AirPods Pro Lack of Bass

RigSatMe

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 24, 2019
25
9
Dear All,

recently purchased AirPods Pro, Firmware 2C54. I have 1st gen AirPods as well. Comparing APP to AirPods, APP lack bass. I have tested all included tips: medium and small ones sits perfectly and Apple ear tip fit test confirms this.
Please advise if anyone has the same experience? Have you exchanged for the new ones? If yes, please advise whether the new ones sound better?
 

icloudUser

macrumors regular
May 20, 2019
208
71
The bass on mine is very good for my listening and I wouldnt say they lack bass. This is with large size tips and R&B equalizer setting on the Iphone.

Used them with apple watch - WHERE there is NO equalizer so sound is flat - but even with that bass is good on the APP.
 

MajkDudkowski

macrumors newbie
Dec 18, 2019
3
4
Same problem for me, nothing changed after 2C54 firmware. For now the only solution is to change equalizer settings in Spotify. Apple Music equalizer can't repair that, get only worse...
 

mavis

macrumors 601
Jul 30, 2007
4,216
566
Tokyo, Japan
So I just installed Spotify again, and signed up for another three month trial (they kept emailing me; I thought it would be cool to A/B my bass playlist on Spotify - with the custom EQ - and Apple Music, on the Latin preset) ...

I don't know why, but the low end (<60Hz) is completely missing on Spotify. I'm switching back and forth, listening to the same tracks, and yeah - there's like NO sub-bass with Spotify. I have it set to use the 320Kbps versions, and I've downloaded the songs to my iPhone just to be sure, but the difference is night and day.

If you want to check for yourselves, the Spotify playlist is here:


And the Apple Music playlist is here:


Try A/B-ing the fourth track, or the fifth ... really, any of them.

tldr; if you're not getting enough bass, it might be the source. In my albeit limited experience, Apple Music is giving me much more low end (with the iPhone set to Latin EQ) than Spotify, either on Latin or a custom EQ.
 

Ralfi

macrumors 68040
Dec 22, 2016
3,216
2,084
Australia
I realise you’ve mentioned the S & M sizes pass the tests (all three passed the test for me), but I think the true indicator that you’ve got an ideal seal is that when you go to remove the buds, you’ll feel some pull of the silicon by your ear & the silicon may even unfold slightly as you pull it out, indicating it had a good grip of inside your ear.

As mentioned, S, M & L all passed the test for me, but the S came out of my ears so easily, I was surprised they never fell out. The M have a much better grip & this is possibly why I’m noticing better bass since switching to them from the S.

Try A/B-ing the fourth track, or the fifth ... really, any of them.
Hey mate. Thanks for putting those playlists together. I’ve compared a few tracks between AM & Spotify Premium (on highest quality) & with EQ OFF, & I can’t pick a difference (maybe just in favour of AM?). I’m no expert at this, but I’ve listened to heaps of bass-ey music over the years & I think could’ve picked up on any major discrepancy if it were there.❓❗

What ‘custom‘ EQ were you using on Spotify?

I tried the Latin EQ on Apple Music & although it enhanced the bass slightly, the vocals were toned down. Personally, I prefer a more balanced sound, where vocals are more enhanced, so turned EQ OFF.

I tried Latin EQ within the Spotify App, & it had little effect on vocals. I then tried to set the Apple Music EQ to Latin whilst listening to Spotify (thinking it may override the Spotify EQ), but it had no effect, so maybe the Spotify EQ is buggy?
 
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RigSatMe

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 24, 2019
25
9
I realise you’ve mentioned the S & M sizes pass the tests (all three passed the test for me), but I think the true indicator that you’ve got an ideal seal is that when you go to remove the buds, you’ll feel some pull of the silicon by your ear & the silicon may even unfold slightly as you pull it out, indicating it had a good grip of inside your ear.

As mentioned, S, M & L all passed the test for me, but the S came out of my ears so easily, I was surprised they never fell out. The M have a much better grip & this is possibly why I’m noticing better bass since switching to them from the S.



Hey mate. Thanks for putting those playlists together. I’ve compared a few tracks between AM & Spotify Premium (on highest quality) & with EQ OFF, & I can’t pick a difference (maybe just in favour of AM?). I’m no expert at this, but I’ve listened to heaps of bass-ey music over the years & I think could’ve picked up on any major discrepancy if it were there.❓❗

What ‘custom‘ EQ were you using on Spotify?

