Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Gen) Review: Very Good in a Million ways

Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Gen) Review: Very Good in a Million ways ...

Although first launched in 2019, the Apple AirPods Pro remains extremely relevant and completely holds its own against tougher competition in the premium true wireless segment. However, three years in the industry of consumer technology are long overdue for an update. The Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Gen) is now coming out alongside the new Apple iPhone 14 series, and adding some noteworthy changes.

The AirPods Pro (2nd Gen) may not be significantly different from the original AirPods Pro at first glance. However, there are a number of changes on the inside, including a smart'''' charging case, better control capabilities, and a promise of improved active noise cancellation and sound quality.

Design and features for the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Gen)

The Apple AirPods (TWS) continues to evolve, and only one colour option is available, although the Pro 2nd Gen isn''t quite seeing much of a retro appearance as compared to the previous AirPods Pro. It''s a familiar look and feel, combined with an in-canal strap to ensure excellent noise isolation, which increases the effectiveness of active noise cancellation.

The controls are well-known, with a force-touch button on each earpiece of the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Gen) which mostly works the same way as before. Playback and answering calls are also controlled by pressing the button, as well as long-press cycles between the ANC and transparency modes by default, but may be invoked if you prefer.

Since Siri may be invoked hands-free by saying Hey Siri while wearing the headphones, this worked both indoors and outdoors. Siri''s headset-specific abilities helped me adjust volume, control playback, and place calls to contacts easily using voice commands.

The second-generation AirPods Pro is volume control on the earpieces, so you may now adjust the volume by sliding a finger up or down along the force-touch area. This is a particularly beneficial feature that simplifies buying things a lot faster and easier to use, reducing the number of times you need to pick up your iPhone.

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The Apple AirPods Pro 2nd Gen charging case requires minor changes, with the addition of a speaker at the bottom.

The earpieces are similar to the previous version, but the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Gen) charging case has quite similar shapes and sizes, although the new case also has a smallloopedhook on the right side to attach a lanyard. A plus feature is the Lightning charging port that offers MagnetSafe compatibility for wireless charging.

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The charging case may seem odd to have a speaker, but this allows for enhanced information and Find My capabilities in the earphones and case, which is quite unique and different from what you typically get on true wireless headphones.

It''s possible to see the battery level of the earpieces and case on your iOS device as long as you''re within short range of the charging case. The speaker on the case emits soft chimes in many situations, such as when the case is loaded.

The Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Gen) features a promise of better active noise cancellation, quick pairing, seamless switching between all of your Apple devices, and personalized Spatial Audio, which uses your iPhone camera to create a specific profile for you, allowing better sound with Spatial Audio.

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Both the earpieces and the charging case are IPX4. The water resistance ratings for the sales package include a charging cable (USB Type-C to Lightning) and a pair of ear tips of different sizes.

Specifications and controls for Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Gen)

Due to the universality of Bluetooth connectivity, the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Gen) can be used with any compatible smartphone, tablet, or PC. However, certain functionality and customisation-based features only work if you pair the AirPods Pro to an iOS device. There is no app for the AirPods Pro (2nd Gen), but detailed functionality can be accessed through the system''s Bluetooth settings for the headset on iOS.

The first thing you''ll see is a visual representation of the battery, both on the earpieces and the charging case. As discussed previously, the U1 chip almost instantly allows you to view the battery level of the case even if the earpieces aren''t inside. The key functions near the bottom allow you to switch between ANC and transparency modes, customize the press-and-hold gesture''s function, and conduct an ear tip fit test.

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The AirPods Pro (2nd Gen) is now available on iOS via the Bluetooth interface, as with other AirPods headsets.

Other functions include enabling the Adaptive Transparency mode (which reduces certain loud sounds even if Transparency mode is active), automatic ear detection (which now uses a Skin Detect sensor for better accuracy) and battery charging, enabling Find My, and charging chimes from the case. On iOS 16, the AirPods Pro (2nd Gen) settings appear as a dedicated selection in the settings, and you may also control certain controls such as volume and Spatial Audio from the iOS Control Centre.

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Apple''s new H2 chip, which guarantees improved ANC, audio performance, and battery life, is also available. There is also Adaptive EQ, and Bluetooth 5.3 for connectivity.

