Packing better noise cancellation, transparency, battery life, and more, the Apple AirPods Pro 2 are the best wireless earbuds for Apple users. You'll get the benefit of built-in Find My, a speaker on the case for finding it, and audiogram support for clearer audio. The latter basically lets you adjust the audio output based on an audiogram test, which is great. It also now comes with a USB-C charging port, like the new iPhones.
- Custom Apple driver (not disclosed)
- Apple H2 headphone chip
- Comes with four tip sizes, XS, S, M, and L
- Case can be charged with MagSafe, Qi, or Apple Watch charger
The one visible change for the newer AirPods Pro 2 is the vent redesign, which has been moved to the the top. This will help prevent earwax from building up in the grilles. A not-so-visible change is the addition of volume slider controls on the Pro 2. Previously, you had to use Siri or adjust it with your phone, or the Apple Watch. Otherwise, the AirPods Pro looks very much the same with a unique, unmistakable design. In terms of fit, the medium eartips sit well, and stay in place even when I'm jumping or running around, unlike the AirPods 3.
Powered by the new H2 chip, noise cancelling on the AirPods Pro 2 is great. It feels similar to the excellent Sony WF-1000XM4, or the Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2. It does a great job of keeping engine and road noise down when I'm on the road, and easily suppresses fan noise. You can't set ANC strength, but it doesn't have an uncomfortable pressure in your ears. New in iOS 17 is Adaptive audio, which combines Noise Cancellation and Transparency mode into one. It takes some getting used to, since you still hear the world around you, but louder noise is suppressed. Also new is Conversation Awareness, which softens your music and enhances voices in front of you when you start talking. You need to initiate it by talking though. It doesn't work if someone is talking to you first. Personalized Volume uses machine learning to give you the right sound levels based on your preferences and location after it learns it over time.
If there's one thing the AirPods are great at, it's music playback. Highs and mids are fantastic, and bass is definitely punchy. While it still won't beat the AK UW100, the AirPods Pro sound doesn't disappoint. Spatial sound also works well, giving you an expanded soundstage. You'll want to do a hearing test via the Mimi app, which generates an audiogram that you can apply to your audio profile. This will give you better sound in case you have some hearing loss. Another new thing is personalised spatial sound, which works great to keep the sound centered in your head. You will need to scan both your ears using the TouchID cameras. Apple rates battery life at 6 hours with ANC on. Our testing without ANC (because it deactivates when not worn), had 35% left after 7 hours of continuous use. The case adds another 30 hours. Voice calls are good, too.
The S$362 Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) are worthy wireless earbuds to get. They fit well, and does great noise cancelling. If you're already in Apple's ecosystem, these earbuds are a no-brainer. Get them from Shopee, Lazada, Amazon, or the Apple Store.
Note: Review unit provided by Apple. We've updated the review with new iOS 17 features on Sep 27, 2023.
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