AirPods Pro: Apple reveals new, noise cancelling version of smart earphones

Andrew Griffin@_andrew_griffin
Monday 28 October 2019 17:03
Trailer for Apple headphones Airpods Pro

Apple has revealed its AirPods Pro, a new version of its smart earphones that include noise cancelling and a new design.

The earphones will go on sale on 30 October and can be pre-ordered now. They cost $249 in the US, considerably more expensive than the AirPods 2, which will remain on sale.

The new earphones look largely similar to that cheaper, original version. But they have an ear tip that allows them to sit more snugly in the ear and keep out sound.

That noise cancellation is the chief feature of the new earphones, though it can be turned off to allow people to hear sounds from around them. It does so in a way that lets people keep listening to music while also hearing the sounds that are going on around them, Apple said.

It is triggered using another update: a new "force sensor" on the stem allows people to switch it on and off as well as triggering other changes such as playing tracks or hanging up calls.

When the noise cancellation mode is on, the AirPods Pro have a slightly shorter battery life than the normal AirPods, giving four-and-a-half hours of listening rather than five. Without it on, they last the same amount of time, Apple said.

The earphones also include an "Ear Tip Fit Test", which plays sound through the earphones and uses that to ensure people are using the right size end on the earphones. Unlike the normal AirPods, users will be able to change the end of the Pro model to suit the size of their ear.

After that, the AirPods use a similar feature called Adaptive EQ. Apple claims that will adjust the sound to the shape of the wearers' ear, improving both the audio quality and the noise cancellation.

“AirPods are the best-selling headphones in the world. The one-tap setup experience, incredible sound and iconic design have made them a beloved Apple product, and with AirPods Pro, we’re taking the magic even further,” said Phil Schiller, Apple's marketing head, in a statement.

“The new in-ear AirPods Pro sound amazing with Adaptive EQ, fit comfortably with flexible ear tips and have innovative Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency mode. We think customers are going to love this new addition to the AirPods family.”

In advance of the release of AirPods Pro, multiple rumours had suggested that the company would release them in a variety of colours, but Apple is still only selling them in white.

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