I’ve been an Apple user for as long as I can remember. So when the original AirPods first came out, I bought a pair right away. I liked the idea of switching to a wireless Bluetooth option, especially during workouts (cords…burpees…no pockets on my leggings…it was a mess). But like with, well, every other headphone option I’ve ever tried, AirPods wouldn’t stay in my ears during runs or anything high impact.
Enter: AirPods Pro, which are now available for pre-order. I got a first look at the new ‘Pods this week—and they are much more customizable and allow you to find your perfect fit, something that I anticipate totally leveling up my workout game. Note: This isn’t an in-depth review, as I only got to take them for a test run (literally!). But you can get an idea of what you’re in for if you want to get yourself a pair.
The AirPods Pro feature a few major upgrades from other versions.
The two features that really impressed me are the new modes that you can turn on when listening: Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency Mode. You can switch between modes by holding down the stem (this is also how you change songs or pause your music with the new design—no more tapping!), or on your Apple Watch or in the control center on the iPhone.
- Active Noise Cancellation: The noise cancellation tech *really* works. When I turned it on, I couldn’t hear the sounds of New York City traffic around me, people on gym machines to my left or right, or even someone next to me talking. So if you’re craving an immersive experience or just want to quiet a distracting environment, you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you give this mode a try.
- Transparency Mode: Don’t want to drown out the hums of the world around you? You can easily switch to Transparency Mode, which let’s you hear both, say, the cyclist ringing her bell to warn that she’s on your left and your music at the same time, with quality sound. You’ll also notice that when this mode is activated, your voice sounds more natural when you talk to someone near you (as opposed to that “head under water” tone your voice sounds like with headphones in).
The new ‘Pods also have three different sizes of silicone tips to fit more ears—something I definitely needed. This way, they shouldn’t wiggle out when you have them in on the move, and they also create a stronger seal in your ear so that you get the clearest sound possible.
Another new feature I’m excited about? Audio sharing. Say you want to get in on a movie, TV show, podcast, etc. that your friend is listening to on their iPhone or iPad. All you have to do is put your AirPods close to the gadget and open the case, and you can share their audio (and you still control your own volume separately on your own device).
The new Ear Tip Fit Test on your iPhone helps you find a secure fit.
All you have to do is go to Settings in your iPhone, then open up the Bluetooth screen and select your AirPods Pro. You’ll see an “Ear Tip Fit Test” button—click that and then follow the instructions.
When you put in your earbuds, the app will use an algorithm to detect that whether or not the tip is the right size for you, or if the actual AirPod just needs to be adjusted in your ear. If they aren’t fitting well in one or both ears, your phone will alert you to try a different tip size.
They didn’t fall out when I put them to the treadmill test.
I’m telling you, my old AirPods (and any headphones, for that matter) would never stay in at any pace faster than a walk. (I used these little EarBuddyz to get my old ones to stay put, but I would have to remove the rubber pieces every time I needed to put them in the charging case—argh.)
So I was skeptical at first about the Pros and had to take them for a high-speed spin. The good news? They didn’t fall out once, even at different inclines, speeds, and during side shuffles. They also stayed in when I got sweaty (these are sweat and water resistant, BTW).
Heads up, though: They cost more than other AirPods, going for $249. But the holidays are coming up, just sayin’.
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