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satchmo

macrumors 603
Original poster
Aug 6, 2008
5,107
5,862
Canada
Apologies if this has been discussed ad nausium the past few years.
But I'm new to these products.

Not an audiophile, but listen to mostly pop, rock, and podcasts. I would also use it for running.
Noise cancellation is nice, but not a big feature I think I would need (as I'm not traveling anymore these days).

Anyways, I know this is pretty subjective, but wondering if it's worth upgrading to Pros for $100 (Back to school promo).
 

amagichnich

macrumors 6502a
Feb 3, 2017
516
342
Stuttgart, Germany
Please watch this video:
Yes, it’s 15 minutes, but they are worth it!

IMO ANC really makes the difference, even when you’re not travelling. Or maybe especially then? ?
I use my APP mostly when I’m “in motion”, as in “moving around”. Walking outside, walking inside, cleaning my flat, go outside and fetch the mail, brushing my teeth. The ANC is great to listen to only the music and nothing else. You’ll never have that with the standard AirPods. The pros in fact elementar even the noise your steps make.

Aside from that I actually enjoy them even when sitting on the couch and reading a book as they completely silence out the world around you.

They are of course not the best tools of you’re an audiophile, as a matter of fact they suck, if that’s your thing.
But as is the case with every “tool”: Know your “use case”, get the exact tool for that and make no compromises -> be happy :)
 
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Erehy Dobon

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Feb 16, 2018
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Heck, I sometimes wear my APP at home with no audio source just to block out regular ambient noise that floods the world.

This could be the drone of the swimming pool's water pump, the white noise from the nearby road traffic, the leaf blowers from the landscape maintenance service, construction noises, the water noise from the artificial creek that runs through my complex.

Even within the four walls of my home, I find useful moments for active noise cancellation. The range hood fan, the vacuum cleaner, washing machines, clothes dryers, etc.
 
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Erehy Dobon

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That's not how active noise cancellation on the APP works. If you have ever used active noise cancellation headphones/earphones/etc. (like the Bose QuietComfort cans or the APP), you'd know this. But it sounds like you are speaking with zero experience.

Active noise cancellation works using destructive interference.

It works more effectively cancelling noises with a steady amplitude, like an airplane engine or vacuum cleaner, particularly with lower frequency sounds because the wavelengths are longer and the signal processing circuitry can adapt to changes.

It doesn't work as well with high-pitched noises and ones with intermittent amplitude, like smoke detectors, crying babies, twittering birds, the backup beeping of trucks, police car sirens, pedestrian crosswalk beeping for the visual impaired, railroad crossings, etc.

A police car siren has modulating frequency (up and down in pitch) and amplitude (softer to louder then back to softer). Same with fire trucks, ambulances, etc. Even in different countries, the patterns may be different but these first responder unit sirens all modulate in both frequency and pitch at a constant rate. That's pretty important for humans and also helps people process whether the signal is approaching, moving away, or indicating lateral movement.

The APP also have an alerts passthrough mode anyhow.
 
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nickdalzell1

macrumors 68030
Dec 8, 2019
2,787
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I haven't much experience with ANC but I remember a few years ago I tried a set of ANC Airplane headsets from BOSE and David Clark and it was like being in a sound-proof room, you could only hear the audio from the headphones, and someone could yell at you face to face and you heard nothing! I guess I expected the APP to work the same. I remember asking the demo guy then how you'd even become aware the engine on the aircraft stopped running or how you could react to alarms from GPWS or TCAS and they looked at me like I had two heads...

I haven't had interest in it since. It seems I'd just become disoriented. I've had noice isolating stuff that at least you can hear suble sounds such as birds or nature, but not stuff like loud music or ghetto blasters, which helps when I go hiking, but I never could get used to the feeling I'm deaf except from what comes from the headset.
 

Erehy Dobon

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The ANC airplane headsets are probably $5-10 dollars of headset hardware if you sit in the business or first class cabin. The noise cancellation processing is likely done on a cabin-wide basis. They work but are vastly inferior to a dedicated device that has its own processing.

Trust me, I own a pair of Bose QuietComfort QC25 wired headphones that I use on airline flights. I've tried them and the airline-supplied ANC phones on the same flight and there's no comparison.

