Apple’s got new earbuds. Announced during its big September event today, the new AirPods Pro are a successor to the ones that were originally announced way back in October of 2019. They offer a solid selection of improvements and upgrades over their predecessors, while retaining the same $249 price.
New chip = better noise reduction and transparency
While on the outside the AirPods Pro look just like the old ones, inside there’s a lot that’s new. Apple includes its new H2 chip which drives all of the technical improvements, such as richer bass and a clearer sound stage. The new AirPods Pro also come with twice the noise cancellation over the previous generation, which should help make listening sessions more immersive and enjoyable.
On the flip side, when you want to hear your surroundings, Apple includes an enhanced version of its Transparency mode. Called Adaptive Transparency, it uses the power of the H2 chip to reduce particularly loud noises when using Transparency mode so you don’t get distracted. AirPods Pro can also use the TrueDepth cameras on your iPhone to measure the size and shape of your head and ears to automatically tune Spatial Audio for optimal listening.
Touch controls, longer battery life, and a better fit
Apple is adding new touch controls to the AirPods Pro, with the ability to swipe up or down on the stem to adjust volume. Of course, you can still press it to do things like play/pause music, answer a call, or trigger Siri.
Better battery life is also coming to the new AirPods Pro, with the buds now lasting up to six hours on a full charge, 1.5 hours longer than before. With the case, you’re looking at a total of 30 hours of listening time, which is six hours longer than previously. Surprisingly, Apple confirmed that you can now use your Apple Watch charger to recharge your AirPods Pro in addition to MagSafe and Lightning.
The ear tip situation on the AirPods Pro is also seeing an improvement, with the addition of an even smaller tip in the box. So if you’re found AirPods Pro’s ear tips to be just a little too big for your ears, perhaps this will fix things.
While on the topic of design, the case of the AirPods Pro is getting upgraded with sweat and water resistance, a lanyard loop, and Precision Finding with the U1 chip in the iPhone so you can find it if you accidentally lose it. It also has a built-in speaker that dings when you try to find it.
Apple says the new AirPods Pro will go up for preorder this Friday, September 9th. The buds will officially launch on September 23rd.