Apple finally took the wraps off the AirPods Pro. Just like rumours have suggested, the new pair of wireless earbuds come with active noise cancellation; a feature that’s becoming increasingly common on truly wireless earbuds.
Noise cancellation isn’t the only feature that differentiates the AirPods Pro from the regular AirPods. For starters, the premium earbuds sport a new design with a shorter stem, along with flexible ear tips for better fit. Three different sizes of silicone tips are provided with the wireless earbuds, so you should be able to find one that fits you just right.
If you’re not quite sure you’ve chosen the right tip size, the AirPods Pro offer an “ear tip fit test.” According to Apple, the earbuds would “measure the sound level in the ear and compare it to what is coming from the speaker driver” to determine if you’ve got a good fit. It remains to be seen just how well this would work, but it will certainly make it easier for users to find the right tip size.
Like other wireless earbuds with active noise cancellation, the AirPods Pro also has an ambient mode, which allows you to hear your surrounding. Apple calls it Transparency Mode, and it can be activated by pressing and holding on the new Force Sensor located on the stem of the earbuds.
Of course, the Force Sensor can also be used to control music playback. Press on it once to play or pause – you can also answer a phone call this way – press twice to skip forward, or press the sensor three times to go back a track.
Naturally, Apple promises superior audio quality with the AirPods Pro. One way it does this is with Adaptive EQ; it supposedly “tunes the low- and mid-frequencies of music to the shape of an individual’s ear,” as Apple puts it. The Cupertino company elaborated that this would offer a rich, immersive listening experience.
Active noise cancellation on the AirPods Pro, on the other hand, detects external sound with an outward-facing mic, which are then canceled out by the earbuds. There’s also a second inward-facing mic that listens toward the ear, allowing the AirPods Pro to cancel any remaining noise detected. Apple says this is done continuously 200 times per second.
Other specifications of the AirPods Pro include sweat and water resistance (IPX4), up to five hours of battery life – switching on active noise cancellation and Transparency Mode bring it down to 4.5 hours – a charging case that can provide up to 24 hours of listening time, as well as support for wireless charging.
While the exact availability of the new AirPods Pro in Malaysia has not been revealed yet, we do know how much it will cost here. Retailing at RM1,099, the AirPods Pro are not particularly affordable. As a point of comparison, Sony’s own WF-1000XM3 offers similar feature set for only RM949.
Then again, the audio quality of the AirPods Pro could justify the asking price. We’ll just have to wait for the earbuds to start shipping to consumers to find out.