Updated July 2021
Written by Sian Babish Authors 's image

PRODUCT REVIEW: Apple AirPods Pro 

Apple AirPods Pro deliver an immersive audio experience through Adaptive EQ, which automatically tunes music to your ear shape. They also feature a wealth of new upgrades and innovations that distinctly set them apart from the original AirPods.

Bottom Line

Appreciated by true audiophiles, AirPods elevate the joy of sound to the next level with a customizable fit and a high-quality audio experience.

Pros: Active Noise Cancelling technology and a low-latency design filter out ambient noise. Adaptive EQ detects ear shape and adjusts sound accordingly. AirPod Pro pairs easily with all modern Apple devices and offers innovative voice controls by saying “Hey Siri.” Wireless charging case provides nearly 24 hours of battery life. Active design resists sweat and water and features a smaller stem than its predecessors.

 

Cons: No onboard way of adjusting volume. Earbud shape makes them hard to clean. Comes with a USB-C to Lightning cable but no plug. AirPods Pro may pop out of ears during heavy exercise.

 

Who are AirPods Pro for? These are for people who seek comfort and great audio quality and do not want to give up either one. They are ideal for music lovers, people who like to stay active, and professionals.

 

What do they do? Enhance listening and talking via tuning technology. Offer easy, hands-free operation. Integrate easily across Apple devices.

 

How much do they cost? $249.99. Continue reading for more pricing details.


Shopping guide for AirPods Pro

Written by Sian Babish
Updated July 2021

Apple AirPods Pro have a sleek and minimalist design. Despite their low profile, they deliver high-performance audio technology, immersive sound, and comfort engineering. In a nutshell, they far outclass the standard AirPods that came before them.

 

If you are thinking of buying a pair of AirPods Pro earbuds, it is helpful to know their specs — especially when you compare them to other truly wireless earbuds on the market. After all, there are a lot of choices, even from the same company. What do you get with this purchase?

What comes in the box

When you buy a new AirPods Pro, you get a wireless charging case, three sizes of silicone tips, and a Lightning to USB-C cable. In addition, you get a quick-start guide and a user manual.


Size and weight

AirPods Pro weigh 0.19 ounces each. These true wireless earbuds measure 1.22 x 0.86 inches wide. The earbud portion has a depth of 0.94 inches.

 

The Charging Case is 1.78 x 2.39 x .85 inches and weighs 1.61 ounces.


Audio technology

Active Noise Cancellation: In this mode, the AirPods seal off the ear and filter out ambient noise. The device adjusts 200 times per second. The result is an immersive audio experience.

 

Transparency mode: In this mode, users can listen to audio while still hearing the environmental sounds around them.

 

Adaptive EQ: This technology scans the shape of your ear. It then adjusts the sound for a customized audio experience.

 

Sensors: Several sensors enhance incoming and outgoing sound quality. For instance, optical sensors start or stop sound when the AirPods are removed from the ears or placed inside the charging case.

 

Spatial audio: Spatial audio offers a three-dimensional listening experience for supported media through your preferred Apple device.

 

High dynamic range amplifier: This produces clear and crisp sound while extending the battery life of the AirPods.

 

AirPlay: If you own an iPhone or iPad, you can use AirPlay as a form of wireless audio sharing. This tech allows you to send your favorite tracks directly to a friend’s pair of AirPods Pro in-ear headphones.

 

Voice control: AirPod Pro listeners can control their iPhone or Apple Watch by simply saying “Hey Siri,” to make a call, adjust the volume, or start a playlist.


Comfort engineering

Vent system: The vent system aids in pressure equalization. This contributes to a healthy circulation of air around the ear canal.

 

Customizable fit: AirPods Pro are packaged with three sets of silicone tips in three different sizes. This helps ensure the best fit possible.

 

Ear Tip Fit Test: Get the most comfortable fit possible by running this simple digital test. The test helps you make sure your wireless headphones are correctly sealed to your ear. The best seal leads to the best noise cancellation.


Protection

Unlike the less durable AirPods 2, AirPods Pro resist sweat and water. They have an IPX4 rating, which means they can handle rain and low-pressure water splashes. However, they cannot be submerged in water.


Charging

You can wirelessly recharge the AirPods with their included charging case. The case is compatible with the Lightning connector and Qi-certified chargers.

 

Charging your in-ear headphones in their included case will also automatically update the device’s firmware. This gives the earphones even better sound and more features.


Battery

You can enjoy nearly 4.5 hours of listening time and 3.5 hours of talk time on a single charge.

 

With the charging case, you can get more than 24 hours of listening time and up to 11 hours of talk time. For every five minutes the wireless headphones are in their case, they gain an hour of battery life.


Connectivity

These AirPods are equipped with an H1 chip that creates a reliable Bluetooth 5.0 connection with a range of nearly 800 feet.


Compatibility

They are compatible with iPhones, Macs, Apple TV, iPod Touch, iPad, and Apple Watch devices running the latest version of iOS.

 

For a full list of devices compatible with AirPods Pro, look here.

