Christmas came early this year for Apple fans, because along with the new updated operating iOS 13.2 system, Apple just released new AirPods Pro. The AirPods Pro looks like an impressive upgrade from AirPods 2, and anyone who swears by their wireless headphones will want to get the full lowdown on what's new. Here's a comparison of Apple's AirPods Pro versus AirPods 2 to help you field your options when you're headphone shopping this season.
Apple unveiled the new AirPods Pro on Monday, Oct. 28, and there are plenty of major upgrades to the latest iteration of the ever-popular headphones. Not only is there a new design, but there are also some very cool audio features that may just have you rethinking your current headphones. Of course, fans will remember that it hasn't been that long since the AirPods 2 were released in March, with the highly-anticipated wireless charging case.
The new AirPods Pro will be available in Apple stores and will ship to customers beginning Oct. 30. Apple won't be discontinuing AirPods 2, so you'll still be able to purchase the headphones at stores and online. So, if you want to see whether it's really worth it to upgrade to the AirPods Pro, it's important to consider the main differences between the two generations of headphones.
Apple is calling the new in-ear design of the AirPods Pro "a customizable fit," which means that you'll no longer have to deal with headphones that never seem to fit quite perfectly in your ear. To achieve a snug fit, you'll get to choose from three sizes of flexible silicone tips that clip into place: Small, medium, and large. Apple is even releasing a fitting feature that uses software to check if you've chosen the right size tips for you.
AirPods 2, on the other hand, have a "universal fit" that aren't designed to fit in your ear. There are no customizable silicone tips available, and the headphones sit just outside your ear canal, allowing sound from the outside world to seep in.
AirPods Pro are noise-canceling headphones that block out your external environment so you can focus on exactly what you want to listen to. With dual microphones, an outward-facing microphone and an inward-facing microphone, Active Noise Cancellation continuously adapts to your ear and the fit of the ear tips by combatting outside noise with "equal anti-noise," according to the AirPods Pro information page on the Apple website, so silencing the world while you jam out to Selena Gomez has never been easier.
Though the AirPods 2 were originally rumored to have noise cancellation, it ended up not incorporating the design. Thankfully, it looks like Apple has addressed the noticeably missing feature this time around.
When it's time to tune into your surroundings, AirPods Pro also has a special Transparency Mode that'll let sound in. As soon a you turn on Transparency Mode, the outward and inward facing microphones lower the sound-isolating effect of noise cancellation without turning it off completely. You can easily switch between the two modes (or turn them both off completely) by holding the force sensor on the side of the AirPod.
AirPods 2 don't have any noise-cancelling features.
Sensors & System Requirements
With the new design of the AirPods Pro, the sensors have moved from the outside of the headphone to a sensor on the arm right below the earbud. There are also more commands you can use with them. Press once to play or pause music or answer a phone call. Press twice to skip to the next song, or press three times to go back. Finally, you can hold down the sensor to easily switch between Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency Mode. For all these upgrades, you'll have to be running iOS 13.2.
The AirPods 2 let you double-tap only, and you can pause a song, skip forward to the next song, or answer a phone call. AirPods 2 only need to be running iOS 12.2 or later.
You can also use the "Hey Siri" command on both models to play songs or get directions without tapping anything.
According to the comparison chart on the Apple website the AirPods Pro provide up to 4 and a half hours of listening time on one charge when using Active Noise Cancellation. With the feature turned off, you can get up to 5 hours of use on one charge.
The second-generation AirPods will give you up to 5 hours of listening time on one charge, according the the Apple website.
Both sets of AirPods come with a wireless charging case, so you can always juice up on the go.
You can get your very own AirPods Pro for $250, which is a bit more expensive than AirPods 2, which cost $199. Given the quality of the new upgrades, hashing out $50 more for the newer generation of headphones doesn't seem like a bad idea.
Given the slightly higher price tag on the new AirPods, you'll have to weigh for yourself whether the major changes are important to you.