I am an Apple geek. No apologies, no shame. What Apple consistently do is produce extremely great products, that just work and then they do it again, and again. See their share price for reference.
I LOVE the AirPods. The initial negative critics reviews, not from me, are gone. The naysayers are now saying how great they are!! I always did say how great they were, and still believe that they are a stroke of genius from Apple.
I upsold them to a number of friends as the best thing that Apple did since the iPhone. They all loved them too.
Take them out the self-charging case, stick them in your ears, and bingo, great sound, great microphone, instant connections, and last an entire day, if you get them back in the case.
I didn’t always get them back In the case in time to charge them before my next conference call. My solution, buy another set. So I am the example guy carrying two sets of AirPods, so I can swap to a fully charged pair.
Now, I don’t use them at all.
What went wrong.
Well as usual Apple upped the game. They produced another version. £100 / $100 more expensive than the already pricey AirPods (which when you got them were the best money you spent since the iPhone). From £150 / $150 pair to £250 / $250 a pair
(Don’t get me started on Apples FX rates, and Apples inability to realistically reflect the US price in the UK – biggest company in the world and they still rip us off on Exchange Rates).
Apple produced the AirPods Pros – and so what. Smaller, bit longer battery, a lot more in ear, different interface, click rather than tap, and so what.
Well two major changes:
- Active Noise cancellation built in (ANC)
- Sound quality comparable to the most expensive studio headphones
So the first improvement is fantastic Sat on the train, surrounded by a large group of people going to town for a business event, turn on ANC they fade into the background. On an Airplane people, engines, announcements, ….
Just back from Warsaw, and didn’t notice any of that.
And you can turn On (Full ANC), Transparent (Let relevant noise in – like speaking), Off (Airpods are back).
All controlled through both the Bluetooth settings and clicking AND holding the AirPod Pros themselves. The click and hold takes a while to “get”.
Quantifying sound quality
The second improvement is difficult to quantify. I will try.
I am not, by any means, an audiophile. I would love to be, but frankly don’t have the time. I have six children, I love to cook, I am now home baking sourdough bread, and I run my own businesses. So who has the time to sit in front of a perfect set of speakers, with your 10 favourite Albums and play them. Well I don’t.
However I listen to music in every waking moment I am able to, and the iPod was the best invention since the record player. I am now totally digital. I miss the audio output of my album collection, on vinyl, when I could not only name the album from the cover but list all the songs on the album, in order.
The reality is I hadn’t played any vinyl for years. I tried to give my collection of over a 1,000 records away several times, and finally my niece took them, to onward sell a few years back.
The CD’s will go next, and similar numbers sat in the loft somewhere (offers welcome).
I am now Apple Music. When my mate, Rab, told me several years ago, we would be renting all content in the future, I genuinely thought he was a total idiot and likely told him so. Well it was me that was deluded.
I am avid in listening to my music. I love it ALL, and I love it EVERY DAY. And I had an iPhone and AirPods, and occasionally used the HomePod in the kitchen also great quality (bread takes a long time). So I was set, and happy.
On the train, walking London, trips in car, …. Music is my passion. And AirPods upped the game. No more wires, no thought of what to take with me (Apple Music, and before that the biggest iPod I could buy), and I was, and to an extent still am in love. The AirPods were the best thing for music on the go.
Another £250 / $250 to buy AirPod Pros and as I said before “so what”. Well the change in quality of output is no less than extraordinary.
I can’t over emphasise, the AirPods were the best thing Apple made since the iPhone. The AirPod Pro’s are even better.
I am re-listening to albums that I listened to as a youth in bed on analogue headphones, on a hight quality record player I bought when 12 and they sound far better. The clarity, depth, stereo effects, tones, … incredible.
I have not the first clue how Apple have achieved this, in a tiny set of plugin ear phones. Some tech in there, that is beyond my capability to explain. They have done it, and it is excellent.
Using AirPods Pro
Back to basics. As always with an Apple product, you get your shiny new box delivered with the AirPod Pros in. unpack, open next to iPhone, they pair instantly, select as an audio option, stick in ears.
With the AirPod Pros though there are little rubber things that seal to the ears. I always assumed I had big ears, well having tried the different sizes, medium are supplied fitted already, I find that the App in the AirPod Pros settings, that checks your fit, says small is a perfect cap to fit. Who knew – small ears – quite shocked by that.
Once fitted, put back in turn on Active Noise Cancelling, all good. Dulls down background noise very effectively. Then turn on music. Blown away ! I forgot how great some of these songs should sound, and the Pro’s make them sound great.
I have been using for a few weeks, and I am still astounded in the benefits of these tiny over powered beasts. They are beyond good. They work just like AirPods, but the sounds far far better.
My musical tastes as quite a bit eclectic, and so I have listened to a bunch of songs over the last few weeks, and hearing nuances that I have genuinely never heard before, or in some cases, not since those headphones on the record player. (For the 20 somethings – google record player).
The Beat never sounded fresher, Floyds the Wall comes to life again, ELO’s Out of the Blue back to swapping across ears, Highway to Hell /Back in Black / … ( all AC/DC) even better if that was possible, Dr John’s Out of New Orleans more echos and birds, Maytones rhythms, Reverend and the Makers, UFO Strangers better and clearer, Enemy, Reel Big Fish, Blue Harlem most horns, Black Spiders, White Stripes, …. All sound incredible.
I swapped back to AirPods, to try some of the more astounding songs, and even with my limited tone, I can clearly hear the improvement in quality with the AirPod Pros. I had to put the AirPod Pros back, and I use them all the time now. I carry my AirPods still in case I get long phone calls. Just have not had to use them for weeks.
If you can afford £250 / $250 for a pair of earphones to listen to your music collection, then honestly you should just go and buy a pair.
Don’t know how to phrase this, other than to say it, If you want to listen to your music in a more astounding environment do go for it, save up, buy Airpod Pros, now.
If you can’t afford Pro. but can afford the lower price for Airpods, these are still the next best thing Apple had done and well worth the investment, and my referrals all still use them constantly above way more expensive Earphones they had bought.
I still keep my AirPods with me, just haven’t used them for weeks. AirPod Pros are irreplaceable, once you use them. Until Apple do the next thing.
*** WHY DID I WRITE THIS – JUST COULDN’T FIND A GOOD REVIEW OF THE QUALITY OF THESE DEVICES ***