Apple announced the new AirPods Pro on Monday morning, the latest addition to the AirPods line with Active Noise Cancellation. The new AirPods offer an in-ear design, which is terrific news for anyone that didn’t like the fit of the traditional Airpods or EarBuds. The new AirPods Pro are available to order on apple.com and the Apple Store app starting today, and they should be ready to buy in-store on October 30th.
“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.”
In the announcement, Apple stated that each earbud comes with three different sizes of silicone ear tips. The company added that these tips “conform to the contours of each individual ear, providing both a comfortable fit and a superior seal — a critical factor in delivering immersive sound.” The AirPods Pro also use a new vent system to equalize pressure, minimizing the discomfort found in other in-ear designs. The new AirPods are sweat and water-resistant as well, so they will be gym ready when you are.
To achieve Active Noise Cancellation, the AirPods Pro uses two microphones combined with advanced software “to continuously adapt to each individual ear and headphone fit,” according to the company. The first microphone is outward-facing and detects external sound to analyze environmental noise. The AirPods 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. Apple stated that noise cancellation continuously adapts the sound signal 200 times per second. The device also uses an Adaptive EQ, which automatically tunes the low- and mid-frequencies of the music to the shape of an individual’s ear. A custom high dynamic range amplifier produces 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 bass down to 20Hz and detailed mid- and high-frequency audio.
Apple also explained Transparency mode, which provides users with the option to simultaneously listen to music while still hearing the environment around them. This is great for commuters and joggers, and if you’re walking around in public. Transparency mode ensures that a user’s own voice sounds natural while audio continues to play perfectly, so you won’t scream your hello if you run into someone on the street. You can switch between Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency modes by using the force sensor on the stem of the device. 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.
All of this runs on Apple’s H1 chip, which features 10 audio cores and powers everything from sound to Siri. The 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. The company added that the AirPods Pro feature the same 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. Additional charges from the Wireless Charging Case, AirPods Pro deliver over 24 hours of listening time or over 18 hours of talk time. Charging is as simple as placing the AirPods case on a Qi-certified charging mat or using the Lightning port while on the go. The new device will be available for $249.
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