Performance and battery life for Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Gen)

The AirPods Pro (2nd Gen) is a great iPhone companion, while the earphones are a practical and wasteful purchase if you don''t have an iPhone to use. This implies that the devices are designed to work optimally with an iOS device, and that they need codec support to match.

This is largely what sets the headset back in terms of sound quality compared to the much more analytical and detailed Sony WF-1000XM4 and Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3, although both headsets must be compatible with an Android smartphone to truly unlock their potential. Interestingly, the original Apple AirPods Pro is the closest competitor to the AirPods Pro (2nd Gen).

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The Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Gen) appears to recognize its shortcomings, but prioritizes them with other abilities and features, such as careful and calculated tuning, Adaptive EQ, and Personalised Spatial Audio. The latter two account for the fit and ear shape to make the sound more distinctive, thus making all the difference in adding a bit of nuance and space to the sound.

The Apple AirPods Pro 2nd Gen is enhanced by active noise cancellation and sound quality.

Listening to Levels by Avicii, the AirPods Pro (2nd Gen), sounded silky, head-filling, and spacious, audibly outperforming the original AirPods Pro in any way. There is a sense of aggression and eagerness in the sound that felt almost infectious, with this legendary house track flowing naturally through the expansive soundstage.

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The adaptive EQ suited the bass and treble for a certain but significant bump. This was audible on similarly aggressive tracks such as Dirty Sexy Money by David Guetta, with the earphones apparently adapting to the changing rhythm and vocals of the track on the fly. With the more melodic Boogie Wonderland by Earth, Wind & Fire, the sound was completely adjusted to allow the catchy beat and vocals to shine through.

Spatial Audio isn''t new, but it offers some impressive improvements on the new true wireless headphones. Dolby Atmos tracks on Apple Music were somewhat less canned, with the AirPods Pro (2nd Gen) performing much better. This also provided a touch-sensitive effect, which was a lot less hazy and more natural as a result of the generally improved separation and imaging.

Apple claims that the AirPods Pro (2nd Gen) has better active noise cancellation than the previous generation due to the H2 chip, and I have to agree. Even with no music playing, noise was significant, though even non-uniform sounds such as commuter train horns and loudspeaker sounds a little bit less difficult than without the headphones on.

Even at an almost 50 percent volume level, music was virtually impossible to hear anything else, even in noisy outdoor spaces. On the AirPods Pro 2, there is no adaptability to the ANC, but I didn''t really miss this much due to the overall competence of the feature.

The AirPods Pro 2nd Gen is among the most natural I''ve heard on true wireless earphones, which sound almost like I had no headphones on at all. In relatively quiet environments, this didn''t even aid the listening experience, although permitting me to remain attentive to my surroundings. Call quality was excellent even on long calls, and connection stability was problem-free at distances of up to 4m.

Although affordable, Apple iPhone users will consider the connectivity benefits and features on the AirPods Pro (2nd Gen) to be worth it.

The Apple AirPods Pro 2nd Gen battery life is quite good, with the earphones running for a bit more than five hours, with mixed use including music at moderate volumes, the occasional video, and a few short calls. The charging case added four full charges to the earpieces, for a total run time of 25 hours per charge cycle.

If you have an iPhone and its charger already hooked up, Wired charging for the case will still be avoided, but this should not be a problem for you. Additionally, there is Qi wireless charging, with support for Apple''s MagSafe standard, and you may also use an Apple Watch charger to wirelessly charge the AirPods Pro (2nd Gen) charging case.

The Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Gen) may not look significantly different to the original AirPods Pro, but the changes under the hood are significant. This is, along with improvements in sound quality and active noise cancellation, one of the most powerful true wireless headphones you can buy right now. Apple users will also continue to enjoy the benefits of a seamless connectivity and device switching that makes the AirPods so great to use with an iOS device.

For the most part, the AirPods Pro (2nd Gen) will not be compatible with the Apple ecosystem; many features on the headset will not work if you don''t have an iOS device, and wireless charging continues to be consistent with the Lightning charging standards. It is therefore not recommended to purchase the AirPods Pro (2nd Gen) if your primary use-case involves an Android device. Headsets such as the Sony WF-1000XM4 offer significantly improved sound, assuming it has an Android device to use.

If your original AirPods Pro is nearing retirement, then the AirPods Pro (2nd Gen) is what you should replace them with. On the one hand, the first-generation AirPods Pro is still applicable and worth buying even today.