I tried the Latin EQ on Apple Music & although it enhanced the bass slightly, the vocals were toned down. Personally, I prefer a more balanced sound, where vocals are more enhanced, so turned EQ OFF.

I tried Latin EQ within the Spotify App, & it had little effect on vocals. I then tried to set the Apple Music EQ to Latin whilst listening to Spotify (thinking it may override the Spotify EQ), but it had no effect, so maybe the Spotify EQ is buggy?
Still can't get the same bass as on 1st gen AirPods. Very sad! High frequency is intolerable as well as mids.
 
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Jutah

macrumors 6502
Mar 30, 2012
330
82
I realise you’ve mentioned the S & M sizes pass the tests (all three passed the test for me), but I think the true indicator that you’ve got an ideal seal is that when you go to remove the buds, you’ll feel some pull of the silicon by your ear & the silicon may even unfold slightly as you pull it out, indicating it had a good grip of inside your ear.
a question: did you noticed a loss of grip with the use? my "m" size has become noticeably less grippy, compared to the other size i have. I tried to clean the tips with rubbing alcohol with poor success.

I'm using mine for 4 weeks.
 

augustya

macrumors 68030
Feb 17, 2012
2,986
400
So I just installed Spotify again, and signed up for another three month trial (they kept emailing me; I thought it would be cool to A/B my bass playlist on Spotify - with the custom EQ - and Apple Music, on the Latin preset) ...

I don't know why, but the low end (<60Hz) is completely missing on Spotify. I'm switching back and forth, listening to the same tracks, and yeah - there's like NO sub-bass with Spotify. I have it set to use the 320Kbps versions, and I've downloaded the songs to my iPhone just to be sure, but the difference is night and day.

If you want to check for yourselves, the Spotify playlist is here:


And the Apple Music playlist is here:


Try A/B-ing the fourth track, or the fifth ... really, any of them.

tldr; if you're not getting enough bass, it might be the source. In my albeit limited experience, Apple Music is giving me much more low end (with the iPhone set to Latin EQ) than Spotify, either on Latin or a custom EQ.
So what is your question here that Spotify does not have BASS ? and so is Airpods Pro sounding without BASS ?
 

Ralfi

macrumors 68040
Dec 22, 2016
3,216
2,084
Australia
a question: did you noticed a loss of grip with the use? my "m" size has become noticeably less grippy, compared to the other size i have. I tried to clean the tips with rubbing alcohol with poor success.

I'm using mine for 4 weeks.
You know, thinking about it now, the Small size tips did fit more secure at first. They ended up being very loose.

I’ll keep an eye (ear) of the Mediums over the next few weeks...
 
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mavis

macrumors 601
Jul 30, 2007
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Tokyo, Japan
So what is your question here that Spotify does not have BASS ? and so is Airpods Pro sounding without BASS ?
I was merely suggesting to those who feel like the AirPods Pro's bass is lackluster that they try an alternative source. Spotify doesn't seem to have any presence in the 20-60Hz range (the kind of bass you feel, as much as hear, on a decent system) whereas Apple Music does.
 

augustya

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Feb 17, 2012
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Spotify doesn't seem to have any presence in the 20-60Hz range (the kind of bass you feel, as much as hear, on a decent system) whereas Apple Music does.

Dude !! Are you sure on your Facts ? Have you researched your Facts ? And done your Homework properly ? Spotify does not have BASS ? Wow ! That is one of the Most Absurd Statements I have heard of the century !! I was an Apple Music User for 2 years before in early 2018 I moved to Spotify and Boy !! I couldn't be more Happy ! The Music Quality Spotify plays is way way higher than Apple Music Spotify plays 320KBPS Ogg Vorbis, whereas Apple Music only plays 256KBPS ! I am a makeshift DJ meaning I do not go for Gigs or have one ! But I am completely into listening into Progressive House and Techno Music. Spotify BASS sounds Pounding !! Hammering !! on a Good Speaker ! I have the JBL L8 Soundbar and i HAVE tested it also on the BOSE 700 Soundbar !! Spotify Music Quality is Sublime, never to be found anywhere else !! You saying that Spotify does not offer BASS ! Seriously !! you must be out of your mind to make a statement like that !! And on top of that the Playlist that you have posted here as a sample to test BASS in Music !! It is Laughable it is that ridiculous you call it as a Playlist to test BASS ! I almost went to sleep listening that Playlist Man !! Please check your facts before making such a wild, maverick statement !!
 
