iPhone fans who are wondering which AirPods are better might consider switching to Pro.
On Friday, Apple is releasing its latest AirPods Pro ($249), advanced wireless earbuds with multiple features that improve the listening experience over standard AirPods.
I’ve been using these second generation models for over a week now and they rightfully feel like the best AirPods I’ve ever put in my ears. They fit comfortably, provide top-notch noise cancellation, and make losing your AirPods a lot less frustrating thanks to the redesigned case.
The experience starts with personalized spatial audio that delivers a more robust surround sound environment. After you open your AirPods Pro case, your iPhone will ask you to connect.
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After that, you will scan both ears with your iPhone’s front camera to create an accurate listening experience. You hold the phone close enough to grab each ear and then turn your head to look from different angles. It’s similar to setting up Face ID, although it can be a little tricky as you’re holding the phone to the side, aiming to grab each ear. Once the process is complete, your AirPods are ready to listen.
These new AirPods feature an upgraded processing chip as well as a new low distortion audio driver, amplifier, and advanced compute sound. All together, you get much clearer and deeper sound than the latest standard Apple headphones.
There’s also improved active noise cancellation, which works phenomenally. I tried them at the gym and barely noticed the sounds of the treadmills nearby. I wore them on a recent flight and was amazed at how much ambient sound the AirPods blocked while listening to a TV show.
However, if you want to let in more outside noise, you can switch your headphones to transparent mode in your iPhone settings.
The snug fit of the AirPods in each ear helps to enhance this experience. Second generation models now include an additional small eartip, as well as small, medium and large to fit your ear exactly.
Touch controls have been redesigned so users can swipe up and down to adjust the volume, or press and hold the stem of the AirPod to switch between noise canceling and transparency modes.
The case also adds more functionality and helps solve one of the biggest problems: lost AirPods. They now have a built-in speaker that can play noise if lost, and Apple has updated the Find My app to support precise searching for AirPods. Users can also charge their AirPods using the Apple Watch charger.
Yes, like the first models, the second generation AirPods Pro are expensive. But if you’re looking to improve your listening experience, they can be worth every penny.
Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @BrettMolina.