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Almost everything improved: Apple returns to take the Airpods Pro to the top

Almost everything improved: Apple returns to take the Airpods Pro to the top

almost everything got better
Apple brings the Airpods Pro back to the top

By Klaus Wedekind

After almost three years, Apple launches the second generation of Airpods Pro. In the practical test, they have improved in almost all areas. The active noise cancellation in particular is impressive and the volume control is finally as easy as it should be.

When the first Airpods Pro came out in the fall of 2019, they offered by far the best overall package, especially for iPhone users. However, the competition has since caught up, with some earphones leaving Apple plugs behind. Airpods Pro 2 now restores the old balance of power, even if the distance to alternatives like the Huawei Freebuds Pro 2the Bose QuietComfort II Headphones or the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 It is less than three years ago.

Volume control and waterproof charging case with speaker

You have to take a closer look to see the differences compared to the predecessors. On the Airpods themselves, Apple only seems to have slightly changed the positions of the microphones and the ventilation slots. But both earphones now finally have touch surfaces with which you can control the volume by swiping up or down with your index finger. An acoustic signal confirms the changes. Apple has done a good job, the controls are precise and uncomplicated.

The charging case now has an eyelet for straps and a speaker.

(Photo: kwe)

The charging case now has an eyelet on the right side to attach a strap. At the bottom, three holes show that there is a small speaker hidden there, which can make a lot of noise when you open the box with “Where is it?” look Also, the charging case is now protected against water and sweat according to IPX4.

Just like the first generation, the Airpods Pro 2 are exceptionally comfortable to wear. Plus, they fit much better and more securely than most competitors – an extra pair of silicone tips now makes this possible even with very narrow ear canals. You don’t have to play for long until they are optimally sealed. You can find out if this is the case with a pass test in iPhone settings, where the Airpods Pro now have a place at the top.

Shared configuration

Settings Airpods Pro 2 Accessibility.PNG

Airpods Pro 2 users will find more advanced settings in the accessibility features.

(Photo: kwe)

A dedicated headset app might have been a better alternative. Because one of the few points of criticism is that Apple has proceeded in a somewhat confusing way with the configuration, probably with the good intention of not unnecessarily complicating daily use. So a considerable part of the Airpods Pro setup is in the Accessibility have outsourced, which users have to find out first. There you will find the entrance first. airpods and beatswhere to regulate the sensitivity of the control.

Apple does not actually provide sound settings, but a little lower, that is, below Audiovisual exist Headphone settings. Here, for example, you can emphasize vocals or treble, and there’s even one Own audio settings. Among other things, it allows you to adapt the sound to your own hearing with the help of imported audio diagrams.

exceptional sound

However, you can usually leave the sound unchanged, because Apple has managed to make it even better than it already was with the first generation. The new drivers deliver even smoother bass, the mids are a bit sharper, and the treble offers a bit more clarity. Also, Airpods Pro open up a wide and airy stage that not many earphones can.

3D Audio Adjustment.PNG

Scanning your own ears is easy with instructions from Apple.

(Photo: kwe)

The sound is excellent, but there are headphones that sound just as good, if not better. If you want a particularly clear, neutral, and even more finely chiseled sound, you might prefer the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3, for example.

Apple still doesn’t offer higher resolution Bluetooth standards like aptX, there’s nothing more than AAC and SBC. Whether one could perceive the very subtle differences in everyday life remains to be seen. It’s just as difficult to determine what custom 3D audio will bring. In any case, Apple makes it easy to scan your ears with the True Depth Camera with exemplary animations and notification sounds. 3D sound is not activated in the settings, but through the Airpods Pro controller in the control center.

top ANC

The effect is impressive either way. The main reason for this is the new H2 chip, which is also responsible for active noise cancellation (ANC). And it does its job so effectively that Apple is once again at the forefront in this discipline. As long as annoying noise is constant, Airpods Pro filters it out almost completely.

You can no longer hear whistles on the train without music, the same applies to traffic under the window, the compressor of a construction machine or a noisy extractor hood. But conversations or noise from keyboards also significantly reduce the ANC of the headphones. That’s impressive, because only the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II currently reach the same level.

The adaptive transparency mode also works excellently. It lets in outside noise in such a way that you almost have the feeling of not wearing headphones. But it also prevents painful experiences by intervening when it gets too noisy, for example when an emergency vehicle with a siren passes by.

good resistance

Apple has also increased the endurance of the Airpods Pro. They should now last around six hours when listening to music with ANC turned on. This was roughly confirmed in testing. This also applies to the fast charging time, after five minutes in the box the headphones have enough power for around an hour of music. The charging case offers reserves for 24 hours.

All in all, with the Airpods Pro 2, Apple is once again offering the best overall package for iPhone users, even if they are expensive and fun at just under $300. Its sound is excellent and the noise cancellation is outstanding. Plus, they’re extremely convenient and easy to use with the new volume control. As usual, Android users can only use the headphones with heavy restrictions. But you can find very good alternatives.