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RigSatMe

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 24, 2019
25
9
Dude !! Are you sure on your Facts ? Have you researched your Facts ? And done your Homework properly ? Spotify does not have BASS ? Wow ! That is one of the Most Absurd Statements I have heard of the century !! I was an Apple Music User for 2 years before in early 2018 I moved to Spotify and Boy !! I couldn't be more Happy ! The Music Quality Spotify plays is way way higher than Apple Music Spotify plays 320KBPS Ogg Vorbis, whereas Apple Music only plays 256KBPS ! I am a makeshift DJ meaning I do not go for Gigs or have one ! But I am completely into listening into Progressive House and Techno Music. Spotify BASS sounds Pounding !! Hammering !! on a Good Speaker ! I have the JBL L8 Soundbar and i HAVE tested it also on the BOSE 700 Soundbar !! Spotify Music Quality is Sublime, never to be found anywhere else !! You saying that Spotify does not offer BASS ! Seriously !! you must be out of your mind to make a statement like that !! And on top of that the Playlist that you have posted here as a sample to test BASS in Music !! It is Laughable it is that ridiculous you call it as a Playlist to test BASS ! I almost went to sleep listening that Playlist Man !! Please check your facts before making such a wild, maverick statement !!
Thank you. Frankly speaking, it's not the problem of Apple Music or Spotify itself. Both offer good quality in terms of commercial standards.
Just my personal experience. Having listened the same track on 1st gen AirPods and APP, I can definitely say AirPods low frequency are way better! I have tested today another pair of APP. Same result comparing to AirPods: flat low frequency and balance more toward right side. Some can say there might the problem with my ears, but when I put AirPods back balance is correct. I believe there might be a problem in compatibility of APP and my ears. Friend of mine who gave me another pair of APP says that AirPods sounds very flat, however, APP gave him a way better sound experience. In the end, seems APP doesn't perfectly fit for everyone. As the result auto eq in APP might give different result of sound quality.
 
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Otflyer

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2017
1,240
800
SF Bay Area
Thank you. Frankly speaking, it's not the problem of Apple Music or Spotify itself. Both offer good quality in terms of commercial standards.
Just my personal experience. Having listened the same track on 1st gen AirPods and APP, I can definitely say AirPods low frequency are way better! I have tested today another pair of APP. Same result comparing to AirPods: flat low frequency and balance more toward right side. Some can say there might the problem with my ears, but when I put AirPods back balance is correct. I believe there might be a problem in compatibility of APP and my ears. Friend of mine who gave me another pair of APP says that AirPods sounds very flat, however, APP gave him a way better sound experience. In the end, seems APP doesn't perfectly fit for everyone. As the result auto eq in APP might give different result of sound quality.
I think your correct. APP’s are not for everyone. No way Apple (or any other manufacturer) could design a pair of ear buds that fit everyone perfectly.
 
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mavis

macrumors 601
Jul 30, 2007
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Tokyo, Japan
Dude !! Are you sure on your Facts ? Have you researched your Facts ? And done your Homework properly ? Spotify does not have BASS ? Wow ! That is one of the Most Absurd Statements I have heard of the century !! I was an Apple Music User for 2 years before in early 2018 I moved to Spotify and Boy !! I couldn't be more Happy ! The Music Quality Spotify plays is way way higher than Apple Music Spotify plays 320KBPS Ogg Vorbis, whereas Apple Music only plays 256KBPS ! I am a makeshift DJ meaning I do not go for Gigs or have one ! But I am completely into listening into Progressive House and Techno Music. Spotify BASS sounds Pounding !! Hammering !! on a Good Speaker ! I have the JBL L8 Soundbar and i HAVE tested it also on the BOSE 700 Soundbar !! Spotify Music Quality is Sublime, never to be found anywhere else !! You saying that Spotify does not offer BASS ! Seriously !! you must be out of your mind to make a statement like that !! And on top of that the Playlist that you have posted here as a sample to test BASS in Music !! It is Laughable it is that ridiculous you call it as a Playlist to test BASS ! I almost went to sleep listening that Playlist Man !! Please check your facts before making such a wild, maverick statement !!
Dude, relax. Also, maybe have another go at reading comprehension.

I posted the playlists on both Spotify and Apple Music so you could A/B test yourself, and draw your own conclusions. I thought I was pretty clear about that. The Spotify roll-off at 20-60Hz is quite obvious and easy to hear on my AirPods Pro (compared to Apple Music), but YMMV.

