All Apple Airpods Pro Discussions - December 2019
Apple Airpods Pro: Noise Cancelling Wireless Earbuds from Apple
Apple's AirPods Pro offer users of the tech giant's devices the prospect of advanced noise cancellation, top-level audio performance, and total convenience. These wireless earphones provide a way to enjoy podcasts and music, or take calls without needing to pick up your phone. And they could be the ideal purchase for Apple fans who want to enhance their devices.
But are AirPod Pro earphones the right option for you? After all, there are numerous alternatives (including first generation AirPods). With that in mind, we've put together a hotukdeals buyer's guide to Apple's flagship earphones. We'll run through everything buyers need to know, some key questions, and ways to find the best AirPods Pro offers. But first, let's quickly investigate how AirPods came to be, and how they fit into the Apple story.
The History of the AirPods Pro
AirPods first appeared in December 2016, and they instantly caused a commotion. The reason had nothing to do with the earphones themselves, which attracted a positive response among Apple users and critics alike.
The problem was that AirPods did away with the 3.5mm headphone jack, which was once a feature of all iPhone devices. After 2016, the headphone jack disappeared, as Apple embraced fully wireless audio technology.
Not all audio fans were delighted by this decision, which made their advanced headphones obsolete, and limited their options. But many were soon persuaded by the first generation of AirPods, and all of the features they brought to the table.
The first generation of AirPods included both a standard model and a “Pro” version with premium features. That system remains in place, meaning that customers need to choose which style of AirPod they prefer. From the start, the general idea was clear: offering good looking noise cancelling earphones, with zero wires, easy charging, and a stylish carry case.
Early AirPods used Bluetooth 4.2, capitalising on the leading wireless standard of the time, and they could work with all other devices using Bluetooth 4.0 or later – a handy addition that sweetened the deal for many audio lovers. However, all devices have their lifespans, and the first generation of AirPods was discontinued in March 2019. You may still find sets available refurbished or second hand, but as of spring 2019, the stage was set for a new generation, the Airpods 2 to take centre stage. A Pro edition, designed with exciting new features such as noise cancelling technology, was then released on October 30th.
Introducing Apple AirPods Pro
Key AirPods Pro Features
AirPods Pro arrived in October 2019, and represented three extra years of research and development, and awareness of customer needs. As usual with Apple, nothing has stood still, either inside or out, and the new generation of AirPod Pro earphones is a major step forward relative to its predecessors. Customers can expect the following core features when they charge them up and ask Siri to start their playlists:
AirPods Pro noise cancelling – From the start, AirPods have offered very impressive noise cancellation (the ability to shut off outside noises, allowing users to focus on what they want to listen to). However, AirPods Pro earphones are different. This time, Apple has installed “active” noise cancellation, which adapts to the shape of the wearer's ears, and dynamically adjusts to external noise. The result is a noticeably improved level of clarity, with as much of the outside world blocked out as possible. A sensor on the outside of the AirPod casing also lets you engage “Transparency Mode”, which cuts out AirPods Pro noise cancellation and allows you to easily hear outside noises – handy for navigating traffic or chatting with friends.
Flexible fit for maximum comfort – AirPods Pro earphones also come with a selection of different silicone tips, enabling users to find a fit which suits their ears. We are all different when it comes to biology, and with large, medium, and small tips available, there should be a size that maxes out on comfort and sound quality at the same time. As an added bonus, the tips are “vented”, meaning that they equalise the pressure inside your ear (a common problem with cheaper earphones). This gives them a much lighter feel, as if sound is being beamed straight into your ears, with no speakers in between.
Precise sound delivery via the H1 Chip – The Pro version of Apple's AirPods comes with a sophisticated H1 chip, which is why it can dynamically detect and adjust noise 200 times every second. The H1 chip constantly senses the shape of your ears, customising acoustics to deliver crystal clear audio, while hooking up smoothly with Apple devices and allowing calls or Siri enquiries.
Build quality that's made for comfort – While the internal tech included with AirPod Pros is impressive, the exterior is just as advanced. These earphones are designed to be sweat resistant, avoiding the clamminess that can result from wearing inferior versions for long periods. They are water and wind resistant as well, keeping up their audio quality in the most demanding situations.
Easy wireless charging – Apple has embraced wireless charging across its whole product range, so it's no surprise to learn that the Airpods Pro require no charging cables. Instead, you can place them inside their case, which stores 24 hours of battery life (and you can also charge them with any other Qi compatible chargers too, if you've already joined the wireless charging revolution).
Extended battery life for uninterrupted enjoyment – While the case contains as much as 24 hours of charge, the earphones themselves also allow for impressively long listening sessions. Each charge ensures 4.5 hours or peak audio performance when fully charged. And, if you're in a hurry, you can deliver 1 hour of playback on just 5 minutes of charging.
