AirPods Pro classical music

souko

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 31, 2017
166
107
Hi,
how AirPods Pro sound when listening to classical music?
Is it good enough for listening when traveling?

Can you compare it with quality of speaker of MacBook Pro 13” 2015 or of speaker of iPad Pro 10.5” or of speaker of iPhone 11?

thank you
 
Last edited:

Erehy Dobon

macrumors 6502a
Feb 16, 2018
528
372
I would say that AirPods Pro sound comparable to your average pair of $50 pair of wired earphones while listening to classical music.

Remember that Bluetooth Audio is lossy. Whatever music you're listening to gets converted to lossy AAC for wireless transmission.

Most of the situations I am using AirPods Pro aren't really optimal for fully savoring classical music. I usually use the APP when I am out and about, not when I am sitting at home.

I do not to find the tinny speakers on mobile devices and notebook computers to provide superior audio over earbuds, at least in most listening situations. Listening to audio on those devices that way can rudely disturb others anyhow.

Moreover, notebook computer speakers and iPad/iPhone speakers do not provide ANC, one of the key selling points of the AirPods Pro.

But by all means, try them yourself. If you like blasting Beethoven's Fifth Symphony on your iPad, enjoy (at least when you are by yourself). To me, this would probably sound like an FM station on a $5 transistor radio.

You already have a pair of wired earbuds from your iPhone 11. You should know the difference between what music sounds like via the iPhone's speakers and the wired earbuds.

Some people like really sh!tty listening experiences. I would not dare presume what type of person you are in this regard.
 
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souko

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 31, 2017
166
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I do not to find the tinny speakers on mobile devices and notebook computers to provide superior audio over earbuds, at least in most listening situations. Listening to audio on those devices that way can rudely disturb others anyhow.
Yes, it was only for the idea of quality of the sound.

But by all means, try them yourself. If you like blasting Beethoven's Fifth Symphony on your iPad, enjoy (at least when you are by yourself). To me, this would probably sound like an FM station on a $5 transistor radio.

You already have a pair of wired earbuds from your iPhone 11. You should know the difference between what music sounds like via the iPhone's speakers and the wired earbuds.

Some people like really sh!tty listening experiences. I would not dare presume what type of person you are in this regard.
Personally I usually hear classical music on Audio Technica SR5 and it is not the best for me... iPad Pro 10.5" speakers or MacBook Pro 13" 2015 speakers are not good enough for common listening classial music for me.

I would use AirPods Pro for listening classical music not to hear details but to listen sometimes on the go...
To try them will probably be the best option...

Thanks for your ideas.
 

AustinIllini

macrumors demi-goddess
Oct 20, 2011
11,579
8,290
Austin, TX
Compared to what? Despite what some say here, the AirPods Pro are basically the best earbuds on the market. Compared to any other earbuds, you're golden. A serious pair of noise cancellers will run circles around them, though.
 
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souko

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 31, 2017
166
107
Compared to what? Despite what some say here, the AirPods Pro are basically the best earbuds on the market. Compared to any other earbuds, you're golden. A serious pair of noise cancellers will run circles around them, though.
Compare to what you can...
 
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oli

macrumors member
Feb 4, 2008
60
13
Hamburg
I am enjoying every kind of music – also classical – with the APpro. Best earphones are the kind of you always may have with you.
With NC the music doesn`t have to be too loud to fully take you with. You surely find better over-ear and nothing beats live music – but the soundstage and purity is actually surprisingly good; and combined with the easyness…

There are some construction-based issues with the inward-NC to avoid Bone-conduction.
 
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souko

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 31, 2017
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it doesn't work that way. Earbuds can't compete to over-the-ears headphones.
It is a trade-off : quality vs portability.
Yes, but if you can compare with lower price over-the-ears headphones I will know what to expect. Of course at the same price will over-the-ears have better sound.
 

Erehy Dobon

macrumors 6502a
Feb 16, 2018
528
372
Again, you should already know what sort of audio experience to expect from earbuds. Your iPhone 11 came with a pair of wired earbuds.

