AirPods Pro 2 Review: Hard to Beat for Apple Users video     – CNET

AirPods Pro 2 Review: Hard to Beat for Apple Users video – CNET

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Speaker 1: Hey there ever since the AirPods pro two were first announced on September 7th for $249, people keep asking me, so how much better are they than the originals? We putting an exact percentage on how much they’ve improved. Isn’t so easy, but that’s what I’m gonna try to do in this review. And I’m also gonna try to give you an idea how they stack up against some of the other top new earbuds out there. Here we go.

Speaker 1: Let’s start with the external [00:00:30] design. This is one of those situations where apple hasn’t really done anything to change the size and shape of the buds, where significantly alter their physical appearance, the original AirPods pro where compact and lightweight and fit a lot of people’s ears really well. So I can’t fault that decision. Some people were hoping for shorter stems and perhaps some new color options or even better water resistance. Yes, there’s still IPX four splashproof, but I figured apple would stick with its tried and true design and focus on making improvements to the airs that had the [00:01:00] most room for improvement, like sound quality, noise, canceling performance and battery life, which is now up to six hours from about 4.5 hours with noise canceling on. There are some small, but noteworthy changes to the design, particularly to the microphones placement on the original AirPods pro the skin detection, sensor and noise canceling microphone were combined on the inside of the bud.

Speaker 1: Now they’re separated with the skin detection sensor in the same spot, but the noise canceling microphone has been moved to the top of the bud where it’s exposed to the outside world [00:01:30] and better at picking up and processing ambient sound. The microphone configuration is similar to what you see on the AirPods three, but the skin detection sensor is actually smaller. And apple says it’s improved the sensor to more actually turns on and off playback and is more energy efficient. I should also mention that apple now includes a four set of extra small ear tips, which should help those of you with really small ears who had trouble getting a secure fit with the originals. But this isn’t like the third generation AirPods where apple made big changes to the earbuds, [00:02:00] external design. As far as I can tell these fit my ears. The same as the originals, I personally would like apple included a new, extra large ear tip, but I do get a relatively good seal with the largest size that is included.

Speaker 1: I could probably do just a little bit better with an Excel tip. And I sometimes use third party foam tips to get a more secure fit. They have a little bit more grip and that helps keep the buds very securely in my ears, particularly when I’m running with them. The new mag safe enabled wireless charging cases is the same size, but now has a built [00:02:30] in speaker and Apple’s U one chip, which allows it to play sounds for use with Apple’s precision. Find my feature previously, the buds could play a sound through their drivers, but often they were in the case. So you couldn’t hear that sound. Now you can use find my to locate the case or the left or right earbuds separately should one or all of them go missing

Speaker 1: Case. Also now has a spot for attaching a lanyard, but sadly, apple doesn’t include a lanyard with the buds while apple has [00:03:00] retained the pinch controls on the stems, which I prefer to the touch controls on the original AirPods. It’s now added swipe controls on the stems for adjusting the volume. You can still ask Siri to raise and lower the volume. These do have hands free Siri, but a lot of people will appreciate the new swipe controls. That’s really it. As far as external design changes go, and most of them are tied into some feature or performance enhancement. As I said, in my initial first look video, the real changes are on the inside, where everything is basically [00:03:30] new. The AirPods pro two are powered by Apple’s new H two chip, which delivers more processing power while being more energy efficient, to get better sound apples, combine that chip with a new amplifier and new low distortion drivers.

Speaker 1: Along with new digital processing algorithms. The H two new microphones and algorithms are also what drive the improved adaptive, active noise canceling that apple says is double as powerful as its predecessors noise canceling. And finally, there’s a new adaptive transparency mode that allows you to hear the world around [00:04:00] you in a natural lifelike manner while reducing loud noises that might normally shock your ears. It’s a great transparency mode, and you can turn off the adaptive part if you want. You can definitely hear the improvements to both the noise canceling and the sound as for the sound you get better clarity, more base punch with better definition than just more, all around depth and dynamic sound. The sound just has a little more girth and three dimensionality to it. I compare it a few tracks. I always use during testing like spoons, knock, knock, knock, and [00:04:30] you can really notice a difference in the base performance.

Speaker 1: One of the more impressive things about the buzz is how loud they play for me. Anyway, I found they played plenty loud at about 65 to 70% volume. I compared them to the new Bowes, quiet comfort earbuds two, the AirPods pro two sound excellent, but there’s something about the tonal balance of the Bowes that I liked a little better at times there’s a little bit more warmth than naturalist to it. And the base has a bit more oomph, but on the Bowes, I had to push the volume up to about 85% to hear some of [00:05:00] the finer details and to get that extra base kick with the AirPods pro two, you hear more detail and get good base, even at more moderate volume levels. I will say that the noise canceling is impacted by how tight a seal you get from the Eart tips that said it was easy to sense that it was reducing more cab noise during a flight I took and also muffled more sound.

