Apple today announced that it is releasing its much-anticipated new AirPods Pro earbuds on October 30. The new earbuds feature Active Noise Cancellation and immersive sound in an all-new lightweight, in-ear design.
AirPods Pro are available to order on apple.com and the Apple Store app starting today and will be will start shipping on Wednesday, October 30 and be available in stores beginning later this week (varies by country and region), for $249.
Apple says that the AirPods Pro are engineered for “comfort and fit” and each earbud ships with three different sizes of silicone ear tips that conform to the contours of the individual ear, offering up a comfortable fit and a “superior seal.” That should prevent issues like some users had, where their AirPods didn’t fit properly in either one or both ears.
An Ear Tip Fit Test is designed to ensure that users get the best audio experience. After putting the AirPods Pro in each ear, Apple’s software uses the built-in microphones to measure the sound level in the ear and compare it to what’s coming from the speaker driver. The software will then determine whether the ear tip is the right size and has a good fit or should be adjusted for a better seal.
Active Noise Cancellation on the new “pro” earbuds uses two microphones combined with advanced software that Apple says continuously adapt to each individual ear and headphone fit. This removes background noise to provide “a uniquely customized, superior noise-canceling experience that allows a user to focus on what they’re listening to — whether it’s a favorite song or a phone conversation.”
One microphone is outward-facing, detecting external sound to analyze environmental noise. AirPods Pro then create an equivalent anti-noise that cancels out background noise before it reaches the listener’s ear. A second inward-facing microphone listens toward the ear, and the AirPods Pro cancel remaining noise detected by the microphone. Noise cancellation continuously adapts the sound signal 200 times per second.
Inside, an “innovative vent system” is designed to equalize pressure to minimize discomfort common with other in-ear designs. The AirPods Pro are both sweat and water resistant with an IPX4 rating. So some splashing and sweating will be okay, but don’t try swimming with them in your ears.
AirPods Pro use Adaptive EQ, which automatically tunes the low- and mid-frequencies of the music to the shape of an individual’s ear, which apple says results in a rich, immersive listening experience. A custom high dynamic range amplifier produces pure, incredibly clear sound while also extending battery life, and powers a custom high-excursion, low-distortion speaker driver designed to optimize audio quality and remove background noise. The driver provides consistent, rich bass down to 20Hz and detailed mid- and high-frequency audio.
Transparency mode allows users to simultaneously listen to music while still hearing the environment around them. Transparency mode ensures that a user’s own voice sounds natural while audio continues to play.
Switching between Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency modes is done directly on AirPods Pro using a new force sensor on the stem. The force sensor also makes it easy 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.
AirPods Pro feature the same battery life as AirPods, with up to five hours of listening time. In Active Noise Cancellation mode, 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.
- Voice-activated Siri uses the H1 chip to enable hands-free “Hey Siri” to play a song, increase the volume, make a call or get directions.
- Audio Sharing makes it easy to listen to the same song or watch the same movie with a friend by simply bringing a second pair of AirPods close to iPhone or iPad.
- Announce Messages automatically and conveniently speaks incoming messages as soon as they arrive, and when on a phone call or sharing media via Audio Sharing, Siri knows not to interrupt.
AirPods Pro Pricing and Availability
AirPods Pro will be available for $249 (US) and are available to order apple.com and in the Apple Store app in the US and more than 25 other countries and regions. AirPods Pro will start shipping on Wednesday, October 30 and be available in stores beginning later this week (varies by country and region).