In October 2019, Apple presented its first in-ear models with the AirPods Pro. Can they replace headphones like the Bose HeadPhones 700? Are they comparable to other in-ear headphones on the market? Should you switch from AirPods 2 to AirPods Pro? You will know everything in our test!
AirPods Pro review in the video
For each of the products I tested, here is my video opinion on these AirPods Pro. If you like the video, don’t hesitate to subscribe to our Lemon Squeezer YouTube channel. If you have any questions, I’m here in the comments to help you answer them. I did this review of the AirPods Pro for several months (and still use it today). I think I’ve had enough time to give you full feedback.
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A revised design
First up, the first point of my AirPods Pro review, the design. They are thicker, but especially shorter than the AirPods 2. They give the impression that they protrude a little more from the outside, but in reality they protrude less from the ear. Not much changes every day, but I drop the AirPods Pro less than the 2 when I take off my bike helmet.
The real change is less visible from the outside, but very important. Anyone who says in-ear headphones also says tips. These provide a better grip on the AirPods Pro, and some relatives who have never used AirPods-compatible hearing failure can use the Pro. Since it is always difficult to replace the ears (…!), Now you have a solution.
In the box you can choose between 3 different cap sizes. A new feature in iOS 13 lets you run a sound test that lets you use the microphones on the AirPods to determine if the size is right for you. Very handy when you want to get the best discount possible. I’ve tested quite a few in-ear headphones in my life, and the AirPods Pro are the first ones that don’t give me the squeeze.
Another essential point from an aesthetic point of view: the charging box. It’s bigger than the AirPods, but if you put it upright the difference isn’t that big and it still fits in your tiny pocket. It’s a little less easy to put the AirPods Pro headphones down, but that’s a habit, and the more I’ve tested these AirPods Pro, the more movement and sense made.
AirPods Pro at the best price base price: € 279
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AirPods Pro, a real development
When it comes to technical characteristics, some things are changing. Together, 24-hour listening is possible thanks to a fully charged case, and the headphones last a little longer than 4 hours. With these devices, fast charging is still in the game. Charging for 5 minutes (wired) saves 1 hour of listening time. Every day I didn’t notice any change compared to my AirPods 2.
However, the real novelty of these AirPods Pro is the audio quality. The quality itself is better than that of the AirPods 2. Of course, the AirPods Pro earbuds don’t match the sound quality of the Bose HeadPhones 700 or Sony’s WH-1000XM4, but I think the quality is excellent for such a small size.
The other major novelty that interests this AirPods Pro review is the introduction of active noise cancellation. As is so often the case, it combines 2 methods. The first is passive noise reduction thanks to plugs that allow less air to pass between your ears and your eardrum. The second is active noise cancellation, which is very successful for wireless headphones. To put it simply, AirPods Pro’s internal and external microphones continuously (up to 200x per second) pick up what you hear and what is ambient noise.
To reduce the noises that are still in your area, active reduction creates and cancels the opposite noises to the noises around you. I’m used to headphones (QC35, then HeadPhones 700 daily, in addition to the ones tested for the websites), and I find a cut down on the AirPods Pro almost as efficient. If you put them on, it will only bluff. I waited several days for this AirPods Pro review because I had to fly and the comfort is really there.
I’m not an audio expert, I’m not going to offer you extensive benchmarks that I wouldn’t understand myself. In fact, the AirPods Pro are better than the AirPods 2, and the difference in sound quality and noise reduction between them and my headphones is so small for me that I can go without headphones today. Especially since AirPods Pro are much more comfortable when listening for long periods in a noisy environment.
Water and sweat resistance are also part of the game, and AirPods Pro are fun to exercise. All you have to do is choose the correct silicone tip so that it stays securely attached to your ears.
Great on iOS, great on Android
I am an Android user and I was wondering about their compatibility before purchasing these AirPods Pro. That was never a problem with the classic model. I was wondering how to handle noise reduction on Android and it’s very good. When you get them, long press the back button will sync them and the default shortcuts are the right ones for me.
Under iOS, you can adjust the behavior of long presses on the touch surface of these AirPods headphones between noise reduction (active, passive or transparency mode) or start the Siri voice assistant. The short presses are as follows:
1 click: play / pause 2 clicks: next track 3 clicks: previous track or start of the song
However, on Android, you cannot change the commands. The behavior of long clicks is therefore not missing when switching between transparency mode and noise reduction. The “No” mode, which only corresponds to the passive reduction, is completely unnecessary for me, so this limitation in the daily use of AirPods Pro did not bother me.
During my testing with these AirPods Pro, the iOS integration with the click management, the tips fit test and the automatic pause were fundamentally advanced, but I am very happy with my experience with Android. Switching from one Apple product to another (some Mac and iPad) works very well and is a real asset to this ecosystem.
In the end, regardless of the operating system, I only have one complaint about the AirPods Pro. Although the user interface is tactile, I find it very unfortunate that it is not possible to adjust the volume with a swipe directly on the headphones. You need to change the sound on the connected device.
AirPods Pro test: my opinion
On this AirPods Pro review, I was clearly impressed with the quality of these Bluetooth headphones. I wasn’t expecting much from it and from the start I was completely won over by the mix of comfort, noise reduction and sound quality.
The price of € 279 may seem high for wireless headphones (Basic), but since I already have headphones and AirPods 2, I would have preferred to invest in these AirPods Pro only. Additionally, we can currently find these headphones for around € 210-220 (2021) so they’ll be a bit cheaper. It must be said that competition has also increased.
I think this model is going to be a complete success for Apple as the company can finally sell to people who couldn’t get AirPods in their ears. [Mise à jour 15 mai 2021 : effectivement, les AirPods sont un carton pour la société américaine. En 2020, elle a écoulé pour 23,05 milliards de dollars de ses écouteurs. C’est plus du double du chiffre d’affaires de Spotify !]
Of course, the Bose HeadPhones 700 has better reduction, battery life, and sound, but the size difference between the two products made me choose the AirPods Pro when preparing for a trip, especially convenience. To test AirPods Pro, you have to take them over. For more information, see our AirPods Pro vs AirPods 2 comparison.
AirPods Pro at the best price base price: € 279
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8.5 / 10
The Form Factor Excellent Reduction Rising Sound
We like less
The direct sound setting is missing