Also, adding numerous exclamation points to every sentence doesn't make your post look more intense (?) but instead, diminishes their impact. A single exclamation point here and there can be used for emphasis, but when it's surrounded by hundreds of others, really loses its effect. Also, it's ridiculously obnoxious. ;) It feels a little strange pointing this out (as it's something most of us learn in the first or second grade) but maybe you just didn't know.
 
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Mr. Brightsider

macrumors newbie
Dec 16, 2019
27
24
Dude !! Are you sure on your Facts ? Have you researched your Facts ? And done your Homework properly ? Spotify does not have BASS ? Wow ! That is one of the Most Absurd Statements I have heard of the century !! I was an Apple Music User for 2 years before in early 2018 I moved to Spotify and Boy !! I couldn't be more Happy ! The Music Quality Spotify plays is way way higher than Apple Music Spotify plays 320KBPS Ogg Vorbis, whereas Apple Music only plays 256KBPS ! I am a makeshift DJ meaning I do not go for Gigs or have one ! But I am completely into listening into Progressive House and Techno Music. Spotify BASS sounds Pounding !! Hammering !! on a Good Speaker ! I have the JBL L8 Soundbar and i HAVE tested it also on the BOSE 700 Soundbar !! Spotify Music Quality is Sublime, never to be found anywhere else !! You saying that Spotify does not offer BASS ! Seriously !! you must be out of your mind to make a statement like that !! And on top of that the Playlist that you have posted here as a sample to test BASS in Music !! It is Laughable it is that ridiculous you call it as a Playlist to test BASS ! I almost went to sleep listening that Playlist Man !! Please check your facts before making such a wild, maverick statement !!
Dude, relax..
 

Ralfi

macrumors 68040
Dec 22, 2016
3,216
2,084
Australia
Dude !! Are you sure on your Facts ? Have you researched your Facts ? And done your Homework properly ? Spotify does not have BASS ? Wow ! That is one of the Most Absurd Statements I have heard of the century !! I was an Apple Music User for 2 years before in early 2018 I moved to Spotify and Boy !! I couldn't be more Happy ! The Music Quality Spotify plays is way way higher than Apple Music Spotify plays 320KBPS Ogg Vorbis, whereas Apple Music only plays 256KBPS ! I am a makeshift DJ meaning I do not go for Gigs or have one ! But I am completely into listening into Progressive House and Techno Music. Spotify BASS sounds Pounding !! Hammering !! on a Good Speaker ! I have the JBL L8 Soundbar and i HAVE tested it also on the BOSE 700 Soundbar !! Spotify Music Quality is Sublime, never to be found anywhere else !! You saying that Spotify does not offer BASS ! Seriously !! you must be out of your mind to make a statement like that !! And on top of that the Playlist that you have posted here as a sample to test BASS in Music !! It is Laughable it is that ridiculous you call it as a Playlist to test BASS ! I almost went to sleep listening that Playlist Man !! Please check your facts before making such a wild, maverick statement !!
I just read this whole thing (gave up yesterday after the first line).

😂
 
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mavis

macrumors 601
Jul 30, 2007
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I just read this whole thing (gave up yesterday after the first line).

😂
Yeah, I just sort of skimmed through it. :D

Back OT, and to answer your question, my custom EQ on Spotify was basically just a big bump at 60Hz and a ramp-up on the high end as well. Sort of a shallow "U" shape. I'll have more time to test next week, and with different headphones, but after A/B testing on my AirPods Pro I was disappointed (and surprised!) to hear the lack of bass in the lower frequencies with Spotify (again, just the really low bass - 20-50Hz or so). It must be possible to test this more scientifically ... frequency analysis or whatever - any suggestions?

I think part of the problem is that the Spotify EQ bottoms out at 60Hz, rather than 20Hz. I wonder why they clipped the low end like that? I don't really like/care about what most people consider "bass," in the 60-120Hz range - I've always just liked the really low stuff. It all started about twenty years ago when I went to a club with my friends and heard a song I liked - not the typical music I listened to back then (or now - I'm much more into Tool and stuff like that) but the song was TLC's No Scrubs. At the club, I heard/felt this sick bass beat that I'd never heard before - it recurs occasionally, throughout the whole song. Sort of infrequent, but it's there. And you simply can't hear it on most systems. Turns out it's a really low frequency beat (probably around 40-50Hz, I'd imagine) and ever since then, it's one of the first tracks I play whenever I'm testing new headphones. Over the years I've found songs in a ton of different genres with similar beats and basslines, which is why I put that playlist together.
 
