12.5 C
New York
Wednesday, December 23, 2020
Home News Apple AirPods Pro Review: Best Buds

Apple AirPods Pro Review: Best Buds

DT Editors’ Choice

Apple AirPods Pro review: best buds

Score Details

“Shockingly good, the AirPods Pro are a huge win for Apple.”

  • Clear, engaging sound
  • Excellent noise canceling
  • Comfortable
  • Superior call quality
  • Wireless charging case
  • Questionable long-term battery life

I can’t recall the last time an Apple product went from credible rumor to product-on-shelf in under three weeks, but that’s essentially what happened with the new AirPods Pro.

When Apple finally confirmed their existence, their proper name, and their arrival date, many of us in the tech media were caught by surprise. Yet, here we are. You can now purchase the AirPods Pro — a new in-ear version of the wireless buds with active noise-canceling — for $250.

I wasn’t expecting much from the AirPods Pro other than the fact that they would almost certainly fly off the shelf. The standard Apple AirPods never impressed me, though I will admit I understand why tens of millions of people use them: AirPods are as much a communication tool as they are a way to listen to music and movies. But, much to my surprise, Apple has a legitimately excellent pair of buds here.

I’ve spent several hours using the AirPods Pro, comparing them against the much less expensive Amazon Echo Buds, and the comparably priced Sony WF-1000XM3, to determine how they stack up. Here’s what I’ve determined.

Still iconic, only smaller

Apple hasn’t abandoned its golf-tee design for the AirPods Pro — the tee is just a bit shorter now. Rather than opt for a large disc or oval shape as we see with so many competing wireless buds, the AirPods Pro offer a more covert aesthetic than their non-pro counterparts. Love it or hate it, the design has become iconic, and even a sort of badge of honor for the Apple faithful.

The shorter stem raises my only real concern. Battery life. We know the battery isn’t replaceable, and though Apple does offer a “Battery Service” option for its AirPods, it amounts to a slight discount on a pair of brand-new buds.

That’s already a problem when the longevity of the super-small, noodle-shaped battery in the standard AirPods is limited to 2 to 3 years of charging cycles. With the AirPods Pro, I fear this issue may be exacerbated since the battery is necessarily smaller.

Impressively, the Pro has similar battery performance to the standard AirPods, clocking in with roughly 4.5 to 5 hours of listening time and/or 3.5 hours of call time per charge, with over 24 hours of charging capacity coming from the included wireless charging case (the wireless charging case is an upgrade for the standard AirPods).

Here’s a tip for ya

Aside from the shorter stem, the most obvious visual change to the AirPods playbook is the addition of a silicone eartip.

Rather than sit outside your ears and shout at them through the door, allowing plenty of other outside noise in, the AirPods Pro adopt an in-ear design which has them seal up the entrance to the ear canal and broadcast sound straight down the hallway to your eardrum. This seal is essential for blocking out noise and, as a bonus, delivers better bass response.

The AirPods Pro come with three sets of silicone eartips — no Comply foam folks, sorry — but these are not ordinary eartips. Instead of (with difficulty) sliding onto a little nubbin, as so many other in-ear buds require, the AirPods Pro tips snap on with a satisfying click which is both easier to swap out, and just as secure as, the more conventional design.

Siri’s always listening

As expected, Siri is on-deck for iOS users, constantly listening for voice commands like “call Mom,” “pause music,” “how do I get to the gym,” and my personal favorite, “what does the fox say?”

If you want to control music playback, answer a call, or turn noise canceling on and off without speaking a word or pulling your phone out of your pocket, you can use touch controls built into each of the two earbud stems. It would actually be more appropriate to call these “grab controls,” or perhaps “grip controls,” since you must grasp and squeeze the stems.

If you’re an Android user and want to call up Google Assistant, you’ll want to head to the Google Play store and download one of the many apps designed to make the AirPods work on an Android phone as they do on an iPhone.

Let it in or shut it out

As is now common with most active noise-canceling headphones, the AirPods Pro offer the option to either shut noise out or let it all in.

Apple calls the latter feature “Transparency Mode,” and its an apt title. As we found to be the case with the Beats Solo Pro, the sound piped in from the outside world is surprisingly natural — as close to just pulling the buds out as we’ve heard yet.

This will be great for keeping tabs on that bus that’s about to mow you down in an intersection. I do wish the feature was adjustable, as it is in the Amazon Echo Buds, where I can choose how much of the outside world to dial in.

More impressive than Apple’s transparency mode is how well its noise-canceling tech works. I was shocked, frankly. I’ve not been impressed with the Beats brand of noise canceling since Apple bought the company, so I didn’t expect much from the AirPods Pro, but Apple’s first go at active noise canceling is right up there with Sony and Bose.

