AirPods Pro 2 Review: 1 Underrated Thing!

(gentle electric music begins)

– All right, I’ll be honest.

I wasn’t even planning on reviewing these.

You know? It’s Tech-tember.

There’s a lotta stuff going on right now.

There’s other videos on other tech

that we’re actively working on.

That’s coming soon that you’ll see.

So we saw the new AirPods
announcement in the keynote

 

and a couple new features,

and then Apple sent over a pair.

It’s got my Memoji on it and everything.

I was like, “That’s
cute,” but I promise you

I didn’t even take it out
the box for a few days,

’cause I was so busy working
on some of the other stuff.

But then, I did take it out the box,

and I did try them.
(case clicking)

And I gotta say,

I am now very convinced

that these are really good,

but not by what you think.

So there’s a lot of
small new features here

that AirPods people have
been waiting for a long time.

On the surface, it’s still
in a nearly identical design.

You recognize ’em from a mile away.

The only way you can tell them apart

from the last AirPods Pro, visually,

is by these dual vents at the top.

But on the inside,

there is an entirely new
driver and amplifier,

and these AirPods do
sound dramatically better

than the last ones.

Easily, the best sounding
earbuds Apple’s ever made.

There are way more lows and
mids so if you listen to hip hop

or just music with a lotta bass,

it’s very noticeable, it just way better.

And there’s also very little
high volume distortion

and the whole sound profile
is very responsive and crisp.

They sound good, like
really good EarPods now.

There still is no
lossless audio with these,

but it’s still 16 bit/48
kilohertz audio and that is good,

but that wasn’t the
thing that convinced me.

It was a difference maker for sure.

It’s really nice,

but that’s not the thing.

These do now have a 33%
longer battery life.

So it’s six hours on a single charge now

with noise cancellation on,

and up to 30 total hours
with the battery in the case.

I promise you,

I’ll never have earbuds
in for six hours straight.

So this was more than enough for me,

but it wasn’t what impressed me either.

There is also a new extra small ear tip.

So now it comes with the
mediums installed by default,

and then there’s two sizes
smaller and one larger size.

So if you have smaller ears

that the previous AirPods
didn’t quite work with,

these may make a difference for you,

with the extra small ear tip.

As you can imagine, that’s
not me, mediums all the way,

but some maybe even tempted to say

that the new case is the biggest upgrade.

That’s certainly what I thought
when I watched the keynote.

It’s like Apple had a meeting about how,

“Wow, people are losing these things

and getting them mixed up
with other people’s AirPods,”

and then they just decided
to do something about it.

So the case is the same size and shape,

but there’s this lanyard
loop on the side now,

in case you wanna attach it to something.

It’s kinda like the loop

on the top of the water
bottle at MKBHD.com,

but just way smaller,

and then you can use whatever lanyard

you wanna attach it to.

But if that’s not good enough for you,

there’s a whole speaker at
the bottom of the case now

and it is surprisingly useful.

So it can play a loud sound
to help you find them,

on top of the precision finding

that already works really well,

since it has a U1 chip inside.

So it’s just like an AirTag.

If it’s somewhere in
your general vicinity,

it can guide you to it.

That is sweet.

It also plays a sound when
you get it on a charger,

wired or wireless.

And the MagSafe ring
helps it stay in place

on any MagSafe wireless charging puck.

That’s not new,

but it also now works with
Apple watch chargers too,

which is a nice touch.

On top of all that,

It is still IPX4 water resistant,

which is an extra layer of security

if you work out and sweat around the case,

or if you end up in the rain in these.

And you can engrave it
with your Memoji now,

so your friends will
never accidentally pick up

your AirPods case by mistake.

But not even that,

is what was convincing me
about the AirPods Pro 2.

Not even the most requested
feature apparently,

this is something lots of
other earbuds have had,

but volume control on the earbud itself,

it’s on the stock now.

So, of course, it is
now much more convenient

to just adjust the volume

without having to reach for your phone.

It’s kinda like this pinch gesture,

where you hold your finger on one side

and then slide with the other
on the flat spot on the stock.

It’s kinda awkward at first,

but you do get used to it.

But no, it was none of that.

The thing that convinced
me with these headphones

that they’re incredible,

is the H2 chip.
(case clicking)

So previous years’ generations
of Apple headphones

have had the H1 chip inside.

And it’s this little chip that’s
doing the audio processing,

noise cancellation, et cetera.

This is the second
generation of that chip.

And Apple was bragging
on stage that it has

a billion transistors
or something ridiculous.

Whatever! The point of the
chip is that it enables

everything that is special
about these new AirPods.

So first of all,

there is much improved
active noise cancellation.

Apple said something like,

up to two times more
background noise is removed

versus the last generation.

I don’t know about all that,

but combining these new
drivers and the sound profile

with the improved noise cancellation

is definitely noticeable.

It’s incredible with white noise,

like air conditioners and transportation.

You put the headphones on

and it just erases them immediately.

I’m not the type of person

to wear earbuds for an entire flight.

I still much prefer over-the-ear
headphones for that,

but I get it with these now.

I understand why people would want to wear

these airbuds on a plane

because they cancel noise that well.

I’m putting them on the same level

of the Sony Mark 4 earbuds,

and right below the new Bose
QuietComfort Earbud IIs,

and I put them above the AirPods Maxes,

as far as how well it
actually cancels sound.

They still sound very different.

I did the back-to-back test.

Don’t get me wrong.

You can tell the much bigger driver

makes a difference in the AirPods Max,

but these get quieter.

