Living With the AirPods Pro: Working Hard

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Week one with the new AirPods Pro has been really good, overall. They basically take all of the strengths of the original AirPods and add to them in meaningful ways. Because of this, Apple’s newest earbuds have received almost universal praise, with only repairability and difficulty in recycling them being the only major complaints. My own experience is pretty close, so far.

The sound quality is really, really good. Really. I’ve listened to Beethoven’s 7th Symphony (the 2nd movement is one of my favorite pieces of classical music) and the clarity is quite impressive. Classical is all about nuance and dynamics and these earbuds actually capture that effectively. I also cued up Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue to see if the Pros could handle the improvisational interplay between instruments without sounding muddy. They pulled this off quite nicely, as well.

The combo of the isolation from the ear tips and the active noise cancellation are the reason these types of music work better with the Pros than with the originals. Transparency Mode has its uses when you must remain aware of your surroudings, but the sound quality is definitely diminished a bit in return. The AirPods Pro’s active noise cancellation provides the immersion that makes classical and jazz stand out in a way that they often don’t with other buds.

While the sound quality is worth the price of admission in my book, the AirPods Pro aren’t 100% perfect. Call quality is excellent, especially with both buds in and noise cancellation turned on. However, I usually keep one bud in for calls during the day and rotate them every few hours. Unfortunately, this isn’t quite as effective for me as my regular AirPods. The isolation of the tips is a little too much with one in and one out. It’s like having one ear plugged all the time, which is part of the reason I ultimately parted with the Beats Powerbeats Pro. However, that’s just my personal preference. Because of this I think I’m going to start carrying my AirPods for calls during the day and reserve the Pros more for listening to music and for use in the car.

My one complaint is very small in the grand scheme of things. I would still pay the extra money and choose the AirPods Pro if I didn’t already have a set of AirPods that aren’t that old. The excellent sound quality is worth it in my book.

 


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