Put those on and listen to some classical music in 256kbps AAC. Maybe the APP are a little better, maybe a little worse. However, the big selling points of the APP are the active noise cancellation and the lack of wires.

If you want great audio performance, buy a $80 pair of AKG over-the-ear headphones at a third of the price of the APP, load up your iPhone 11 with 48 kHz/24-bit ALACs and listen to your heart's content.
 

axantas

macrumors 6502
Jun 29, 2015
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Apple gives you the opportunity to test the AirPod Pro in its stores with your own i-Device and your own music. Do it...
They sound much better than the wired ones, you get with your iPhone.
 

Duncan68

macrumors 6502
Sep 22, 2018
305
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Again, you should already know what sort of audio experience to expect from earbuds. Your iPhone 11 came with a pair of wired earbuds.

Put those on and listen to some classical music in 256kbps AAC. Maybe the APP are a little better, maybe a little worse. However, the big selling points of the APP are the active noise cancellation and the lack of wires.

If you want great audio performance, buy a $80 pair of AKG over-the-ear headphones at a third of the price of the APP, load up your iPhone 11 with 48 kHz/24-bit ALACs and listen to your heart's content.
You're exaggerating the differences. I use an external DAC and headphone amp with Sennheiser HD600 playing FLAC and the AirPods Pro, playing Lame V0 MP3 on my XS Max, are not exactly terrible in comparison.
 

souko

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 31, 2017
166
107
Apple gives you the opportunity to test the AirPod Pro in its stores with your own i-Device and your own music. Do it...
They sound much better than the wired ones, you get with your iPhone.
Unfortunately I do not live in country where is Apple store... But maybe I will go to the trip later...
 

Mr. Brightsider

macrumors newbie
Dec 16, 2019
27
24
Hi,
how AirPods Pro sound when listening to classical music?
Is it good enough for listening when traveling?

Can you compare it with quality of speaker of MacBook Pro 13” 2015 or of speaker of iPad Pro 10.5” or of speaker of iPhone 11?

thank you
On the original firmware the APP provided a nice wide soundstage, a little bit airy (after some EQ tweaking). Great for classical music IMO which happens to be my nr. 1 genre music I listen to. But after the latest - now pulled - FW update the highs were less crisp and the bass and mids were more pronounced and blended together. That made for me personally the APP less enjoyable. YMMV of course.
 
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zhenya

macrumors 603
Jan 6, 2005
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2,930
Again, you should already know what sort of audio experience to expect from earbuds. Your iPhone 11 came with a pair of wired earbuds.

Put those on and listen to some classical music in 256kbps AAC. Maybe the APP are a little better, maybe a little worse. However, the big selling points of the APP are the active noise cancellation and the lack of wires.

If you want great audio performance, buy a $80 pair of AKG over-the-ear headphones at a third of the price of the APP, load up your iPhone 11 with 48 kHz/24-bit ALACs and listen to your heart's content.
You are greatly underestimating the sound quality from the APP’s.

First, regarding your earlier comment, AAC at the level supported is effectively transparent. Quite likely impossible for anyone to reliably tell the difference from the source.

Second, the APP’s are in an entirely different league sound-wise than the wired Apple buds. Not even close.

Third, the APP’s are closer to an in-ear-monitor than an earbud. IEM’s produce different sound than over-ear headphones, but are capable of being extremely high end. Most serious headphone enthusiasts use some form of IEM for their portable listening, and have done so for decades.

Personally, I’ve been seriously into headphones for more than 20 years, and have several pairs of thousand-dollar plus models in my collection. The APP’s are actually a really good sounding headphone, even in comparison with my best stuff. As usual, when Apple takes sound seriously, they get it right (see the essentially flat output of iPods, iPhones, etc. for years, the phenomenal amp/DAC in their lightning to 3.5mm adapter, at an unbelievable size and price, the HomePod, etc. etc.). I’m fairly sure I would prefer the sound of the APP’s vs. $80 AKG’s as I still choose to listen to them over my previous work cans which cost many times that.