Because of my experience with my Bose QC25s, I was very skeptical that the AirPods Pro would provide a good user experience at their puny size even at their $250 price point. "They're too small to work effectively and don't offer the same passive noise protection since they aren't over-the-ear..."

Man, I was WRONG! SO, SO WRONG!

The APP work fabulously for me. And I can wear them on the pool deck when it's 95 degrees out without my sweat running down my ears in five minutes like with over-the-ear headphones.

I hate wearing over-the-ear headphones for more than an hour anyhow and yet I tolerated my Bose QC25s on long transoceanic flights. The next time I fly, I might just leave the Bose at home. For me APP are that good.
 
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nickdalzell1

macrumors 68030
Dec 8, 2019
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These were for pilots. At the Oshkosh AirVenture you can tour many product demos. These weren't cheap sets at all. Quite expensive. Quite disorienting too. Neat for passengers who want to drown out the engine noise though. but these were designed for the cabin crew.
 

Erehy Dobon

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Noise cancelling headphones have been around forever for airplane crew as well as passenger use on helicopters. The cockpit ones are expensive. The ones they hand out on commercial flights in business and first-class cabins are cheap.

ANC technology has come a long way, digital signal processor circuits are more capable by magnitudes of order today than just five years ago.

As long as you can get a good earbud fit, the APP are fantastic. If you have used other silicone-tipped earbuds of similar shape (like Apple's wired version that they've had for years), there is a good chance that APP will work well for you.

I never used the earbud tip fit test. I just looked at the AirPods Pro and mentally compared them with the other earbuds that I had used over the past 5-7 years. "Yeah, these are about the same size."

The main difference is that the APP tips are slightly oval (most are circular), so giving them a slight twist about 15-30 degrees either direction might change the fit accuracy substantially.

I assure you, if the $250 APP didn't work, I was completely ready to send them back.
 
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UltimateSyn

macrumors 601
Mar 3, 2008
4,883
8,951
Massachusetts
If you’re going to use them for running and any sort of activity I would personally recommend the Pros. I‘ve seen plenty of people running with the original AirPods, but I don’t know how they do it. When I run with regular AirPods they fall out of my ears, even though they fit fairly well when I’m stationary. I think my head sweats a lot, then the AirPods get wet and it’s slide city right out of my ear canals. The Pros, on the other hand, stay snug as a bug throughout any sort of activity.

Also, the sound is much better on the Pros. Plus you get that cool new spatial audio.
 

TH3D4RKKN1GH7

macrumors 6502a
Mar 25, 2009
764
130
I want the improved sound experience of the Pros but I’ve always hated in-ear earphones. It always feels like I’m sticking a finger in there. It’s just super uncomfortable.
 

sparksd

macrumors G3
Jun 7, 2015
9,589
31,249
Seattle WA
I want the improved sound experience of the Pros but I’ve always hated in-ear earphones. It always feels like I’m sticking a finger in there. It’s just super uncomfortable.

Exactly how my wife feels about any earbuds. She uses the original AirPods and I use the Pro.
 

satchmo

macrumors 603
Original poster
Aug 6, 2008
5,107
5,862
Canada
Please watch this video:
Yes, it’s 15 minutes, but they are worth it!

IMO ANC really makes the difference, even when you’re not travelling. Or maybe especially then? ?
I use my APP mostly when I’m “in motion”, as in “moving around”. Walking outside, walking inside, cleaning my flat, go outside and fetch the mail, brushing my teeth. The ANC is great to listen to only the music and nothing else. You’ll never have that with the standard AirPods. The pros in fact elementar even the noise your steps make.

Aside from that I actually enjoy them even when sitting on the couch and reading a book as they completely silence out the world around you.

They are of course not the best tools of you’re an audiophile, as a matter of fact they suck, if that’s your thing.
But as is the case with every “tool”: Know your “use case”, get the exact tool for that and make no compromises -> be happy :)

This review while thorough, is a bit confusing at conclusion.
The Pros are the best wireless buds available, yet are outperformed by a cheap $20 wired buds.
And the Sony blows them away when using ANC, yet the app and user experience is poor.
The only thing that's clear is he didn't think much of the basic Airpods.
 

sparksd

macrumors G3
Jun 7, 2015
9,589
31,249
Seattle WA
This review while thorough, is a bit confusing at conclusion.
The Pros are the best wireless buds available, yet are outperformed by a cheap $20 wired buds.
And the Sony blows them away when using ANC, yet the app and user experience is poor.
The only thing that's clear is he didn't think much of the basic Airpods.

