APP's sound quality - ANC/Isolation ON vs. OFF

f0ku5

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 15, 2014
72
18
I received my APP's yesterday and I must say that I love them. I just noticed one thing that I'd like to ask you about.
It seems that I'm getting slightly sound quality loss when setting my APP's to "OFF" (no ANC or Isolation turned ON), is that normal? On ANC or Isolation everything seems better, there's good amount of bass etc. and on "OFF" setting the sound sounds "flat" to me.
Normally my usage patterns will allow me to use my APP's without ANC enabled because I use them mainly in quiet environments but it seems that I must enable either of those two features to have good sound quality.

Sorry about this question might sound silly to someone but these are my first ANC headphones :D
 

Ralfi

macrumors 68040
Dec 22, 2016
3,395
2,183
Australia
Personally, I never use the OFF setting as there are too many external sounds detracting from the music or even when not listening to anything at all - it’s disorienting to me. I also think the audio quality suffers from these external sounds.

So I’ve set my squeeze setting on one AirPod to switch between Noise Cancellation & Transparency.

Transparency is probably my most used mode at home, whereas NC is used at work etc.

OFF is non-existent to me & I think you‘ll find most Pro owners ignore that setting completely.
 
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f0ku5

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 15, 2014
72
18
Thank you for your reply :)

I also think the audio quality suffers from these external sounds.
In my case audio quality is not suffering from any external sounds, instead the sound in "OFF" setting just feels a little worse in terms of quality and I'm just wondering if it's normal.
 

Ralfi

macrumors 68040
Dec 22, 2016
3,395
2,183
Australia
Thank you for your reply :)

In my case audio quality is not suffering from any external sounds, instead the sound in "OFF" setting just feels a little worse in terms of quality and I'm just wondering if it's normal.
If anything, it’s worse for me too.
 

f0ku5

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 15, 2014
72
18
Then it's probably normal :) Thank you for feedback, I will use ANC/Isolation only then :)
 

secretk

macrumors 6502a
Oct 19, 2018
853
494
Not sure how relevant is but I observe the same with my Sony 1000XM3. Unless I am really at home and nothing is on, I prefer to keep the NC on. What I noticed in my case is that the volume is a bit up when NC is on (most probably to mask external sounds) while with NC off it is a bit lower. I like to get immersed in the music so I prefer the upped volume.
 

f0ku5

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 15, 2014
72
18
I believe that volume stays the same on APP's whether I have ANN/Isolation ON or OFF. It's just the sound quality which I believe is worse when set to OFF.
 

secretk

macrumors 6502a
Oct 19, 2018
853
494
I believe that volume stays the same on APP's whether I have ANN/Isolation ON or OFF. It's just the sound quality which I believe is worse when set to OFF.
Interesting. It is really difficult to explain sound quality to people. Especially when you feel difference. Like you notice the difference but you don't know how to explain it to others. I have read that everyone hears a bit different and it is possible for people to have different opinions on sound quality for the same model of earbuds/headphones.
 

f0ku5

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 15, 2014
72
18
Let's just say that for me the sound which I hear when ANC/Isolation set to OFF is different, much more "flat" and with less amount off bass ;)
 

Mw0103

macrumors regular
Feb 22, 2014
221
369
Let's just say that for me the sound which I hear when ANC/Isolation set to OFF is different, much more "flat" and with less amount off bass ;)
The internal microphone is turned off in OFF mode, so the dynamic equalizer is also turned off.
 

augustya

macrumors 68040
Feb 17, 2012
3,165
432
So is it fair to say that the best Sound Quality is only achieved in Airpods Pro in Active Noise Cancellation Mode ?
 

f0ku5

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 15, 2014
72
18
And in Isolation mode. To me they're the same in terms of audio quality.
 

ipponrg

macrumors 68000
Oct 15, 2008
1,953
1,525
And in Isolation mode. To me they're the same in terms of audio quality.
I find isolation mode better than Nc mode for audio quality for me. But then the APP sound quality is generally pretty bad for any mode compared to other earbuds that I have.
 
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