 

Notably, they can pair with a number of non-Apple Bluetooth-enabled devices as well. This includes select PCs and Android devices. For detailed information about compatibility and setup, visit the user guide here.


Warranty

A one-year limited warranty is offered on AirPods Pro. It covers defects in materials and workmanship up to one year after the date of purchase.

 

Warranty claims are managed on a case by case basis. The company may repair the product at no charge. It may also exchange the product for one with equivalent functionality. Or, it may refund the original purchase price.

 

The company does not claim it can replace or repair every product. It also states it is not responsible for lost data or user benefits.

 

Visit this page for a full rundown of the one-year limited warranty.

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Extended coverage

AppleCare coverage for AirPods Pro costs $29. It covers two years of certified service and support coverage, 24/7 priority access to technical support, and battery service coverage.

 

It also covers two incidents of accidental damage protection every 12 months.

 

Visit this page for additional information.


Limitations

  • While AirPods Pro are compatible with many Bluetooth devices, there are some brand-exclusive features you won’t be able to access without connecting to an Apple device.
  • AirPods Pro can handle limited exposure to moisture. However, they are not intended for aquatic environments such as pools and showers.
  • AirPods Pro only come with three ear tip sizes. Although this will likely suit most people, there are some people who may not find a great fit among the options. Further, it may take some trial and error to figure out which of the three pairs has the best fit for your ear canals.

 

Variations

There are no model variations with AirPods Pro. However, if you buy them directly through the company, you have the option to personalize the charging case for free. The case can be engraved with select text, numbers, and emoji. This also makes a great personalized gift for a birthday or graduation. More information on customization options can be found here.

 

How much do AirPods Pro cost?

They retail for $249.99*, although the price is often lower during major shopping events.

 

If you order the earbuds through the company, you may get free shipping or free personalization options.

 

Eligible consumers may also pay for their new products over time with the Apple Card. If you need the earbuds now but would like to enjoy a more leisurely pay schedule, you may be able to get that. Monthly installments start as low as $41.50. See additional details here.

 

*Pricing is subject to change. Visit your preferred retailers for current pricing and promotions.

 

Where can I buy AirPods Pro?

They are available directly from Apple. They are also sold by a variety of retailers.

 

The company cautions consumers to only purchase AirPods Pro from authorized sellers. AirPods Pro purchased from third-party sellers are not subject to the same coverage or support

 

Here are retailers that sell AirPods Pro.

 

 

About Apple

Apple was founded on April 1, 1976 by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne in none other than Jobs’ garage in Cupertino, California. Their earliest goal was to mainstream the computer in offices as well as homes. Wayne exited soon after incorporating, leaving the company to Jobs and Wozniak.

 

Jobs and Wozniak debuted Apple I in 1976. They saw commercial success with Apple II in 1979, an 8-bit computer that was the first mass-produced microprocessor. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, Apple II was largely embraced by amateur programmers because its data could be manipulated.

 

In 1979, an “application” called VisiCalc was introduced by the company. This was a spreadsheet program that had limitless potential and usefulness.

 

The mass appeal of the computer began, particularly in the business and education worlds. As a result, the company did very well, competing in the 1980s with Microsoft, Intel, and other fast-growing tech companies.

 

Apple continued to gain a competitive edge in these markets in the 1990s and 2000s as well as in the consumer electronics space with devices like Macintosh II and iMac. Through the 2000s, it branched out with other devices. Some of the most notable include the debuts of iPod in 2001, iPhone in 2007, and iPad in 2010.

 

The company attributes much of its innovation to its corporate diversity. To date, this includes 53% of new hires from historically underrepresented groups.

 

It is also committed to racial equity and justice initiatives. It maintains high standards in sustainability and supplier responsibility, too.

 

Contacting customer service

If you have questions or need to get in touch with the company for any reason, there are several ways you can do so:

 

 

Owner manual

Don’t have an owner manual? Not to worry. Find an electronic copy of the owner manual here.

 

How to set up your AirPods Pro

Once they arrive, you may be understandably excited to start using your AirPods Pro. Here is our quick-start guide based on our experience setting them up.

 

For more detailed instructions, consult the user manual, or visit the setup support page here.

 

1.    Decide which devices you’d like to use with your AirPods Pro.

      a.    Check device compatibility here.

      b.    Make sure your iOS is up to date.

      c.    If you are pairing them with a non-Apple device, make sure the

             Bluetooth settings are enabled on the device. Follow these

             setup instructions.
2.    On your iPhone or iPad, make sure the Bluetooth is on.
3.    Place the AirPods Pro charging case (with the earbuds inside it) near

       your Apple device. Open the case
4.    The AirPods Pro will recognize and connect with the device. 

       A pop-up screen will let you know once they have been paired.
5.    Place the AirPods Pro in your ears, and adjust volume and settings

       in your device as needed.
6.    Once your AirPods are paired with your device, try each pair of provided

       ear tips to find the pair that fits you best.
7.    Register your AirPods Pro with the company, and purchase a warranty if

       you would like additional coverage.

 

AirPods Pro arrive with an initial charge, but it is only a partial charge. For best results, use the USB-C Lightning cable or your iPhone Lightning cable to fully charge them before following the above instructions.

