Wired reviews Apple’s AirPods Pro: So good it’s almost annoying

AirPods Pro bring the magic of AirPods to an all-new lightweight, in-ear design.
AirPods Pro bring the magic of AirPods to an all-new lightweight, in-ear design.

Jeremy White for Wired:

What happens when a manufacture seemingly listens to criticism and fixes all the major problems with a product? You get the AirPods Pro – not just an improvement, but a massive step up compared to Apple’s existing super-popular earphones.

We don’t like writing reviews such as this. By ‘this’ we mean overly positive reviews. You can easily sound like a lapdog for the brand. However, fresh from methodically chipping away at almost every niggling issue with the Apple Watch, Tim Cook & Co. have only gone and done the same thing with the AirPods.

Although these are £50 more than the next model down, the obvious improvements could easily command a bigger premium. Apple has done well. The AirPods Pro are annoyingly good.

MacDailyNews Take: AirPods Pro are really quite close to perfect.

20 Comments

    1. Okay, I’m all ears (no pun)…
      Why would I want individually untethered buds? Sell me on them.
      I currently think I much prefer neckband or my over the ear models.

      How do Aipods or other buds compare to these models in the $200-$400 price range.
      Saying “They’re the future” is not convincing.

      1. Why would I want individually untethered buds? Sell me on them.

        I have the same question, particularly at the cost of $250/pair, the downside
        of losing one isn’t insignificant.

        About the biggest thing that I can see going for them is their silicone ear tips. A soft & pliable earpiece is (I believe) a first for Apple, which means that this is the first set of earbuds that Apple has ever made that might actually fit my ear canal and not fall out within 2 minutes of use.

        My benchmark is the Audio Technica ATH-ANC23 Noise-Canceling In-Ear Earbuds which provide -20dB of attenuation for only $50. While the AirPod Pro’s are better at -23dB, they’re 5x the price … plus both of these attenuation ratings are for frequencies above 4kHz, which means NOT the rumble of commercial airline flights … below 4kHz, they both attenuate only -7dB, so the Apple’s not as good of a value proposition.

        1. In other words, “I have a retort for just about anything you could possibly say (including ‘personal preference’ for anything where you can show clear superiority).I’m only asking you to SELL me so I can triumphantly run down my list!”

          Or “Please sell me on what I have no interest in.”

        2. @Peter D:

          If you’re sold on them, then more power to you.

          I’ve simply articulated my current capability, which the only thing going “against it” is that they’re not wireless, which I don’t personally deem as some huge liability.

          For example, the difference in risks of loss from falling out of my ear canal while in use. Similarly, loss to our household feline who steals small objects to play with, and I unfortunately know through experience that a wireless earbud is about their optimum “oh, you got me a new toy!” size. That means keeping the small object constantly locked away to prevent it loss … but that also then limits its use: a utility function conundrum.

      2. The selling feature for me and I suspect many others is convenience. Airpods are high quality there’s no debate about that but everything about them is just more thought out. There’s more attention to detail. Some people can afford to pay for convenience and some can’t. If you can’t that’s okay. You don’t need to run down those who can afford to pay for products that offer them a better overall experience just because you can’t afford the same thing.

        1. This is about performance and function. How is it better than other wireless headphones, what’s the advantage? Why should I return my $400 Bose for the $250 earpods? You notice I put in a price range that extends higher than the earpods. I understand value. Perhaps you don’t realize you are being elitist when talking about price.

          1. Do you mean the Bose Earbuds 500 which are going to retail for $400 and aren’t even available to buy yet according to Bose? Are those the Bose wireless noise cancelling earbuds you are LYING about returning? I’m looking at the Bose website right now and those are the ONLY earbuds Bose has for $400.

            1. No, not earbuds at all.
              I do have $350 Quietcomfort 35 for relaxed listening and around the neck $300 Sony WI-1000X for more physically active use. What advantage does the bud form give me over the Sony? Or any physically connected pair?

          2. “What advantage does the bud form give me over the Sony? Or any physically connected pair?”

            If you don’t already know the incredibly obvious answers to your questions then you must be a troll… or very very dumb.

          3. “since you can’t answer such an obvious (according to you)”

            So predictable. Sigh. Should I also explain how a small car offers advantages over a truck? Or point out the differences in weight, size, appearance between headphones and earbuds or the differences between wired headphones and earbuds and wireless headphones and earbuds? You are taking stupid to a new level. Congrats!

            By the way, the two alternatives to Airpods you mentioned are not $400. Either I caught you in a lie to begin with or you were lying about the $400. Either way you lied and got caught.

  1. I’m still unsure how easy it will be to answer a call with gloves on (with a tap, it was no problem at all- with a squeeze, not so sure). My order is backordered- so I guess I’ll find out soon enough…

  2. The wife picked up a pair for me at the Apple Store on Friday after meeting with their business people. I am an over the ear can guy by strong preference (they do not wind up in the washing machine as my original AirPods did) and have three pair of Bose, Beats and Bowers and Wilkins used for different situations and types of music. Have to admit the sound reproduction from these little guys is incredible and I cannot feel them in my ears after performing the size fitting process. So, as long as I check my pockets before tossing the pants in the hamper and avoid looking in a mirror when using these devices, I must agree they are well worth the money.

    My compliments, Apple!

  3. Just got back from a 6 hour plane ride and these worked in spectacular fashion. NO battery issues and the noise cancelling was great.

    These will be the “must have” Holiday Gift for allllll the Apple Sphere. Probably gonna be alot of old AirPods passed down to kids and nephews…..

    The silicone ear piece assortment works as advertised and prevents the Pods from falling out.
    The set up for you assorted iPhones, iPads and other things is very easy…

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