Total compatibility with Apple devices – Another unsurprising aspect of the Airpods Pro is the way they connect seamlessly with Apple devices like Apple Watches or iPhones. The whole idea is to create an ecology of Apple devices that link together and apply to all aspects of daily life. You can use Siri with ease, firing up podcasts or starting phone calls. And you can set alerts on your Watch to keep you on schedule.
AirPods Pro Specs
Those core features show that Apple has made a series of refinements to its AirPods range (check the direct comparison below with standard AirPods for more details). But the details matter with all digital devices, so let's quickly run through a sheet of the most important AirPods Pro Specs:
Earphone dimensions: 30.9 x 21.8 x 24 mm
Case dimensions: 60.6 x 45.2 x 21.7 mm
Processor: Apple H1 Chip
Water resistance: IPX4
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0
Case Weight: 45.6g
Listening time: 4.5 hours on single charge
Talk time: 3.5 hours on single charge
Case charge: 24 hours of listening time, 18 hours talk time
iPhone compatibility: iPhone SE (2016) and later
iPad compatibility: iPad Mini 4 (2015) and later
Apple Watch compatibility: All models
Mac compatibility: Everything from 2012 onwards
Accessories included: 3 sizes of silicone tips, Lightning cable
How Do You Use AirPods Pro Earphones?
As with all AirPods, AirPods Pro are wireless earphones, which use Bluetooth technology to pair with Apple devices. Doing so is simple. Users just open up their AirPod case with the earphones inside, turn on their Apple device, and head to the Home screen. After that, the device will automatically detect the earphones, and users can tap the “Connect” button to complete the installation.
If they haven't already done so, users can also turn on the “Hey Siri” option on their phones to activate voice commands, and this is also a really simple operation.
When that's all done, AirPod earphones will start playing any audio that is streaming from Apple devices as soon as you place them in your ears. You can pause audio by removing one from your ears, of cancel audio completely by removing both earphones.
The “force sensor” on the exterior of the AirPod casing provides the ability to govern playback, letting you skip forward, back, or pause tracks. You can switch between Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency Mode. And you can also change the audio settings via Siri voice commands. All-in-all, it's just as technically advanced and intuitive as you'd expect from an Apple audio device.
Ways to Buy a Set of AirPods Pro Earphones
There's only one way to purchase a set of AirPod earphones. The standard package comes with three different sizes of tip, the charging case, and a Lightning USB-C connection cable, and there's only one colour – a typical Apple white, in keeping with all of their other devices. So there's no need to worry about choosing memory levels or different packages.
However, there is one important customisation option offered by Apple, which could be relevant to gift buyers, and that's engraving. Apple offers the ability to engrave your name, address, phone number, or any other information, on the AirPod casing. This can help to identify your earphones should they become lost, or just add a neat personal touch. It's also free of charge when you order at the Apple Store, so it's well worth thinking about.
Warranties are another thing to think about. Apple offers a one-year warranty as standard with all of its products, but you may find longer warranty terms with some merchants. If you are concerned about repairs or replacements, that's worth bearing in mind.
It could also be worth thinking about buying refurbished AirPod Pros. As soon as a few months after release, Apple products tend to be available second hand via the Apple Certified Refurbished store. It can be a great source of discounts for earphones and iPhones alike.
Press Reaction to the Apple AirPods Pro
Apple tends to have a pretty stellar reputation among the tech press, and the first generation of AirPod devices certainly proved popular. But what about the new range of AirPod Pros, which were released in October 2019?
Predictably enough, feedback has been strong – if not flawless. What HiFi gave the new device four stars out of five, praising its noise cancellation features, comfort, and balanced audio. However, the audio experts weren't sure that the Pro offers best-in-class audio quality. In their view, Sony offers just as much power and depth, which is worth thinking about when weighing up with earphones to purchase.
Tech Radar was slightly more positive, almost giving the Airpods Pro full marks in their assessment. Again, the reviewer was blown away by the comfort and noise cancellation offered by the earphones, although they weren't so impressed by the relatively high price. This led the journal to recommend AirPod Pros to Apple users, while suggesting that other phone owners could look elsewhere.
That's a common opinion among tech commentators. While Apple have refined their earphones and offer great features for Apple iPhone and Watch users, there are other brands around, and they can offer better value.
Comparing AirPods vs AirPods Pro Earphones – Is It Worth Upgrading?
Some buyers will be coming from using standard AirPod earphones, and wondering what all the fuss is about. Do they really need to upgrade to the Pro variety, and what does the more expensive version offer that standard earphones don't?
