Apple just released AirPods Pro with a list of impressive features including active noise cancellation, Transparency mode, in-ear design with multiple tips, wireless charging case, and water and sweat resistance. Read on for a look at AirPods Pro vs. AirPods gen 2 when comparing features, price, size, weight, and more.
As the name implies, AirPods Pro are the most feature-rich AirPods to date. With the new features and capabilities comes a higher price tag of $249 but many customers may find it to be a reasonable premium for everything you’re getting.
AirPods Pro vs. AirPods comparison
There are five major features that AirPods Pro have that AirPods gen 2 don’t:
- Active noise cancellation
- Audio Transparency mode
- IPX4 water/sweat resistance
- Adaptive EQ
- In-ear design with three sets of tips
Keep reading for a breakdown of these unique features and we’ll also cover a variety of other smaller differences like improved controls, battery life, size, weight, and more.
As for the fit, Apple is calling the in-ear design with silicone tips a “customizable fit” for AirPods Pro, with the AirPods gen 2 non-in-ear design called a “universal fit.” The in-ear design will certainly work for almost any ear size with AirPods Pro including small, medium, and large tips. There’s even a fitting feature that uses software to test if you’ve picked the right size tips.
Active noise cancellation
Active noise cancellation and Transparency mode are sure to be two of the most compelling features.
Here’s how Apple describes its ANC on AirPods Pro:
Incredibly light noise-cancelling headphones, AirPods Pro block out your environment so you can focus on what you’re listening to. AirPods Pro use two microphones, an outward-facing microphone and an inward-facing microphone, to create superior noise cancellation. By continuously adapting to the geometry of your ear and the fit of the ear tips, Active Noise Cancellation silences the world to keep you fully tuned in to your music, podcasts, and calls.
For greater awareness, Transparency mode lets sound in from your surroundings and more easily talk with others. This is great for things like running, cycling, or exercising in busy places.
Switch to Transparency mode and AirPods Pro let the outside sound in, allowing you to hear and connect to your surroundings. Outward- and inward-facing microphones enable AirPods Pro to undo the sound-isolating effect of the silicone tips so things sound and feel natural, like when you’re talking to people around you.
As for the Adaptive EQ that’s unique to AirPods Pro, Apple says the feature “automatically tunes music to the shape of your ears for a rich, consistent listening experience” that offers “superior sound quality.”
Water and sweat resistance
While the gen 1 and gen 2 AirPods have been shown to withstand sweat and water in a decent variety of scenarios AirPods Pro are officially water and sweat resistance with an IPX4 rating.
Per the IP Code, that’s protection for up to 10 minutes of water or sweat splashing on the wireless earphones
Water splashing against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effect, utilizing either: a) an oscillating fixture, or b) A spray nozzle with no shield. Test a) is conducted for 10 minutes. Test b) is conducted (without shield) for 5 minutes minimum.
AirPods Pro vs. AirPods other differences
More features that AirPods Pro bring to the table compared to AirPods gen 2 include improved controls with a new Force Sensor. With AirPods gen 1 and 2, there are only two options to customize for a double-tap of the left and right AirPod.
AirPods Pro controls include single, double, and triple-taps, as well as a press and hold to switch between ANC and Transparency mode.
Another nice surprise is the inclusion of a USB-C to Lightning cable with AirPods Pro while AirPods come with a traditional USB-A to Lightning cable.
Size and weight
As for how AirPods Pro compare to AirPods for size and weight, the Pro variant are shorter but slightly deeper and wider.
Weight-wise, AirPods Pro are a tiny bit heavier at 0.19 oz (5.4 grams) each compared to 0.14 oz (4 grams) for AirPods.
AirPods Pro feature the same 5-hour battery life as AirPods gen 2 when used without ANC. And impressively, they still get 4.5 hours on a charge when using active noise cancellation. Notably, AirPods Pro have 3.5-hour talk time while AirPods have a 3-hour talk time rating.
Just like AirPods, AirPods Pro offer over 24 hours of listening time when including the Wireless Charging Case. Like AirPods, AirPods Pro feature ultra-fast charging with 5 minutes in the case giving 1 hour of listening time.
When it comes to cost, AirPods Pro at $250 may feel like a great deal to many customers when considering how feature-rich they are. Apple’s gen 2 AirPods with Wireless Charging Case are priced at $199, although they usually sell for less on Amazon.
If you’re looking for on-ear headphones with features like ANC and Transparency, sure to check out our review of the Beats Solo Pro headphones.