AirPods Pro impressions
Previously I was a bit mixed on whether I'd want AirPods with the Pro style. The original AirPods fit well for me, typically work well and I've had mixed feelings in the past about rubber tipped earbuds. However the environmental sound that bleeds through can be a pain at times. Like some others I do like hearing the environment when I'm out and about but in the gym? No thanks. Their music is loud and not my style. Most people seem to agree and wear some sort of headphones / earbuds. I'm not sure who the music is for these days.
Upon opening the box my first thought is the case isn't that bad. It is wider but when tilted on its side you can it's not that much bigger. But it's less easy to fidget with.
The earbuds aren't hard to get out but so far they feel a bit more ambiguous so it seems like I make more mistakes putting them back.
The ear fit test was interesting and I've found it does work a bit better with the larger ones over the default middle size. The biggest difference is it doesn't feel like I have to push them in as deep so I guess the larger size is ever so slightly more comfortable.
The battery life is perfectly fine but admittedly I did use them the bulk of the time in ‘off’ mode. That was purely due to being out of the house and wanting to ensure I get the most out of them while the case is only half charged out of the box.
A quick test between the original AirPods and the Pros leave me feeling the audio is better on the Pros but only by a small amount and perhaps down to the better seal rather than anything else.
Visually I think I do prefer the original AirPods’ look but I wouldn't say I dislike the AirPods Pro as such. Perhaps the thing I dislike the most is the lack of an obvious microphone leaves the bottoms with more of a plain, boring white plastic look. Obviously this is a minor point.
I do miss the tapping but the presses are more useful and flexible. The feedback from the faux press is spot on. Everyone has said this but still, feeling it is quite a nice experience. The thing is thee stems are shorter so it feels a little clumsy sometimes trying to find them to press. Presumably this gets better over time but in an ideal world tap would be there too.
A bit over a week later…
So I’m coming up on 2 weeks of use soon. Overall, I have to say I’m really impressed and I’m happy to stick with them. I am keeping my old AirPods (so far) as I’m not sure what to do with them and to be honest they are still better to use in bed on the off chance you fall asleep.
As a rubber tipped pair of ear buds, I am happy with them. Some times the left one does feel uncomfortable. I do think for that ear alone I need to bump the size down but I’ve, sadly, been too lazy. I have found it annoying the rubber can flip out after pulling them out which can make it a bit fiddly to sort out and get them back in the case. I can’t say for certain but it feels like it could be that I am closer to the middle size but get more reliable results from the “fit test” on my right ear with the larger size.
Taking off the tips felt like I was close to ripping them. I’ll be interesting to try again and see how it goes. They do click back onto the AirPods very easily. It seems to just be able creating a suction when grabbing them and attempting to take them off.
Taking them out of the case is very easy. I suspect more people will be able to do it easily. Really, you just pull them towards you and they come out.
The transparency mode was weird at first and eventually you get used to it. It is helpful. The noise cancelling mode, at first I thought may not be good enough but in actual fact it works really well having tested various scenarios where they’re in and out. So while I’m glad it doesn’t completely block out everything, really transparency mode should probably be used in areas of concern like busy roads.
My concerns about the either of these modes eating into the battery life is so far not a real concern. The AirPods pro are so good I’m thinking they’ll replace my Bose QC35s even on flights. I’ve picked up AirFly Pro even to be able to use them for in-flight films. One BIG WARNING though - with the latest firmware on the AirPods Pro (and supposedly AirPods) the volume is too low. Hold off on buying Airfly stuff until Apple fixes which I hope is very soon. But anyway, the QC35s almost certainly would be the best on a flight but the compromise is that it takes up far more space than the AirPods Pro / Airfly Pro combo. The audio, I’m hoping will be good enough that having a pocketable solution is the best solution.
If there is one downside to these it’s that it is apparent there’s a drop off in battery life over a relatively short amount of time with AirPods. If you need something to last then really any wireless earbud probably isn’t for you and with any wireless earbud it will be a case of whether, over time, it’s still acceptable to be replacing units every 2 to 4 years.