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  • - I've never been able to use AirPods for two reasons,

  • (electronic music) first, they're one-size

  • fits most design just doesn't work with my ears.

  • And I know I'm not alone,

  • and two, they've got an open design

  • that just lets in so much outside noise.

  • I don't know how people deal with that

  • on trains or city streets.

  • But now, with the $249 AirPods Pro,

  • Apple has addressed both of those points

  • and gone even further.

  • For the first time,

  • they've got active noise cancellation.

  • I guess that's what makes them Pro.

  • These sound like the AirPods I've been waiting for,

  • and maybe you have too.

  • There's a lot that's new here,

  • so let's start with the case.

  • Now it opens on the longer end,

  • it's a little bit bigger than before,

  • but still fits in your pants pockets just fine.

  • And it also still supports wireless charging,

  • so you can plop the Pro's down onto a charger at night

  • with your iPhone when you're ready for bed.

  • More importantly, Apple's changing the way

  • the new AirPod'S actually go into your ears.

  • The old ones are hard plastic,

  • and they just kinda go in and sit there.

  • For a lot of folks,

  • that's fine, they stay in place.

  • But I'm someone who can't get them to stay put

  • no matter what I do.

  • The new ones have silicone tips

  • and an in the ear design,

  • and they stay put so much better.

  • Now, some people don't like how in-earbuds feel,

  • because they create the sense of pressure,

  • almost like you're underwater or something.

  • This happens because there's air getting trapped

  • in your ear because of that silicone seal.

  • So for the AirPods,

  • Apple came up with a really clever solution,

  • there's a vent on the outside that equalizes

  • the pressure on the outside and inside

  • so that discomfort of hearing your own voice too loudly,

  • that's not a thing with these.

  • Apple also designed the Pro so that the hard plastic

  • doesn't really touch your ear very much,

  • and that also prevents soreness.

  • Okay, so three sizes of silicone tips

  • come in the box with the AirPods.

  • Well, how do you know which one to pick?

  • You can run this test in the setting's menu

  • to make sure the ones you've chosen

  • produce a good seal for the best possible sound quality.

  • You're gonna hear a few seconds of music,

  • and in inside facing microphone analyzes

  • the sound in your ear canal as you're hearing it,

  • and it compares that back to the original audio.

  • If there's too much of a difference,

  • the ear buds might be loose,

  • and you're told to try another size.

  • Apple says some people might end up with different sizes

  • in each one of their ears,

  • and that's okay, as long as there's any seal at all

  • the test comes back green,

  • and you're good to go.

  • So when I took the test,

  • I got good results for both the medium

  • and large sized ear tips.

  • Choosing one really depends on comfort,

  • and how tightly it stays in your ear.

  • Pulling off those ear tips actually takes a bit of effort,

  • and they snap back on a little quiet click,

  • so you know they're on there good and tight.

  • If you lose them, Apple sells replacements in their store

  • for about four bucks.

  • The old AirPods used a series of taps on the side

  • to skip tracks or bring up Siri,

  • but now there's a new force sensor,

  • it's this little indent on both stems

  • that you squeeze to do things.

  • A fast squeeze will play

  • and pause tracks or answer phone calls,

  • a double squeeze skips to the next song,

  • and a triple goes back,

  • but there's still no way to control volume

  • with the earbuds themselves.

  • You've gotta pull out your phone or have Siri do it,

  • which is often just an awkward guess.

  • And squeezing the stem does take

  • a little bit more effort than tapping did.

  • I would have liked having the choice of either one.

  • Squeezing and holding the force sensor switches you

  • between active noise cancellation and transparency mode

  • which amplifies outside audio in a natural way

  • so you can hear traffic or flight announcements,

  • or order a coffee without yelling at the barista.

  • You can have transparency mode on whenever you want,

  • so if you liked how the old AirPods kept you aware

  • of your surroundings on a run outside,

  • you can get that same experience here.

  • But the big sell is noise cancellation,

  • and there are several ways to turn it on.

  • You can do it with the sensor,

  • you can do it in control center,

  • or you can just tell Siri to turn ANC on or off.

  • Apple's noise canceling system uses a pair of microphones,

  • one outside and one in.

  • The outside mic takes a reading of all the sound around you,

  • and then blocks that out with anti-noise.

  • And the inside mic, meanwhile,

  • listens for whatever does come through

  • and tries to cancel that out too.

  • Apple says the AirPods Pro can adjust their sound signal

  • at 200 times per second to adapt for the shape of your ears.

  • Now, I can't verify that number,

  • but I can tell you that this noise cancellation is legit.

  • It'll quiet down city streets and your office.

  • If you turn down the volume,

  • you can hear some of what's going on,

  • these aren't over-ear noise canceling headphones

  • like those from Sony or Bose.

  • On a plane you can't beat those,

  • but everywhere else, I'm really impressed

  • by what these AirPods can do.