Speaker 1: When I rode the subway in New York, the buds also have just enough venting to avoid that oppressive occluded feeling you sometimes get with a and C buds. The noise canceling didn’t feel twice as strong to me, [00:05:30] but by double the noise canceling power, what apple means is the noise canceling is improved across all frequencies and probably more so with high in mid range frequencies that are harder to muffle than lower frequencies. So you’re likely to hear more improvement with the muffling of people’s voices. For example, the noise canceling is one of the best out there right now, and just a slight step behind what experience with B’s new, quiet comfort earbuds, two, which arguably have the best noise canceling at the moment. Some people were hoping that the new AirPods pro will be able to stream apple lossless [00:06:00] tracks over Bluetooth. They currently can’t do that, which will certainly disappoint some people, whether they will be able to do that in the future and possibly get other new feature upgrades is anybody’s guests, but for now they use Bluetooth 5.3 and support the AAC, L C three audio coded, which offers 16 bit 48 kilohertz bit rates compared to the 16 bit 24 kilohertz bit rates of AAC, not high resolution audio, but a little bump up.

Speaker 1: I’m not gonna talk much about Apple’s spatial audio, virtual surround mode, but it’s here and fun [00:06:30] to play around with. I prefer using it with movies, but it also tried it with various music tracks, particularly those that apple designates as made for spatial audio. It doesn’t necessarily make music sound better, but it does make it sound different. It’s interesting to try it out with tracks, you know, well, and want to hear in a different way. I 16 brings personalized spatial audio to any AirPods that support spatial audio. The personalized experience comes from taking pictures of your ears. And the biggest benefit is the more accurate placement of [00:07:00] dialogue directly in front of you. When you’re watching a movie that placement doesn’t move. Even if you turn your head, the original AirPods pro were very good for making voice calls. And so are these, as I said, the microphones have been upgraded and there are two beam forming microphones for calls, one on the outside of the bud.

Speaker 1: And one on the bottom of the stem, both of which have some mesh covering them to help reduce wind noise. When you’re using the buds to make a FaceTime call over wifi instead of a call over a cellular network. But the [00:07:30] audio gets compressed. People may be able to notice a bigger difference in the clarity of your voice compared to what they would hear with the original AirPods pro, but have a listen to the test call we made on Verizon cellular network. Alright, on the streets of New York, doing a test call with fellow editor, John F code.

Speaker 2: How do I sound John? There’s a lot of traffic around me. Um, there’s a little bit of wind before, um, but there’s definitely a lot of traffic.

Speaker 3: So if you’re outside and surrounded by a lot of traffic, I’d [00:08:00] say you sound very good to excellent. I hear a tiny bit of that in the background, but, uh, can hear your voice nice and clearly, and, and, um, just a very clear experience on my end for the most part.

Speaker 2: All right. I’m gonna talk a little bit more. So you get a sample of my voice as I’m talking as traffic is going by. Uh, there isn’t as much wind as there was before, so I can’t, uh, I can’t really show that, but, uh, this is what my voice sounds like on the AirPods pro two, making a [00:08:30] call.

Speaker 1: As I said in the beginning, it’s hard to put an exact number on just how much better the new AirPods pro two are compared to their predecessor, but I’m gonna go with somewhere around 40%. The fact is that when the AirPods pro came out almost three years ago, it was really their compact size, comfortable fit. And apple only features like auto switching, being all the devices on your iCloud account that were their big selling points. That’s all here still, but now the sound and noise canceling, which were good, but not great [00:09:00] before are what you’d expect from a $249 set of earbuds. Audio quality is very subjective and some people may slightly prefer the Sonic traits of buzz like the bows I mentioned earlier, but the Sony WF 1000 X mark four, or send HS momentum, true wireless three, all of which have equalizer options in their companion apps, but others may actually prefer the AirPod pro two sound.

Speaker 1: It really does stack up well against what you get with other premium earbuds in this price range. And it’s [00:09:30] particularly impressive considering how small and lightweight the earbuds are. They’ll pair with Android devices, but you do lose a lot of their special features, including spatial audio. So Android users are gonna be better off with buds like Google’s pixel buds pro or Samsung’s gala buds to pro or the bows I mentioned earlier. And you may find that other buds like the bows or even apples own beats fit pro, which don’t sound quite as good or offer quite as good noise canceling or voice calling performance may fit your ears more securely. [00:10:00] You may wish apple had made the AirPods pro two look a little different than the originals. And while they may not quite be perfect, they feel like a more fully evolved refined product. That’s pretty hard to beat for apple users so long as they fit your ears. I’m David Carnoy. Thanks for watching.

David Carnoy

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