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FooArk

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 16, 2011
419
69
Personally, I think they sound better, but I wouldn't say "much better" compared to the original AirPods.

It seems that people are on the far ends of the spectrum - some saying they sound much better, while others say they cant notice a difference.

Is there any true way to tell if the AirPod Pros sound better than the previous ones?
 
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ruslan120

macrumors 65816
Jul 12, 2009
1,403
1,114
You can always try them out from a friend or purchasing them in-store / online and returning them if you don’t like them.

I think it’s mostly a side effect of active noise cancellation making music sound better.

Mine arrive on Tuesday - will update then.

Update: DOA.

These were the first Airpods that have arrived DOA for me. The pairing light kept blinking with no response from a variety of bluetooth-enabled devices.

Luckily, I was able to get a full refund from BestBuy, but considering I already have Airpods (regular) I’m taking this as a sign to save money until something better comes along :p

P.S. The manager was as surprised as I. She said this was the first incident of DOA Airpods she had seen.
 
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ukms

macrumors demi-god
Apr 21, 2015
741
654
Dubai, UAE
If you read reviews on any headphones / earphones you will get mixed opinions .... it’s all subjective and we all have different expectations .... much the same as how they fit divides opinions.
 

mcdj

macrumors G3
Jul 10, 2007
8,935
4,185
NYC
So many considerations.

Some people just don’t listen critically. Some can’t hear a difference even if there is one.

As mentioned above, some may not have a good seal, imperative to good sound.

The drivers may not actually be much better than the previous model. I mean these are not balanced armature in ear monitors. They are consumer grade.

The song(s) one chooses to use to audition a headphone are also a factor. Some people’s phones are still littered with old crappy mp3s from 2005.
 

Puonti

macrumors 65816
Mar 14, 2011
1,256
815
Some people also listen to music at a higher volume. Whatever bass improvements can be heard on the APPs are only apprent to me at higher volumes, but when I listen at 20% (which is normal for me) there's no appreciable difference.

Manufacturing faults aside, the devices are all the same. People are varied.
 

richpjr

macrumors 68040
May 9, 2006
3,411
2,072
Personally, I think they sound better, but I wouldn't say "much better" compared to the original AirPods.

It seems that people are on the far ends of the spectrum - some saying they sound much better, while others say they cant notice a difference.

Is there any true way to tell if the AirPod Pros sound better than the previous ones?

I think there is always some confirmation bias that creeps in for people after buying a new product.
 

bbeagle

macrumors 68040
Oct 19, 2010
3,441
2,734
Buffalo, NY
People's music preferences differ. Someone who listens to classical music vs. someone who listens to 70s rock look for different things in their music. (Clarity vs. deep bass).

I will listen to my favorite songs on my AirPods, and then on my AirPods Pro, and deduce from those few songs what sounds better. Someone else's playlist will have different sound signatures which will might bring forth a different opinion.

Some might like vinyl because it has a warmer sound with imperfections. Some might like digital because it's clearer and cleaner. For example, Garth Brooks just released 6 of the same album collection for Christmas with a mix between vinyl-recordings, digital-recordings and re-mastered recordings for those who like it different (and probably to make more money).

No headphone is perfect for every type of music.
 

Harthag

macrumors 65816
Jun 20, 2009
1,361
1,388
U.S.
I think some people probably don't have a very good seal on their ears, which will make them sound worse.
This is very true and makes all the difference in the world. The standard / medium tips are perfect for me, very tight seal. I have to really give them a gentle pull to pull them out of my ears. Even with transparency on I can feel the tight seal. These things sound great to me.

It's the same with any headphones as others have said. A very similar example of this scenario but with over-ear headphones, is the B&W PX. They have been universally praised, yet don't sound good at all to many people for a variety of reasons, proper fit and seal being among them.

I tried a pair of NAD VISO HP50 headphones a couple years ago, also very well regarded. The thing was so gigantic that the ear cups actually hung off of my ears, no seal at all and totally unusable.

It's a shame that there are so many variables when finding the perfect pair of headphones / buds, but that's how it is. Hopefully sometime soon a company will make foam or other alternative tips for the AirPods Pro so that more people can get a better fit.
 
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