MANILA, Philippines – Without the usual big Apple event, the company announced a new, premium version of their AirPods – the AirPods Pro – on Tuesday, October 29, Philippine time.
The earphones will feature Active Noise Cancellation, and is said to have "superior, immersive sound" and "an all-new lightweight, in-ear design."
As far as physical design goes, perhaps the biggest change are the eartips. Apple will include 3 sizes of silicone tips in the box, and will also include a software audio test that is supposed to determine which size is most ideal for you. Apple says it does this by "measuring the sound level in the ear and comparing it to what is coming from the speaker driver.”
On the top of the earphones, the black grill is much bigger than what we've seen on the regular AirPods.
The stem also appears to be shorter and thicker as opposed to the regular AirPods. You can see the difference in the photos below. The first photo shows the Pro and the second shows the standard AirPods:
The AirPods Pro are also now water- and sweat-proof. You may have already seen people using the original AirPods in the gym but now, with the Pro version, they become even more viable. The eartips, hopefully, should provide an even more secure fit as well.
Active Noise Cancellation, a feature that's slowly getting to truly wireless earphones, is a key selling point for the Pro units, and allows Apple's earphones to compete with the likes of the Sony 1000X M3 and Amazon Echo Buds. The AirPods Pro uses microphones to monitor external and background noise, which it then cancels out, allowing for a more immersive listening experience.
"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," Apple explains.
Apple also touts the new device's high dynamic range amplifier for "incredibly clear sound" and a "low-distortion speaker driver" that filters out background noise further.
Adaptive EQ and Transparency Mode are new features as well. The former, Apple says, "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." The latter is an option the user can turn on 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."
To switch between Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency Modes, a user just needs to pinch the stem, which now have force sensors on them. These force sensors allow for other functions such as playing, pausing or skipping tracks, and answering or hanging up phone calls.
Photo from Apple
The Pro is equipped with the same H1 chip as the current-generation AirPods. The standard AirPods cost P9,490, and P11,790 if bought with the wirelss charging case. The Pro will ship with a wireless charing case, and costs P14,990. The standard and Pro lasts 5 hours on a single charge, but with Active Noise Cancellation turned on, the Pro will only last for 4.5 hours. The charging case offers 24 hours of battery life.
Apple has only announced the price in the Philippines but hasn't announced the official date of availability yet. – Rappler.com