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Apple Introduces AirPods Pro with Noise Cancellation

Apple AirPods Pro arrive in an all-new design with three customizable ear tips for improved fit and Active Noise Cancellation for better sound quality.

Smaller and More Durable with Improved Fit

Apple today announced AirPods Pro will be available October 30, 2019 for $249, which most noticeably have a shorter stem and replaceable ear tips for a more snug fit. They are the first Pro model, but mark the 3rd generation of the AirPod line that some expected might be named AirPods 3. In addition, they come with an even smaller charging case with Qi wireless or lightning cable (wired) compatibility.

All-New Design

The AirPods Pro arrive in an all-new lightweight, in-ear design engineered for comfort and fit. Each earbud comes with three different sizes of soft, flexible silicone ear tips that conform to the contours of each individual ear, providing both a comfortable fit and a superior seal — a critical factor in delivering immersive sound. To further maximize comfort, AirPods Pro use an innovative vent system to equalize pressure, minimizing the discomfort common in other in-ear designs. AirPods Pro are sweat- and water-resistant (IPX4 rated), making them perfect for active lifestyles.

Active Noise Cancellation

Active Noise Cancellation on AirPods Pro uses two microphones combined with advanced software to continuously adapt to each individual ear and headphone fit. This removes background noise to provide a uniquely customized, superior noise-canceling experience that allows a user to focus on what they’re listening to — whether it’s a favorite song or a phone conversation.

The first microphone is outward-facing and detects external sound to analyze environmental noise. AirPods Pro then create an equivalent anti-noise that cancels out background noise before it reaches the listener’s ear. A second inward-facing microphone listens toward the ear, and AirPods Pro cancel remaining noise detected by the microphone. Noise cancellation continuously adapts the sound signal 200 times per second.

Improved Sound Quality

Apple claims AirPods Pro deliver superior sound quality with Adaptive EQ, which automatically tunes the low- and mid-frequencies of the music to the shape of an individual’s ear — resulting in a rich, immersive listening experience. A custom high dynamic range amplifier produces pure, incredibly clear sound while also extending battery life, and powers a custom high-excursion, low-distortion speaker driver designed to optimize audio quality and remove background noise. The driver provides consistent, rich bass down to 20Hz and detailed mid- and high-frequency audio.

Transparency Mode

Transparency mode provides users with the option to simultaneously listen to music while still hearing the environment around them, whether that’s to hear traffic while out for a run or an important train announcement during the morning commute. Using the pressure-equalizing vent system and advanced software that leaves just the right amount of noise cancellation active, Transparency mode ensures that a user’s own voice sounds natural while audio continues to play perfectly.

Switching between Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency modes is simple and can be done directly on AirPods Pro using a new, innovative force sensor on the stem. The force sensor also makes it easy to play, pause or skip tracks, and answer or hang up phone calls. Users can also press on the volume slider in Control Center on iPhone and iPad to control settings, or on Apple Watch by tapping on the AirPlay icon while music is playing.

Performance

The size and performance of AirPods Pro are made possible by a revolutionary system-in-package (SiP) design with the Apple-designed H1 chip at its core. The H1 features 10 audio cores and powers everything from sound to Siri. The extremely low audio processing latency of H1 enables real-time noise cancellation, delivers high-quality sound using adaptive technology and responds to hands-free “Hey Siri” requests — all at once.

Battery Life

AirPods Pro feature the same great battery life as AirPods with up to five hours of listening time. In Active Noise Cancellation mode, AirPods Pro deliver up to 4.5 hours of listening time and up to three and a half hours of talk time on a single charge. Through additional charges from the Wireless Charging Case, AirPods Pro deliver over 24 hours of listening time or over 18 hours of talk time. Charging is as simple as placing the AirPods case on a Qi-certified charging mat or using the Lightning port while on the go.

Additional Features

  • The Ear Tip Fit Test helps ensure users get the best audio experience from AirPods Pro by testing the quality of the seal and identifying the best ear tip size for them. After placing AirPods Pro in each ear, advanced algorithms work together with the microphones in each AirPod to measure the sound level in the ear and compare it to what is coming from the speaker driver. In just seconds, the algorithm detects whether the ear tip is the right size and has a good fit, or should be adjusted to create a better seal.
  • Voice-activated Siri uses the H1 chip to enable hands-free “Hey Siri” to play a song, increase the volume, make a call or get directions.
  • Audio Sharing makes it easy to listen to the same song or watch the same movie with a friend by simply bringing a second pair of AirPods close to iPhone or iPad.
  • Announce Messages automatically and conveniently speaks incoming messages as soon as they arrive, and when on a phone call or sharing media via Audio Sharing, Siri knows not to interrupt.

Price and Availability

  • AirPods Pro – $249 (available October 30, 2019)

The 2nd generation AirPods (released March 20, 2019) remain available at the same price points with or without wireless charging.

  • AirPods with Wireless Charging Case – $199
  • AirPods with (Wired) Charging Case – $159

AirPods Pro Reviews

From Critics Around the Web

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