Apple debuts $249 AirPods Pro with active noise cancellation

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited December 2019
After weeks of speculation, Apple has announced AirPods Pro, featuring Active Noise Cancellation and improved sound.




AirPods Pro have been redesigned versus the AirPods form factor, with Apple saying that comfort and fit were high priorities. Each earbud comes with three different sizes of soft, flexible silicone ear tips that conform to the contours of each individual ear to obtain that goal.

To further assist with comfort, AirPods Pro use a vent system to equalize pressure, minimizing issues common in other in-ear designs. AirPods Pro are sweat- and water-resistant.

Apple's implementation of Active Noise Cancellation on the new AirPods Pro uses two microphones combined with software to continuously adapt to each individual ear and headphone fit. The feature removes background noise to provide noise-canceling at nearly any exterior volume.

A custom high dynamic range amplifier produces provides clear sound while also extending battery life. The amp also powers a custom high-excursion, low-distortion speaker driver designed to "optimize audio quality and remove background noise," according to Apple. The driver provides consistent bass down to 20Hz and detailed mid- and high-frequency audio.





"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."

The new Transparency mode provides users with the option to simultaneously listen to music while still hearing the environment around them. The Transparency system uses the pressure-equalizing vent system paired with software to tailor the noise cancellation so the outside world isn't completely tuned out. And, the mode also helps users to monitor their own pitch and timber while talking on a call.




Switching between Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency modes is done using a new force sensor on the stem of the AirPods Pro. The force sensor is also used 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.

The AirPods Pro again use Apple's H1 chip. The H1 features 10 audio cores and powers everything from sound playback to "Hey Siri" requests. Apple says that 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 simultaneously.




In Active Noise Cancellation mode, Apple claims that 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.

AirPods Pro require Apple devices running iOS 13.2 or later, iPadOS 13.2 or later, watchOS 6.1 or later, tvOS 13.2 or later, or macOS Catalina 10.15.1 or later.

AirPods Pro will be available only in white for $249 and are available to order from B&H, or Apple directly in the US and more than 25 other countries and regions. AirPods Pro will start shipping on October 30 and be available in stores beginning later this week. Apple's 2019 AirPods refresh remains available.
AppleExposedjahbladeGG1
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 88
    This will be my Christmas gift to myself!!! The original AirPods don’t stay in my ears so these are perfect!
    AppleExposedcy_starkmanjahbladetyler82lolliver
  • Reply 2 of 88
    Ummm COLORS?!
    gilly33AppleExposedjahbladeGG1caladanianrussw
  • Reply 3 of 88
    Yeah, I didn't look closely at the article thumbnail and thought I saw black buds. I'm definitely not the only sucker who would drop an extra hundred for black.
    AppleExposedCarnage
  • Reply 4 of 88
    Wait- I am going to pay $250 and I can't use it with my Mac running Sierra?  Really?  Why not? They're just bluetooth headsets, right?  My JBL works with my Mac, why won't these? 
    lkruppcurtis hannahflyingdpchemengin1AppleExposed
  • Reply 5 of 88
    Personally, I've never liked the feel of silicon tip style ear buds, including Apple's own prior version of them that came out pre-EarPod/AirPod. The venting feature to equalize pressure sounds like it might help though. I think the most surprising aspect of this design is the claim that they can provide noise cancelling for virtually any volume of external noise. If true, that's a significant advantage vs. other ear buds that provide the same feature.
    caladanianzhiro
  • Reply 6 of 88
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,453member
    So has the tap control been replaced with some kind of squeeze control in the stem?

    I guess that's better, though it'd be nicer if they just had a damn button.
  • Reply 7 of 88
    Ummm COLORS?!
    My Beats pro sounds good, nice color selection s and stays on on heavy work outs
    AppleExposedminicoffeelolliver
  • Reply 8 of 88
    Wait- I am going to pay $250 and I can't use it with my Mac running Sierra?  Really?  Why not? They're just bluetooth headsets, right?  My JBL works with my Mac, why won't these? 
    It might have something to do with "Hey Siri"

    And… don't buy them if they don't work for your system.
    mwhiterevenantlolliver
  • Reply 9 of 88
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,453member
    Wait- I am going to pay $250 and I can't use it with my Mac running Sierra?  Really?  Why not? They're just bluetooth headsets, right?  My JBL works with my Mac, why won't these? 
    Just a guess so don't take this as official; I would imagine they'll work with Sierra, but it'd just be a standard bluetooth connection, you wouldn't get any of the special H1 fast pairing and Siri stuff.
    randominternetpersonStrangeDaysllamacaladanianlolliver
  • Reply 10 of 88
    thttht Posts: 4,630member
    I’m buying them! If the vent system works, it will be great. Now, if I can only see how these things will fit my ears.
    AppleExposed
  • Reply 11 of 88
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,174member
    Ummm COLORS?!
    Not mentioned on Apple’s website. If you click the Buy button there are no colors to choose from. So it would appear they are available only in white.
  • Reply 12 of 88
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,553administrator
    lkrupp said:
    Ummm COLORS?!
    Not mentioned on Apple’s website. If you click the Buy button there are no colors to choose from. So it would appear they are available only in white.
    This is correct. No colors.
    AppleExposed
  • Reply 13 of 88
    macguimacgui Posts: 2,243member
     The 'colors' rumor was – wait for it – just a rumor, born of someone's wishful thinking.

    I like the idea of black and color matching APs to the phones, but would not pay an extra C-note for that 'privilege'.
    AppleExposed
  • Reply 14 of 88
    Wait- I am going to pay $250 and I can't use it with my Mac running Sierra?  Really?  Why not? They're just bluetooth headsets, right?  My JBL works with my Mac, why won't these? 
    I expect you'll be able to use then as bluetooth headphones with older devices--without some of the bells and whistles.
    StrangeDaysAppleExposedlolliver
  • Reply 15 of 88
    How about that: a lot less than the predicted $260 price point.  That's like an $11 Christmas (or other holiday) present direct from Mr. Cook.
    JapheyStrangeDaysAppleExposed
  • Reply 16 of 88
    Not for NYC to LA, or international flights... you would have to take the charger and charge them mid-flight... Sony, Bose and Plantronics wins in that ball park. 
  • Reply 17 of 88
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,940member
    I'm getting so tired of Apple's "hip" product commercials. They feel like Apple is trying too hard to be cool. That video did nothing for me, and just felt like one made by one of their competitors.

    Apple, get back to your roots. Don't try too hard to be cool. If they truly are "Pro" ear buds, show us that. Show us them being used in professional environments.
    flyingdpchemengin1Japhey
  • Reply 18 of 88
    Ummm COLORS?!
    Here, try these white ones. White is a color.
    randominternetpersonGeorgeBMacpscooter63kuraiAppleExposedArloTimetravelerlolliver
  • Reply 19 of 88
    netling said:
    Not for NYC to LA, or international flights... you would have to take the charger and charge them mid-flight... Sony, Bose and Plantronics wins in that ball park. 
    LOL.  Was anyone hoping to leave the case home?  
    GeorgeBMacStrangeDaysAppleExposedasdasdArloTimetravelerlolliver
  • Reply 20 of 88
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,940member
    But I will say that taking the time to scan down their product page was very informative. Looks like they've truly engineered some great ear buds. No stone unturned with regards to the tech and design.
    GeorgeBMacrandominternetpersoncaladanianlolliver
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