Just in time for the holidays, Apple announced AirPods Pro today, promising improvements across the board. They have a new design, with silicone ear tips and a venting system that reduces the discomfort sometimes found with earbuds.
They also include active noise cancelation (ANC), with two microphones, one for the outside and one for the inside. It works by detecting the noise in the environment and counteractive noise. While that's pretty much the way that all ANC works, AirPods Pro does it with each earbud, and it does it 200 times per second.
The alternative to ANC is Transparency mode, and the idea is to allow you to hear the environment around you while you're listening to music. It uses the venting system described above to passively allow users to listen to the world around them; you can switch between ANC and Transparency mode with a new force sensor on the stem.
"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 senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. "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."
Of course, Apple is promising better sound quality, with the earbuds automatically tuning low- to mid-frequencies to adapt to the shape of your ear. As far as battery life goes, you can get four and a half hours of use or three and a half hours of talk time, if you've got ANC on. Adding in the extra time you get from charges in the wireless charging case, you can get 24 hours of listening and 18 hours of talk time.
AirPods Pro will be available on October 30 for $249. You'll be able to get them in the U.S. and over 25 other regions.