several ways, and that’s clearly reflected in the pricing. The AirPods Pro is priced at $249, while the original AirPods is still available for $159.
Even the recently released Airpods 2 with Wireless Charging Case is cheaper at $199. So, what do you get for the extra $90? Let’s take a look:
The Airpods Pro has a new force sensor on the earbud’s stem. You can play or pause your music by tapping on the stem once. You can skip tracks by double-tapping and go back to the previous track by triple-tapping.
If you want to use Siri, you can still do that with the AirPods Pro. Just hold down the force sensor to activate Siri.
One of the key selling points for the AirPods Pro is that it offers Active Noise Cancellation (ANC). This feature was not available on the original AirPods.
With ANC turned on, the AirPods Pro can effectively block out external noise, whether you’re in a busy street or a crowded office. This is perfect for people who want to focus on their work or music without being distracted by the outside world. Note that they do not provide ear protection from high noise environments, such as construction sites.
Furthermore, the level of noise cancellation can be customized and even set to Transparency Mode, which allows you to hear your surroundings while still wearing the earbuds. Regular AirPods don’t offer this level of active noise cancellation; instead, they rely on a passive noise-canceling design, which doesn’t work as well.
If you plan on taking your earbuds on a hiking trip or working out at the gym, then make sure it’s the AirPods Pro you’re taking with you. That’s because the AirPods Pro is sweat and water-resistant.
The IPX4 rating means it can withstand splashes of water from all angles. So, if you’re caught in the rain or working up a sweat, your AirPods Pro will be just fine.
The original AirPods, on the other hand, are not water or sweat-resistant, so it’s best to keep them away from any moisture. Unfortunately, water resistance doesn’t mean waterproof; if the AirPods remain submerged for extended periods, they will eventually fail.
Built-In Pressure Valve
If you hate being unable to hear anything but your breathing, then you’ll be happy to know that the AirPods Pro comes with a built-in pressure valve. This helps to equalize the pressure in the earbuds, making them more comfortable to wear for extended periods of time.
The original AirPods don’t have this feature, so you may feel a little uncomfortable after wearing them for a while. Pressure build-up is not-life-threatening, you probably won’t burst your ear drums due to this, but it can cause discomfort.
Customizable Ear Tips
The AirPods Pro comes with three sets of ear tips in different sizes. This allows you to find the perfect fit for your ears. The original AirPods only come in one size, which may not be comfortable for everyone. Furthermore, a good seal is important for noise cancellation.
If there’s a gap between the earbud and your ear, sound will leak in, and ANC will not work as well. With the AirPods Pro, you can be sure that you have a snug and comfortable fit, which also provides the best noise cancellation.
The AirPods Pro has internal microphones that constantly monitor the sound coming into your ears. These are designed for noise cancellation, but they also help to optimize the sound quality. For example, if you’re in a noisy environment, the AirPods Pro will adjust the EQ to make the music sound better.
This is an excellent feature for people who want the best sound quality possible, regardless of their surroundings—adaptive EQ work by adjusting the low- and mid-frequencies using a dynamic range amplifier.
This gives the music more depth and richness. The original AirPods don’t have this feature, but you can always use your iPhone’s EQ settings to customize the sound.
Conversation Boost Feature
The AirPods Pro comes with a feature called Conversation Boost. This is designed to make it easier to talk on your phone in noisy environments. The earbuds use two microphones, one for each ear, to focus on the sound of the person’s voice and reduce background noise.
This is perfect for people who have trouble hearing in crowded places or want to be able to hear their conversation partner more clearly. The original AirPods don’t have this feature, but they have a Beam Forming Microphone, which can help reduce background noise.
Shorter and Stouter Design
The AirPods Pro has a shorter and stouter design than the original AirPods. This makes them more comfortable to wear for extended periods and less likely to fall out of your ears.
The original AirPods are designed to be as small and unobtrusive as possible, but this can come at the expense of comfort. So if you have smaller ears, you may find the AirPods Pro is a better fit.
Both the AirPods Pro and AirPods have a futuristic look and feel, but the AirPods Pro’s shorter and stouter design makes them look a bit more like earmuffs.
What are the Downside of AirPods Pro?
Despite all the new features and benefits, there are a few downsides to the AirPods Pro. One of the biggest is that they are much more expensive than the original AirPods.
Their lifespan is also shorter, with Apple saying that they should last around 2-3 years before they begin showing signs of wear and tear.
✅ Recommended Article: Why AirPods Pro Make Some Users Sick (+ Preventing It)
Pricing is one of the aspects where regular AirPods have an advantage over the Pro version. At $249, the AirPods Pro is considerably more expensive than the $159 that Apple charges for a pair of standard AirPods with the wired charging case.
That extra $90 gets you a lot of features, but it’s still a significant price difference. After the launch of the AirPods 3, the price of the second-generation AirPods dropped to $129.