I have the Sony's and the Pro and I would not say that Sony ANC blows away the APP's. I'd rate them on a par with each other but with the APP's having better Apple ecosystem integration and the APP's being smaller.
 

nickdalzell1

macrumors 68030
Dec 8, 2019
2,787
1,669
I really don't **want** ANC. Hence my point. It's disorienting. Walking with just music but no ambience from nature isn't me. I prefer noise isolation so when I walk in the woods listening to Yanni, I can hear the birds and rivers.

The Airpods 2 and the original EarPods fit me the best. I just hope the Pros aren't the new standard, and the AirPods 3 don't follow that design. Because then they wouldn't fit anymore. Leave ANC to pilots who aren't afraid of missing important aural warnings or anyone who wants to feel like they're in a sound-proof room.
 

sparksd

macrumors G3
Jun 7, 2015
9,589
31,249
Seattle WA
I really don't **want** ANC. Hence my point. It's disorienting. Walking with just music but no ambience from nature isn't me. I prefer noise isolation so when I walk in the woods listening to Yanni, I can hear the birds and rivers.

The Airpods 2 and the original EarPods fit me the best. I just hope the Pros aren't the new standard, and the AirPods 3 don't follow that design. Because then they wouldn't fit anymore. Leave ANC to pilots who aren't afraid of missing important aural warnings or anyone who wants to feel like they're in a sound-proof room.

Just turn ANC off.
 

haruhiko

macrumors 604
Sep 29, 2009
6,553
5,899
In ear and ANC. Night and day difference.
[automerge]1600650733[/automerge]
I really don't **want** ANC. Hence my point. It's disorienting. Walking with just music but no ambience from nature isn't me. I prefer noise isolation so when I walk in the woods listening to Yanni, I can hear the birds and rivers.

The Airpods 2 and the original EarPods fit me the best. I just hope the Pros aren't the new standard, and the AirPods 3 don't follow that design. Because then they wouldn't fit anymore. Leave ANC to pilots who aren't afraid of missing important aural warnings or anyone who wants to feel like they're in a sound-proof room.
Unless when you’re in a noisy subway train. So you don’t want it, turn it off. Other people may need it.
 

nickdalzell1

macrumors 68030
Dec 8, 2019
2,787
1,669
Why even buy them in the first place if I don't need ANC or the design doesn't work for me? Are the Pros the way the regular AirPods design is going? I sure hope not. Perfectly happy with my Airpods 2
 

sparksd

macrumors G3
Jun 7, 2015
9,589
31,249
Seattle WA
I really don't **want** ANC. Hence my point. It's disorienting. Walking with just music but no ambience from nature isn't me. I prefer noise isolation so when I walk in the woods listening to Yanni, I can hear the birds and rivers.

The Airpods 2 and the original EarPods fit me the best. I just hope the Pros aren't the new standard, and the AirPods 3 don't follow that design. Because then they wouldn't fit anymore. Leave ANC to pilots who aren't afraid of missing important aural warnings or anyone who wants to feel like they're in a sound-proof room.

There are a lot of reasons beyond pilot applications and need for a soundproof room to want ANC but I'd guess that Apple will continue with a dual path, the Pro line and a less-expensive AirPod without ANC.
 

nickdalzell1

macrumors 68030
Dec 8, 2019
2,787
1,669
I hope so. Because I hear AirPods have a short lifespan, and I hope that's not the case given Apple devices have lasted longer for me than any others (10 year old iPhone 4, and 20 year old PowerBook) and that's why I prefer them. But if the AirPods 3 or 4 start using Pro design sans features, they won't fit my ears anymore. the EarPods and AirPods 2 are the only in-ear sets I've actually liked. The rest either have that disorienting 'vacuum sound when walking' or fall out.
 
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