In fact, when I first slid the second AirPod Pro into my ear (which is what activates noise canceling — it turns off when one bud is removed) I had the same unsettling whooshing sensation I experienced when I first put on the Bose QC 35II many years ago. The effect is immediately noticeable and very impressive.

I compared the AirPods Pro to the Sony WH-1000XM3 in every noisy environment available to me — the office, streets bustling with buses, on a light-rail train, and pretty much everywhere but on a plane — and found that the noise-canceling effect between the two was virtually indistinguishable. I have not yet had the chance to compare the AirPods Pro to the Bose Soundsport Free, but I anticipate a similar experience.

Also, a note about call quality. The Apple Airpods Pro beat the pants off of the Sony WH-1000XM3 for phone calls. Not only did they handle windy conditions better, but they all but eliminated background noise. I stood right next to a bus engine during a call, and it was almost inaudible. Bose will probably come out with a new product that leads the pack in call quality, but the AirPods Pro should hold up very well for most users.

Clean, full, detailed

Just as I was taken aback at how great the AirPods Pro did noise canceling, I am equally impressed with sound quality. Sure, I’ll take the sonic profile of the Sony WF-1000XM3 or the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless in a head-to-head comparison, but the fact that the AirPods Pro are even in the same league is, again, something of a shock.

Hats off, Apple. You done good.

I don’t consider the AirPods Pro demographic to be the most discerning audiophiles, so I think most owners will find the sound quality impressive. Buyers will be more than satisfied. But the fact that the AirPods Pro can resolve fine detail, have full, rounded bass that is as tuneful as it is punchy, clear mids, and palpable transient response to go with some zesty treble, is remarkable considering Apple’s lackluster history in the sound quality department.

Hats off, Apple. You done good.

Our Take

Apple’s Airpods Pro don’t have to be great for people to buy them. Their simple interface assures iPhone owners will treat them as the default. So, the fact they are great is all the more remarkable. Even Android owners may want to give them a look.

Is there a better alternative?

The aforementioned Sony WH-1000XM3 will offer slightly superior sound quality at the sacrifice of call quality and compact form factor. The Amazon Echo Buds are much less expensive, but they don’t sound as nice and aren’t as effective at noise canceling.

How long will it last?

Based on reports of original AirPods petering out after 2 -3 years, I’m going to guess the AirPods Pro are destined to experience battery failure in roughly the same time frame.


The AirPods Pro come with a one-year limited warranty against manufacturer defect only — this does not cover any damage. Add AppleCare+ for $29 and you’ll get much better protection for up to two years.

Should you buy it?

Yes. These are a great set of compact, comfortable, and remarkably effective true wireless earbuds.


Master & Dynamic announces 25% off one day sale for 12/26

What better way to begin the new year than with some bumping tunes? If that’s your goal, premium audio brand Master & Dynamic has your back.On December 26th, Boxing Day, Master & Dynamic is offering 25% off orders with code BOXING20. For example, you can get their MW07 PLUS true wireless earbuds, which you can read the review of here, for $224. If you’re looking for wireless over-ear headphones, you can get the MW65 for $374, over $100 off the MSRP of $499.This sale runs from 12/26 through 2:59AM EST on 12/27 and excludes Gift Cards, Gift Wrap & Monogramming, and the BAPE, Temi Coker, and Away collections. It cannot be combined with any other discount or offer.

ZINGR – local house party app to make friends near me with similar interests

Meeting people isnt a very easy thing to do during the lockdown, but for luckily there are many social and dating apps to help us. While most of us want to search for like-minded people, sometimes we need to first figure out what exactly our interests are before looking for them in others.Take some time to think about what it is that motivates you, excites you, or makes you think about spending time on it. Once you’ve figured out your interests, the next thing you need is a great site that gets you that perfect setup so that you can easily meet and chat with someone based on those interests.Finding a stranger who’s all-ears and willing to listen to whatever you have to say for as long as you want can be a challenge without the right tools. Local app ZINGR is one of the best apps you should try for connecting with people around you with similar interests. This social network helps users discover nearby people so they can can share videos, photos, stories and more with their local communities. This app is great for making new friends with similar hobbies and interest or for just chatting up nearby strangers.Connect people nearby to find new friendsBased on your interests and current location, ZINGR uses nearby hashtags to recommend like-minded people around you. This app use GPS to get your location and to show you the nearest people as well as the most trending posts in your city. This is a great way to connect people around you and to know what is happening nearby.ZINGR is simple to use; if you would like to connect people who, for example love to play PlayStation, just add some hashtags with #playstasion and the app will discover local people who are into gaming as well. It is a quick and easy way to find new friends who love to do the same things and/or meet them in real life.ZINGR – House party app to find local friends during Covid-19As we all know, the coronavirus pandemic has closed night clubs, bars, and restaurants and cancelled most of events. However, it’s also given rise to private parties and virtual gatherings are pretty viral. People are searching for other ways to have fun and connect.A lot of people during the pandemic have used popular hashtag #houseparty on social networks to meet people for a private party. This hashtag is also popular on ZINGR. Local, in-person private parties are forbidden by many local governments during the pandemic as it is one of the key ways in how Coronavirus is spread. ZINGR is an alternative that hopes to provide a virtual approach to meeting and mingling.ZINGR app is maybe one of the best apps to find new local friends; however, during the quarantining, stay-at-home, and isolation, people should follow the recommendations and stay safe at home. The CEO of ZINGR Kęstutis Gedaitis hopes that the most trending worldwide hashtag #houseparty will be replaced by #stayhome and people will stay at home and use social apps to communicate with their family and friends online during the lockdown, as this is one of the best and safest ways.EDITOR NOTE: This is a promoted post and should not be viewed as an editorial endorsement.