  • Now, beyond noise cancellation,

  • you're probably wondering how the Pro AirPods sound.

  • And the answer is good, very good,

  • and way better than the previous AirPods ever did.

  • They're balanced, they're neutral,

  • and the ear tips seal results in a big improvement to base,

  • which is right where I want it to be on these earbuds.

  • The Pros have all new drivers,

  • Apple won't say how big they are,

  • and there's this feature called adaptive EQ

  • that runs whenever you've got noise cancellation on.

  • That inside mic listens

  • to how the music sounds to your ears

  • and adjusts the low end and mids

  • to make everything sound more full.

  • Turning off noise cancellation also disables adaptive EQ.

  • And you can tell a difference.

  • Now, there are headphones that offer more deeper base,

  • like the Powerbeats Pro,

  • or the Echo buds from Amazon, and others.

  • If that's your style,

  • these might not work,

  • but I think a lot of people are gonna be very happy

  • and more than satisfied by how the AirPods Pro sound.

  • These are not audiophile headphones,

  • they never have been,

  • but they're fun, and they're well suited for everything

  • from Taylor Swift to Miles Davis.

  • (funky music) So the AirPods

  • have this reputation as the best earbuds

  • for making voice calls with,

  • and that makes total sense,

  • the stems put the microphone closer to your mouth,

  • and a lot of earbuds don't have that.

  • But for the new AirPods Pro,

  • Apple made that stem a little bit shorter.

  • So my question is,

  • are these still the best way to make voice calls on the go?

  • I called Becca to see how they sound.

  • - Just waitin' for my friend Chris to call me.

  • (phone ringing)

  • - Hey Becca, I'm calling you from the AirPods Pro,

  • or the AirPod Pros,

  • or whatever we're supposed to call them,

  • but we're inside a soundproofed room, noise isolated,

  • so it couldn't get much better

  • for testing earbuds in this situation,

  • but how do they sound?

  • And this is me back on my iPhone 11 Pro.

  • Now, there's no beating a phone,

  • and now again, from the quiet room,

  • I'm using the second generation AirPods,

  • which, again, people loved for their voice quality.

  • And just as a wildcard,

  • I'm also testing the new Echo buds from Amazon,

  • which are only $130,

  • and also have pretty decent microphones.

  • But the real test is calling

  • someone outside on city streets,

  • trying to overcome all this noise.

  • The old AirPods did really well in this regard,

  • and you're hearing the AirPods Pro right now.

  • And here I am on a second gen AirPods,

  • where again, those stems reach

  • a little bit closer to your mouth,

  • and does that make a difference?

  • And here's the iPhone 11 Pro again,

  • of course the phone still reigns supreme,

  • but the AirPods sound pretty good for what they are.

  • Stepping away from Apple for a second,

  • here's what the Echo buds sound like when you're outside.

  • They're picking up my voice pretty well,

  • it's taking some time,

  • but the competition is catching up to Apple,

  • and these cost a lot less than the AirPods Pro.

  • So apple says battery life on the AirPods Pro

  • is good for 4.5 hours of continuous playback,

  • with the noise canceling on.

  • That's pretty close to the standard AirPods five hours,

  • and you get that here too

  • if you turn off noise cancellation.

  • But that battery is nowhere near the Powerbeats Pro,

  • which can last nine hours on a single charge,

  • albeit, they don't do noise cancellation.

  • Now, the saving grace with AirPods,

  • just like always, is the case,

  • which holds enough juice for 24 hours

  • of total listening time.

  • So having heard all that,

  • you're probably thinking, Apple did it,

  • these are the perfect AirPods.

  • Not quite.

  • See, much like iOS 13,

  • these can be buggy.

  • Sometimes the force sensor just stops working briefly

  • from time to time,

  • and changing modes in control center

  • doesn't always do what it should.

  • Now, Nilay is also testing the AirPods Pro,

  • and he's had his noise cancellation

  • just shut off randomly

  • until he turns them off and on again.

  • Now, these are minor issues,

  • and they don't happen very often,

  • I fully expect Apple's gonna fix them through iOS

  • or AirPod firmware updates,

  • but you're paying $250 for these earbuds,

  • and any bugs are kind of disappointing.

  • And second, you can change devices really fast

  • from your iPad to your iPhone to your Mac,

  • but you can't pair to more than one device at a time.

  • Other earbuds can do that,

  • and I'd love to see the AirPods do it as well.

  • Here's the thing about the AirPods though,

  • so much about their appeal is tied to Apple's ecosystem.

  • So if you have an Android phone,

  • you lose out on a lot.

  • You give up the instant pairing

  • by holding them close to your phone,

  • and you lose out on the ability to configure

  • what the touch controls do,

  • and so on, and so on.

  • Noise cancellation still works on Android,

  • and the sound quality