As for the original question, the main strength of the APP’s sound-wise is their mid-range. They are top-tier there. The highs are their weakest - they can sound a bit rough at times - but by most people’s standards they are still well above what they are used to - certainly miles above the output of the speakers on an iPhone or MacBook. You should enjoy them very well. 👍
 
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Erehy Dobon

macrumors 6502a
Feb 16, 2018
528
372
LOL, that's hilarious. I think I've owned about 10 pairs of Apple earphones/earbuds from various iPod touch/iPhone purchases over the years. It's not like this is my first rodeo.

Go back and reread my posts in this thread and every other thread in the AirPods section.

I have repeatedly touted my enthusiasm for APP including use of them at home not listening to music (solely for ANC while the gardeners' leaf blowers are howling outside my place).

From a music reproduction standpoint (particularly classical), I'm sorry but the APP are inferior to my $80 AKGs and my geriatric 20-year-old Grado SR-60s. I've used various headphones/earbuds/earphones of varying quality since the early 80s.

However, the biggest takeaway is that the OP should be able to have some idea of the acoustics performance of the APP simply because he owns an iPhone 11 which comes with wired earbuds.
 
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Mr. Brightsider

macrumors newbie
Dec 16, 2019
27
24
You are greatly underestimating the sound quality from the APP’s.

First, regarding your earlier comment, AAC at the level supported is effectively transparent. Quite likely impossible for anyone to reliably tell the difference from the source.

Second, the APP’s are in an entirely different league sound-wise than the wired Apple buds. Not even close.

Third, the APP’s are closer to an in-ear-monitor than an earbud. IEM’s produce different sound than over-ear headphones, but are capable of being extremely high end. Most serious headphone enthusiasts use some form of IEM for their portable listening, and have done so for decades.

Personally, I’ve been seriously into headphones for more than 20 years, and have several pairs of thousand-dollar plus models in my collection. The APP’s are actually a really good sounding headphone, even in comparison with my best stuff. As usual, when Apple takes sound seriously, they get it right (see the essentially flat output of iPods, iPhones, etc. for years, the phenomenal amp/DAC in their lightning to 3.5mm adapter, at an unbelievable size and price, the HomePod, etc. etc.). I’m fairly sure I would prefer the sound of the APP’s vs. $80 AKG’s as I still choose to listen to them over my previous work cans which cost many times that.

As for the original question, the main strength of the APP’s sound-wise is their mid-range. They are top-tier there. The highs are their weakest - they can sound a bit rough at times - but by most people’s standards they are still well above what they are used to - certainly miles above the output of the speakers on an iPhone or MacBook. You should enjoy them very well. 👍
I’m pretty sure it’s a subjective experience wether you like the APP sound or not. I was not impressed with how the sounded out of the box . Only after some EQ tweaking I found them acceptable to listen to. But still not a ‘wow’ factor.
 

zhenya

macrumors 603
Jan 6, 2005
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I’m pretty sure it’s a subjective experience wether you like the APP sound or not. I was not impressed with how the sounded out of the box . Only after some EQ tweaking I found them acceptable to listen to. But still not a ‘wow’ factor.
Of course it will always be subjective, but the graphs from the serious review sites don’t lie. And if you read the reviews from people who have experience with listening to and describing headphone/IEM sound, they are generally positive, and more importantly, the general characteristics, strengths and weaknesses, etc. are generally agreed upon by independent reviewers.

I’ve been buying, testing, and listening to headphones for long enough that I am confident in trusting my own ears. The APP’s don’t have ‘super hi-FI sound’ but they are tonally extremely neutral and completely non-offensive with most any genre. There are lots of very expensive headphones that can’t get that right. That flat sound profile is not intended to ‘wow’ you, but it’s very typical to mid-to-high end gear.

https://www.reddit.com/r/apple/comments/e4niaw https://www.reddit.com/r/apple/comments/dpcp2h
 
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