iMyFone AnyRecover review

Your personal data is like digital currency. And much like your banking account, you want some failsafe to keep that data secured. However, despite all our efforts, sometimes we just mess up and delete something we shouldn’t have. That’s where AnyRecover from iMyFone comes in.Recover almost any fileThe AnyRecover data recovery tool is great for making sure that the file you need is always a few clicks away. Even if you’ve deleted it from your hard drive. See, digital files may look gone, but most operating systems still hold that space until a new file needs it.This gives a program like AnyRecover a chance to attempt to salvage that file and bring it back to life. This includes deleted files by right-click menus, emptying the Trash/Recycle bin, and even partition destruction.What kind of files can you resuscitate? Well, AnyRecover can restore most of your major file types: docx, jpg, avi, zip and even exe are just a few. Basically, if Windows supports the format, so does AnyRecover. That includes trying to recover data from an SD card or external hard drive.How to get back your zombie filesFirst, you need to download AnyRecover from the iMyFone website (.exe file). Once installed, you can choose a location you’d like to scan for recoverable files. This can include a folder, shortcuts like My Desktop or Documents, Recycle Bin, or even an entire hard drive.With the files scanned, you are then presented with a list of items that AnyRecover has a very good chance to restore. From there you can check the boxes next to files you’d like to have back in your life.You can even preview files before you click the Recover button. This comes in especially handy with images or documents that may have somewhat random naming schemes. The preview gives you the opportunity to see if it’s the correct file beforehand and confirm.Works like a life raftIn my testing, I’ve yet to find a deleted file using the Windows operating system that AnyRecover couldn’t find the remnants of. I intentionally deleted several files and AnyRecover was successful in restoring them.Impressively, it even found older deleted files from a few weeks back. The Recycle Bin feature is also handy as it takes on the recently emptied bin and allows you to recover those as well. Essentially it’s a double restore from a deleted file that you then purged from the Recycle Bin.All Sorts of FeaturesThere is a wide array of features and benefits for using the AnyRecover data recovery tool, including the following.Fast scanning with pause and resumePare results by date, type, or nameDo-it-yourself is better than sending your PC offsiteMore than 1,000 file types supportedWorks with damaged hard drives, crashed PCs, and formatted devicesRecover files from hard drives, flash drives, SD cards, SSDs, and moreThere’s one catchAnyRecover is extremely useful in restoring previously deleted files. However, the free trial can only bring back three files before you have to purchase. If you still have a need you’ll require a license subscription.AnyRecover provides free scans, free previews, and lets users recover three files for free. If the users are satisfied, they can proceed to buy it. Additionally, it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.Customers have the options of monthly, yearly, or lifetime at $49.95, $59.95, and $79.95 respectively. This will give you free reign to recover all those lost files for a single PC.SolidiMyFone has put forth a great offering with the AnyRecover data recovery tool. This software allows users both novice and experienced to restore deleted files. The interface is well-designed and intuitive to get user’s files back in order.Although it may appear to have a pretty steep price tag, AnyRecover is competitively priced and offers a solution to problems that many PC users experience. Whether you’ve simply made a mistake or had a crash, you get a unique and helpful option to restore your coveted data.Learn more about AnyRecover at its website or head directly to the page to download it directly (.EXE) and get started.For a limited time you can save 30% on your purchase as part of a holiday discount. That puts the price as low $35 right now!EDITOR NOTE: This is a sponsored product review, however the views and opinions expressed here are entirely those of AndroidGuys. No editorial consideration or adjustment was made on behalf of the sponsor.

Leave the old wallet behind and get the best Galaxy S20 FE wallet case

The Galaxy S20 FE is one of the best Android phones of the year, but for some added versatility, you'll