With the Airpods Pro, Apple enters the market for ANC headphones for the first time – and the entry into the market of devices with active noise cancellation may be described as successful. Apple is also introducing new technology and new approaches to True Wireless In-Ears with the current model, which should be self-evident for this device class.
The Pro model does not have much to do with the normal Airpods. Although both models are completely wireless and have the design with the stylus hanging from the ear, but Apple has changed so many technical aspects with the Airpods Pro that it is a completely different product. It starts with the ANC support and goes through the ear plugging up to the operation.
In the first part of our test, we evaluate the performance of Active Noise Canceling (ANC). We also go to the question of whether the Airpods Pro are so wind sensitive and test the transparency mode in which Apple promises much.
The second part is about the sound quality and the battery life and we are testing the new operation. As with the Airpods, Apple continues to incomprehensibly continue to exclude a huge audience.
At the end of the test report, we conclude.
Unlike most other Bluetooth earplugs on the market, the normal Airpods are simply hung in the ear. These are so well constructed that they fit in many ears. For sports use, however, they are hardly suitable because they can easily fall out in abrupt head movements. In addition, the hanging position in the ear leads to significantly more external noise entering the ear than other Bluetooth earplugs. All this changes with the Airpods Pro – without causing any disadvantages.
Apple adds three differently sized silicone tops to the Airpods Pro for a good passive seal against outside noise. However, the essay on the stoppers can be solved only with great effort and we are concerned to destroy it. The attachment of the essays is then also connected with some Fummelarbeit.
Conversely, the attachments are very firm and provide a very secure and painless grip. There is no unpleasant pressure, we soon forget that we have something in our ear. Even with strong head movements such as in sports, the Airpods Pro stay safe in the ear.
Apple's Airpods Pro (Image: Martin Wolf / Golem.de)
We can also wear the Airpods Pro under a hat, it does not rustle or scratch anything here. This is a big problem with a lot of hearing instruments from other manufacturers, the enjoyment of music is correspondingly clouded because disturbing noises can be heard with every movement of the head. In addition, it comes through the Mützetragen with many competing products that these painful pressed into the ear. Also in this discipline there are no problems with the Airpods Pro – the wearing comfort is identical with and without cap.
Ventilation system works exemplary
With many Bluetooth earplugs and also with earphones with usual plastic attachments there are always problems with step reverb. If the attachments over-seal, it creates a correspondingly strong pressure in the ear, which in turn leads to reverberation: We hear every single step while running as a dull appearance in the ear – that is unpleasant and reduces the enjoyment of music.
These problems do not exist with the Airpods Pro in all three sizes – we never hear this stepping sound while running. To achieve this, Apple has integrated a special, automatic ventilation system into the Airpods Pro. Thus, reverberation is effectively prevented. All manufacturers of earphones should take this as an example and integrate such a ventilation system in their products.
When pairing with a smartphone, this Airpods model also behaves differently when using an Apple device. Then it is sufficient to keep this in the opened case next to an iPhone, then appears on the smartphone pop-up to set up. This is not enough for Android devices. The user has to open the lid and press the back on the pairing button on the case.
The Airpods Pro also promises effective active noise cancellation – we tested how good it is in practice and we were also looking forward to implementing the transparency mode.