They remove more background noise.

Now there is already a
lot of computational audio

happening in AirPods Pro Sound.

They’re literally adjusting the EQ

with everything you listen to,

and across every different volume level

to make sure they sound a certain way,

which is kinda funny.

It actually makes them
hard to review sometimes

against other headphones,

because every track hits
a little bit different.

But the one huge
advantage AirPods have had

for a long time now over the competition,

over the Boses and the Samsungs

and the Pixel Buds of the world,

is the transparency mode.

As someone who has used them all,

the transparency mode from AirPods

has for a while been on a
level by itself above the rest.

The real-time passthrough of outside sound

is kind of amazing.

And in these, with the H2 chip,

it has leveled up again.

So on stage, Apple introduced
what they’re calling,

“Adaptive transparency mode.”

It’s actually not a separate mode,

it’s still the transparency mode,

which is with a different name,

but what’s happening is

it’s still passing through
all the outside sound.

But anytime there’s a loud

or a harsh sound above 85 decibels,

it cuts that sound down
to not be loud and harsh.

So let’s say, you’re walking
or biking through the city.

You need to keep transparency mode on

so you can hear the cars

and the people around you for safety,

but you’re still listening to music

or a podcast or whatever.

And then an ambulance drives past you,

sirens blaring.
(sirens blaring)

You will still hear the sirens,

but that super loud sound

will be suppressed to a level
that doesn’t hurt your ears.

It’s just, it’s super smart.

And that ambulance could be anything,

that could be someone honking,

it could be a jackhammer,
construction noise,

it could be a dog barking.

But it’s keeping the same sound signature

of whatever sound that is,

and just bringing it down
below a certain level.

And it’s doing it all in
real-time with virtually no delay.

So the crazy number is,

it’s sampling outside sound
48,000 times per second.

Apparently, that’s 240 times faster

than the last generation.

And so, it could even
be like a really sharp,

quick outside sound,
(fingers snapping)

like a dog barking.

It will actually reduce a loud dog barking

as fast as it’s actually happening.

So by the time it reaches your ears,

it’s a lower degree of sound; it’s crazy.

Now I’ve been trying it.

I’ve been walking around with them

and it’s working really well.

It’s so good that this is a scenario

that I’ve dreamt up that
I believe could happen.

I haven’t tried this myself,

but you know how you typically
go to a super loud concert

and front row, middle row,

the speakers are are obviously too loud,

they’re damaging your ears,

if you have an Apple watch,

it’s giving you warnings

that if you’re in this
type of sound for too long,

it’ll be damaging to your hearing.

Instead of wearing
earplugs, you can actually,

you can really do this,

you can wear AirPods Pro 2 and
put them in transparency mode

and it will take the
entire sound signature

of that whole thing you’re listening to,

and it will drop it down
to a reasonable level.

You’ll still feel the base in
your chest of the speakers,

but your hearing won’t be damaged as much,

because it’s taking all
of that and reducing it

and you’re still hearing the music.

That’s incredible.

So all of this real-time processing

is happening on the
earbuds, not on your phone,

and that is the H2 chip at work.

Plus, there’s also a few
other features it enables too.

It talks to the Noise app on
the Apple watch in real-time

to show you how much noise
is being canceled out,

in case you want a visual
for that sort of thing.

And also, if you accidentally

ever put the wrong earbud in
your case, like someone else’s,

the speaker will actually play a chime

and you’ll get a mismatched
AirPods notification

on your phone.

Another nice touch for those people

who have inevitably lost
AirPods to their friends’ cases

and probably don’t even know it.

And then there’s a new ear scan

for personalized spatial audio.

This was kind of a weird one.

So it’s using the Face ID depth sensors

to measure your head and
measure the depth of your ears,

to give you a personalized
spatial audio mix.

Sony’s been doing the same
thing for a little bit

with some of their headphones.

They use the front-facing camera.

I don’t know if I was convinced
at the usefulness of this.

The spatial audio was already pretty good,

but after I did the personalized
audio, basically for me,

it just sounded like

the sound stage got a
little bit whiter, maybe.

There’s just a bit more of a spread

to how far apart the different
sounds and instrumentals are.

I don’t know exactly how
much of the ear scan data

was being used for this,

but that’s even more computational audio,

thanks to the H2 chip.

Overall though, these AirPods
are a significant upgrade

and they’re just flat out
better than I expected.

I wasn’t expecting this much of a change,

and they sound way better,
they work way better.

There is still lots of other competition

in the earbuds world.

Samsung’s buds are really good.

I also really like the Pixel Buds.

I did a whole separate
video review of those.

If you wanna watch it, you can
check it out with the card.

But at the beginning of the video,

I said a little phrase, (I
don’t know if you caught it),

but I said, “AirPods people.”

“AirPods people.”

And this is something
that you might see a lot

if you live in a major city,

or where there’s a lotta mass transit

or something like that.

It’s when people just wear
AirPods everywhere they go.

They walk around the streets
with them, they bike around,

they just live with AirPods in their ears.

And these are gonna be
amazing for those people.

It’s everything you’d care about.

It’s the better battery life.

It’s the better sound quality.

It’s the better noise cancellation

and much better transparency mode.

The better case, the volume
control on the stocks,

all in one package at the same price.

I get it, I get it.
(gentle electric music begins)

It’s really good.

Air Pods Pro 2

are really, really good
and now you know why.

All right, that’s it.

Thanks for watchin’.

Catch you on the next one.

Peace.

 

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