Even with the Wireless Charging Case, the price rises to $199. The AirPods Pro’s price has remained the same since its debut, but it is anticipated to drop after Apple revealed that it might release the AirPods Pro 2 in the third quarter of 2022.
Short Life Expectancy
Another downside of the AirPods Pro is that they have a shorter lifespan than regular AirPods. Apple says that the AirPods Pro should last around 2-3 years before they begin to show signs of wear and tear. This is shorter than the 5-year life expectancy of the regular AirPods.
The shorter lifespan is due to the AirPods Pro’s active noise-cancellation feature. Unfortunately, this feature uses a small battery to power the earbuds, and this battery will degrade over time.
The good news is that the AirPods Pro’s battery can be replaced, but this will cost you around $50. Aside from their low tolerance to moisture, the AirPods are designed to be pretty durable than the AirPods Pro.
Deciding Between AirPods and AirPods Pro
The decision of whether to buy the AirPods or AirPods Pro comes down to a few factors. The first is price. The AirPods Pro is more expensive than the regular AirPods, so if you’re on a budget, the regular AirPods are the better option.
The second factor is features. If you need active noise cancellation or want the earbuds to fit more snugly in your ears, then the AirPods Pro is the way to go.
However, if you don’t need those features and you’re happy with the sound quality of the regular AirPods, then there’s no need to spend the extra money on the Pro version.
Finally, if you’re looking for something that will last longer, the regular AirPods are a better option as they have a longer lifespan than the AirPods Pro.
✅ AirPods Battery Life: Real-World Experience
My wife is on Microsoft Teams, talking and connecting to coworkers all day for work. She had a pair of 1st Generation AirPods, and she was constantly charging them. She now uses the 3rd Generation AirPods (AirPods 3). She upgraded to the Pros but returned them and got Gen 3 because the Pros hurt her ears.
She uses her AirPods all morning and then puts them in the case to charge during her lunch break. She then uses the AirPods the rest of the day and never has to charge them again until she puts them away for the night. She charges her case about once or twice per week, and she is an extreme user of her AirPods.
I use my AirPods Pro (Gen 1) for about one or two hours per day for Zoom calls or to listen to music and podcasts. I find I only need to charge my case once or twice per month with such light usage.
Needless to say, the battery life is the 3rd Gen AirPods, and AirPods Pro are much improved over the 1st Generation AirPods.
Apple AirPods Pro 2
If you’re looking for the latest and greatest from Apple, you’ll want to wait for the AirPods Pro 2. Rumors are already swirling about the next-generation AirPods, and they are expected to be released in September 2022.
The AirPods Pro 2 is rumored to have a new design, better sound quality, and improved active noise cancellation.
They are also expected to be more expensive than the current model, with a price tag of around $299. So, if you can wait a few more weeks, it may be worth it to hold out for the AirPods Pro 2. So what do we expect from the new model?
Fitness and Tracking
The fitness craze is still going strong, and it looks like the AirPods Pro 2 will be able to track your fitness just like the Apple Watch. Rumors have it that the new model will be equipped with updated motion sensors to track your fitness activity and report it to your iPhone.
A heart rate sensor is one of the new additions expected to come with the second-generation model.
This would make the AirPods Pro 2 a great option for fitness enthusiasts and those seeking a more comprehensive tracking solution. This will be a great addition if you are looking to get fit or stay fit, as it would provide valuable data that could help you improve your workout routine.
When Apple released the newer model of the AirPods in 2021, they made some significant design changes from the original model. We expect the same for the AirPods Pro 2, as Apple always looks to improve their products.
One of the biggest design changes we expect to see is a lack of stem, making the earbuds look more like the Beats Fit Pro or Beats Studio Buds. This would be a welcome change for many, as the stem has somewhat annoyed some users.
Other design changes that have been rumored include smaller ear tips and different color options. We’ll have to wait and see what Apple has in store for us when they release the new model.
Improved Sound Quality
Sound quality is one of the most important features of any pair of headphones. The original AirPods Pro were known for their exceptional sound quality, and we expect the same from the AirPods Pro 2.
With the new model, we expect an updated audio system that will provide even better sound quality than the current model. This would be a great addition for those looking for a more immersive listening experience.
Recommended AirPods and AirPods Pro Reading
- Why are my AirPods making a ringing noise?
- Why AirPods Pro Make Some Users Sick (+ Preventing Headaches)
- Why does my AirPod case die so fast?
- AirPods Pro: Are They Really Worth It?
- Is it bad to sleep with AirPods in?
- How To Mute Airpods (Generations 1, 2, 3, and Pro!)
- Why Can’t I Answer Calls on My Airpods Pro? (8 Troubleshooting Steps!)
- AirPods Sleep Mode: Do AirPods Pro Go To Sleep?