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BarrettF77

macrumors 6502a
May 24, 2015
521
582
Lack of Bass is related to failure of the internal mic so it cannot address and compensate for the inner canal. Go look at the thread for seal failure and you'll see similar evidence. No one can identify for sure, but I have a pair that the bass is much less and it has failed the seal test. Others are passing the test and sounds worlds better. But you could have a false positive even if your test is saying passing. Get them replaced if you are within return. But they seem to have a high failure rate from what we've seen.
 

mavis

macrumors 601
Jul 30, 2007
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OK, so I just ran a frequency analyzer on the track Cadence by St. South, and sure enough, the main baseline hits at both 34Hz and 58Hz (with two occasional notes at about 38Hz and 52Hz, or so) ... Both Spotify and Apple Music are showing the same frequency plot (on my Mac, flat EQ on both) so maybe the rolloff is just a bug in the iOS version of the app. I'll run the test again, using my iPhone as a source (plugged in to my Mac, for analysis) when I have more time, and will report back then. Also, No Scrubs by TLC - the main beat hits at about 112Hz (which most/all systems can manage) but the recurring low-frequency beat peaks at 54Hz (with an even lower frequency ramp-up or whatever the word is) which, yeah - cheaper systems (and IEMs with a poor seal!) can't manage.

This has been interesting. Anyway, I'll test the iOS output when I have more time. The main point of all this was simply to suggest trying Apple Music rather than Spotify, if you're missing the really low end bass. That's all. lol
 
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augustya

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Feb 17, 2012
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Also, adding numerous exclamation points to every sentence doesn't make your post look more intense (?) but instead, diminishes their impact. A single exclamation point here and there can be used for emphasis, but when it's surrounded by hundreds of others, really loses its effect. Also, it's ridiculously obnoxious. ;) It feels a little strange pointing this out (as it's something most of us learn in the first or second grade) but maybe you just didn't know.
That is called individual style !! I am sure people here are more interested in reading the content than someone's punctuation style. isn't it ?? Back to the topic !!

I stand with it and saying again that Playlist of yours to test BASS is total Crap !!
 

mavis

macrumors 601
Jul 30, 2007
4,216
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That is called individual style !! I am sure people here are more interested in reading the content than someone's punctuation style. isn't it ?? Back to the topic !!

I stand with it and saying again that Playlist of yours to test BASS is total Crap !!
I'm always open to hearing new tracks with heavy bass in the 20-50Hz range. Maybe you can put together a playlist and share it here, rather than simply criticizing others' lists, repeatedly. Actually, two playlists - Spotify and Apple Music, for the sake of A/B testing.
 
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Ralfi

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Dec 22, 2016
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That is called individual style !! I am sure people here are more interested in reading the content than someone's punctuation style. isn't it ?? Back to the topic !!

I stand with it and saying again that Playlist of yours to test BASS is total Crap !!
Try being a bit more respectful. You’re coming across as foolish...

Mavis took the time to put together those playlists (which I think are great) & shouldn’t be treated the way you’ve done so, as he was only trying to troubleshoot for himself & others here.
 

augustya

macrumors 68030
Feb 17, 2012
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Try being a bit more respectful. You’re coming across as foolish...

Mavis took the time to put together those playlists (which I think are great) & shouldn’t be treated the way you’ve done so, as he was only trying to troubleshoot for himself & others here.
what treatment are you talking about ? there is no question of any treatment? I was just rebutting the playlist that he posted claiming that is the best to test BASS, and he claiming that Spotify does not offer as much BASS as Apple Music. That’s my opinion if you think it’s disrespectful that’s silly on your part.
 
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mavis

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Jul 30, 2007
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Try being a bit more respectful. You’re coming across as foolish...

Mavis took the time to put together those playlists (which I think are great) & shouldn’t be treated the way you’ve done so, as he was only trying to troubleshoot for himself & others here.
Thanks, dude. I was just trying to help, but obviously some people would rather argue pointlessly than actually contribute anything meaningful to the discussion. I usually don't bother replying to them, but this one was kinda fun. I mean, how often do you get to debate frequency response with a "makeshift DJ" who name drops sound bars to appear cool (lol!) and has a penchant for exclamation points? :p
 
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