Apple today has officially unveiled the new in-ear AirPods Pro. They will begin shipping on October 30th for $249. Apple says the AirPods Pro feature “Active Noise Cancellation and superior, immersive sound in an all-new lightweight, in-ear design.”
The new in-ear design of AirPods Pro makes for better noise cancellation. Apple says that the AirPods Pro are sweat and water resistant rated for IPX4. Included with the AirPods Pro are three different sizes of ear tips, which should make them relatively versatile. 9to5Mac first reported on the new noise cancelling AirPods earlier this month.
To achieve Active Noise Cancellation on the new AirPods Pro, Apple is using two microphones combined with “advanced software” to continuously adapt to background noise. There’s also Transparency mode, which allows users to “simultaneously listen to music while still hearing the environment around them.”
To switch between Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency modes, there will be a slider in Control Center. You can also press and hold on the side of the AirPods Pro themselves to switch modes.
In terms of battery life, AirPods Pro feature five hours of listening time. With Active Noise Cancellation enabled, that drops to four and a half hours. The added charging case delivers over 24 hours of listening time.
Apple also explains something called the Ear Tip Fit Test, which is designed to ensure users get the best audio experience possible:
The Ear Tip Fit Test helps ensure users get the best audio experience from AirPods Pro by testing the quality of the seal and identifying the best ear tip size for them. After placing AirPods Pro in each ear, advanced algorithms work together with the microphones in each AirPod to measure the sound level in the ear and compare it to what is coming from the speaker driver. In just seconds, the algorithm detects whether the ear tip is the right size and has a good fit, or should be adjusted to create a better seal.
As for sound quality, Apple says that the new AirPods Pro feature Adaptive EQ for automatic tuning:
AirPods Pro deliver superior sound quality with Adaptive EQ, which automatically tunes the low- and mid-frequencies of the music to the shape of an individual’s ear — resulting in a rich, immersive listening experience.
The AirPods Pro feature Apple’s H1 chip, which means you get features included hands-free “Hey Siri” as well as Audio Sharing and Announce Messages with Siri.
The accompanying AirPods Pro charging case has also been redesigned to accommodate the in-ear AirPods. It’s shorter and appears to be slightly wider than non-Pro AirPods. It supports wireless charging and includes a Lightning to USB-C cable in the box. That means the actual port on the AirPods Pro case is Lightning, not USB-C.
AirPods Pro are available to order now from Apple’s website and will begin shipping on October 30th. Apple notes that iOS 13.2 is required to use AirPods Pro, so we should expect that update to come sometime this week.
Read Apple’s full AirPods Pro announcement below:
Apple reveals new AirPods Pro, available October 30
Cupertino, California — Apple today announced AirPods Pro, an exciting addition to the AirPods family that features Active Noise Cancellation and superior, immersive sound in an all-new lightweight, in-ear design. AirPods Pro are available to order on apple.com and the Apple Store app starting today and in stores beginning Wednesday, October 30.
“AirPods are the best-selling headphones in the world. The one-tap setup experience, incredible sound and iconic design have made them a beloved Apple product, and with AirPods Pro, we’re taking the magic even further,” said Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “The new in-ear AirPods Pro sound amazing with Adaptive EQ, fit comfortably with flexible ear tips and have innovative Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency mode. We think customers are going to love this new addition to the AirPods family.”
AirPods Pro join the existing AirPods line in delivering an unparalleled wireless audio experience. Each model uses advanced technology to reinvent how people listen to music, make phone calls, enjoy TV shows and movies, play games and interact with Siri. The magical setup experience customers love with today’s AirPods extends to AirPods Pro. By opening the charging case near an iOS or iPadOS device and giving it a simple tap, AirPods Pro are immediately paired to all the devices signed into a user’s iCloud account, including iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, Apple TV and iPod touch. All-New Design
AirPods revolutionized the wireless audio experience with a breakthrough design, and now AirPods Pro take it even further with a new class of lightweight, in-ear headphones engineered for comfort and fit. Each earbud comes with three different sizes of soft, flexible silicone ear tips that conform to the contours of each individual ear, providing both a comfortable fit and a superior seal — a critical factor in delivering immersive sound. To further maximize comfort, AirPods Pro use an innovative vent system to equalize pressure, minimizing the discomfort common in other in-ear designs. AirPods Pro are sweat- and water-resistant, making them perfect for active lifestyles.1
Active Noise Cancellation
Active Noise Cancellation on AirPods Pro uses two microphones combined with advanced software to continuously adapt to each individual ear and headphone fit. This removes background noise to provide a uniquely customized, superior noise-canceling experience that allows a user to focus on what they’re listening to — whether it’s a favorite song or a phone conversation. The first microphone is outward-facing and detects external sound to analyze environmental noise. AirPods Pro then create an equivalent anti-noise that cancels out background noise before it reaches the listener’s ear. A second inward-facing microphone listens toward the ear, and AirPods Pro cancel remaining noise detected by the microphone. Noise cancellation continuously adapts the sound signal 200 times per second.
AirPods Pro deliver superior sound quality with Adaptive EQ, which automatically tunes the low- and mid-frequencies of the music to the shape of an individual’s ear — resulting in a rich, immersive listening experience. A custom high dynamic range amplifier produces pure, incredibly clear sound while also extending battery life, and powers a custom high-excursion, low-distortion speaker driver designed to optimize audio quality and remove background noise. The driver provides consistent, rich bass down to 20Hz and detailed mid- and high-frequency audio.
Transparency mode provides users with the option to simultaneously listen to music while still hearing the environment around them, whether that’s to hear traffic while out for a run or an important train announcement during the morning commute. Using the pressure-equalizing vent system and advanced software that leaves just the right amount of noise cancellation active, Transparency mode ensures that a user’s own voice sounds natural while audio continues to play perfectly. Switching between Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency modes is simple and can be done directly on AirPods Pro using a new, innovative force sensor on the stem. The force sensor also makes it easy to play, pause or skip tracks, and answer or hang up phone calls. Users can also press on the volume slider in Control Center on iPhone and iPad to control settings, or on Apple Watch by tapping on the AirPlay icon while music is playing.
Performance and Battery Life
The size and performance of AirPods Pro are made possible by a revolutionary system-in-package (SiP) design with the Apple-designed H1 chip at its core. The H1 features 10 audio cores and powers everything from sound to Siri. The extremely low audio processing latency of H1 enables real-time noise cancellation, delivers high-quality sound using adaptive technology and responds to hands-free “Hey Siri” requests — all at once.
AirPods Pro feature the same great battery life as AirPods with up to five hours of listening time. In Active Noise Cancellation mode, AirPods Pro deliver up to four and a half hours of listening time and up to three and a half hours of talk time on a single charge. Through additional charges from the Wireless Charging Case, AirPods Pro deliver over 24 hours of listening time or over 18 hours of talk time.2 Charging is as simple as placing the AirPods case on a Qi-certified charging mat or using the Lightning port while on the go.