 

Ways to use your AirPods Pro

Hands-free calling

AirPods Pro are ideal for hands-free video and cellular calls.

 

They pair easily with iPhones and other smartphones. Often, they are used in Noise Cancellation mode to facilitate unobstructed listening and talking during calls. The mode also isolates incoming and outgoing voice sound by filtering out ambient noise.

 

AirPods Pro can be paired with most computers and devices. They enhance sound quality during video calling through popular video chatting apps including FaceTime, Zoom, Skype, Google Duo, and Discord.
 

Media

AirPods Pro pair with most smartphones and tablets. Users can enjoy various types of media including music, audiobooks, and streaming. When AirPods Pro are used with Apple devices, users can utilize the Spatial Audio feature to enjoy rich, high-clarity audio.


Quiet time

AirPods Pro are often used by consumers who want to enjoy some quiet time — without any sound.

 

To do this, turn on Noise Cancellation mode to block out ambient audio distractions, like loud co-working spaces. AirPods Pro have pressure equalizers that allow enough air to circulate around the ear without causing uncomfortable pressure buildup. (With some lower-quality in-ear headphones, built-up pressure can be an issue.)

 

Common concerns

AirPods Pro remain a best-seller. However, it is common for consumers to have a few concerns before (or after) they buy the earbuds. Here are the most popular topics.

 

Original AirPods vs. AirPods Pro

Many consumers wonder whether they could enjoy the same audio experience with original AirPods. Simply put, the answer is no.

 

Original AirPods are quite good, but they lack most premium features seen in AirPods Pro. This includes Active Noise Cancellation, Adaptive EQ, water resistance, and custom ear tips.

 

They also have much longer stems, which some users find bothersome or uncomfortable.

 

While some users appreciate the quality sound of AirPods, audiophiles are better served by AirPods Pro.

 

Active wear

As truly wireless earbuds, there are concerns about whether AirPods Pro stay put during active wear.

 

Many users claim the near-custom fit of AirPods Pro helps them stay in place, even during high-impact activities like running or HIIT. Others, who often cite a less-than-ideal fit in their ears, say that their AirPods Pro pop out of their ears when they jump or run.

 

While it’s not an ideal solution, some users invest in neck cords that attach to AirPods Pro at the stem. If the AirPods Pro were to pop out of the ear, they wouldn’t go too far thanks to the cord connection.


Volume adjustments

Apple AirPods Pro don’t offer onboard volume adjustments. As a result, users need to adjust sound through their devices.

 

According to many consumers, this is not a deal-breaker — although volume adjustment is largely considered the most-wanted feature in future iterations.


Ease of cleaning

Given their compact design, some consumers find it difficult to clean their AirPods Pro. Earwax and other debris frequently build up inside the ear tips, which typically require removal to dislodge the wax.

 

Fortunately, the company has a recommended cleaning process for AirPods Pro, which you can learn about here.

 

Optional accessories

Qi charging station

For wireless charging, we recommend a wireless Qi-certified pad like this one by Anker. The pad is backed by a worry-free 18-month guarantee.
 

Charging case protector

A Charging case protector like Catalyst Waterproof Case for AirPods Pro is water-resistant and protects the device against falls. It is compatible with Qi charging stations, so there is no need for you to remove it during charges.
 

Apple iPad

Upgrade your tablet to an iPad Air to leverage your AirPods Pro’s Spatial Audio feature to enjoy rich sound and image quality while you stream.

 

Tips

  • It is possible to replace your tips. If you need a new set of ear tips, they can be purchased online.
  • Live Listen can help those who have trouble hearing. Although these earbuds are not a substitute for a doctor-prescribed hearing aid, they can be used as a “hearing aid” in some situations with the Live Listen app.
  • Your AirPods will be named after you. If your name is Jane, for example, they will appear as Jane’s AirPods in your settings. However, you have the option of changing their name in the settings menu.
  • Listening with just one ear at a time can save battery power. By taxing just one of your two earbuds, you can make the battery charge last longer.

 

How to find AirPods Pro on sale

AirPods Pro usually hold strong at their full retail price. However, they often go on sale during major shopping events like Black Friday, Labor Day, and Amazon Prime Day. The lowest price we have thus far seen is $169.99.

 

Similar products

If you’re still shopping around, there are a few best-selling wireless earbuds worth your consideration. For more details on popular options in this category, check out our page on best truly wireless earbuds.

 

Apple AirPods: These offer seamless integration with existing Apple devices and Siri at a lower price. And, because they lack the bells and whistles of AirPods Pro, they cost $100 less.

 

Samsung Galaxy Buds: These earbuds have a long battery life and fit comfortably inside the ears. However, they do not deliver the custom fit experienced by owners of AirPods Pro.

 

Anker Soundcore Life P2 Wireless Earbuds: These affordable earbuds are an ideal entry-level option for media and hands-free calling. However, they lack the premium noise cancellation of AirPods Pro. If you are unsure whether wireless earbuds are your preferred listening mechanism, you might want to start with a lower-cost option like this.