It's important to note that the best comparison here is between the Airpods 2 and the AirPods Pro (both of which were released in 2019). And there are some major differences. Most obviously, there's a price difference, with AirPods 2 cost around £100 less than their deluxe siblings. However, you get quite a lot extra for your money.
AirPods 2 don't come with noise cancellation, and don't come with a wireless charging case as standard (although one can be added if required). Standard AirPod earphones are also less flexible when it comes to fitting, while Pro earphones have more complex controls on the side (to change noise cancellation settings).
Basically, if you value high quality audio when you are in noisy situations, the Pro will deliver better performance. But if you want a more affordable, but still high tech option with Siri and Bluetooth, standard Airpods 2 devices will be absolutely fine.
What About AirPods Pro Accessories?
When you come to take advantage of AirPods Pro deals, why not accessorise your purchase and enhance the functionality and durability of your earphones? There are a number of options to think about, and bundle deals with the earphones themselves are often a possibility.
AirPods Pro case models – Cases are the number one accessory for AirPod buyers, and third party manufacturers have created hundreds of different designs. Makers like Ahastyle, Ztotop, and ESR all offer colourful cases with useful carabiners to attach to bags or coats. Then there are manufacturers like Spigen, who are famous for their super-rugged designs – a great option for hikers or extreme sports fans. Cases tend to cost very little, so many owners like to build a collection, including options for commuting and leisure. And it may also be a good idea to pick up a spare charging case from Apple (although this will cost a lot more than simple carry cases).
Wireless chargers – AirPods can also be enhanced with third party wireless charging pads. For instance, Yootech makes eyecatching charging pads with temperature controls and protective features to guard against power surges. Brands like Seneo also offer ergonomic charging stands, which can also accommodate iPhones and Apple Watches.
Neck straps – AirPods come as separate earphones, which is great. But sometimes, this can lead to problems, such as when an individual earphone falls out during exercise. Spigen offer a solution to this issue, via AirPod straps. Attached to each earphone, they are worn around the neck, ensuring that earphones won't fall to the ground when dislodged.
AirPods Pro: A Quick FAQ For Buyers
Before we sign off with some all-important buying advice, it's worth quickly answering some common customer queries regarding AirPods Pro devices. That way, you can be totally confident about what you are buying, and know that it meets your needs.
Are AirPods Pro waterproof? - AirPods Pro earphones are IPX4 rated for water resistance. This sounds good, but it actually means that they are only rated as resistant to light rain and splashes. Any prolonged periods underwater could seriously damage their equipment.
Are AirPods Pro wireless charging? Yes, AirPod earphones are wireless charging, via the Qi standard developed by Apple. However, users can also use USB-C charging cables to charge conventionally if they so wish.
How long does the AirPods Pro battery last? AirPods Pro earphones deliver 4.5 hours of battery life (listening) and 3.5 hours of battery life (talking) on a single charge. The case can hold 24 hours of charge.
Do AirPods Pro work with Android? Yes, AirPod Pros can be paired successfully with almost all Android phones or tablets. However, to enjoy their full functionality, Apple advises using devices running the most recent version of iOS.
How and When to Find Great AirPods Pro Deals
Apple's AirPods Pro represent the elite of smartphone audio devices. Completely wire-free via Bluetooth technology, they cancel out exterior noise with ease, and deliver excellent audio quality, whether users listen to their favourite music, or need to make telephone calls. However, this quality comes with a cost, making it essential to find an AirPods Pro sale if at all possible.
Fortunately, there are ways to save money when purchasing AirPod Pros. Shopping directly from Apple or other prominent merchants isn't usually the best option. Instead, it makes sense to check out the AirPods Pro offers at hotukdeals, which bring together the latest discounts from a huge variety of UK merchants. You'll find savings from the Apple Store, along with Argos, Currys, eGlobal Central, Amazon, eBay, GearBest, and many other vendors. And you'll also find deals on cases, cables, and chargers.
Timing can make a big difference when seeking out the best prices. Black Friday and Cyber Monday tend to see bursts of AirPods Pro deals, while the New Year sales aren't too far behind. As the earphones age, look for deals on refurbished devices as well. Within a few months of launch, Apple products tend to become available for much less when you buy them second hand.
In any case, enjoying the best audio possible is within your grasp. So have a look at the hotukdeals Apple AirPod listings, and pick up some AirPod Pros to enhance your iPhone today.
Enjoy Noise Cancellation, Clear Audio, and Total Flexibility with an AirPods Pro Purchase from hotukdeals
Released in October 2019, the new generation of AirPod Pros has changed the game when it comes to smartphone audio. With their noise cancellation, voice commands, audio quality, and classic Apple aesthetics, they will add a whole new dimension to exercise, commutes, or just relaxing at home. Whatever type they want, customers can always find a cheap AirPods Pro at the hotukdeals AirPod Pro listings.