Apple unveiled its new wireless headphones, the AirPods Pro, earlier this week — and judging by initial reviews, the company may have another hit product on its hands.
The headphones, which feature a new design and noise cancellation capabilities, are the latest iteration in Apple’s burgeoning wearables business, since the first AirPods were introduced three years ago. At $249, they’re significantly more expensive than other AirPods, but reviewers seem to love the design, as well as the noise-canceling feature.
The new design features three sizes of flexible ear tips rather than the hard plastic of the original AirPods. In addition to noise-canceling, there’s a transparency mode that lets users listen to noise around them plus music.
A quick tap on the volume slider in Control Center makes it easy to switch between Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency modes. (Credit: Apple)
On Apple’s latest earnings call, CEO Tim Cook said that people who already have AirPods may also “want to have a pair for the times that they need noise cancellation.” Cook added that AirPods “keep hitting new highs” in terms of units sold, noting he expects that momentum to carry over.
Here are several of the top reviews of Apple’s AirPods Pro.
The Verge’s Chris Welch said the new design was a “significant upgrade” from previous versions that will “instantly appeal to many people.”
“If you’re like me and your ears have never been a good match for AirPods, the Pros — yes, I’ll pluralize them however I want, thank you — will finally let you experience the so-called ‘magic’ that others have come to love since late 2016,” Welch wrote. “On top of that, the AirPods Pro also include active noise cancellation to help mute your surroundings when you want little distraction from your music.”
Business Insider’s Lisa Eadicicco said in her review that the new headphones live up to the hype.
“With their great noise cancellation, rich sound, comfortable fit, and fast pairing with iOS devices, the AirPods Pro are a great choice for iPhone users looking for a reliable pair of everyday wireless headphones,” Eadiciccio wrote. “The addition of new features like noise cancellation and sweat resistance gives Apple device owners less of a reason to look to alternatives.”
Buzzfeed’s Nicole Nguyen was positive about the sound and design, but noted the high price and low battery life (5 hours) may not be for everybody.
“The Pros pack a lot of features into a very, very small design, so if portability is your biggest concern, then the AirPods Pro are a fantastic premium option for people with Apple devices, use headphones for short, ~4-hour sessions (versus all day-wear), and have $250 to spend,” Nguyen wrote. “But there are better options for noise-canceling headphones with better battery life.”
CNet’s David Carnoy said the higher price is worth it if you’re considering older AirPods.
“If you like your current AirPods and they fit your ears well, you don’t need to run out and buy the Pros (I’d wait for your AirPods to die, which they will sooner rather than later if you use them a lot),” he wrote. “But if you’ve been eyeing the $199 AirPods with Wireless Charging, I’d pass them by and go straight to the Pros. The Pros have a wireless charging case too, and their superior sound and added features are worth the extra dough.”
Time’s Patrick Lucas Austin said the new AirPods Pro headphones are the “company’s best gadget in years.”
“Let’s be clear: These are fantastic, and probably the best Apple product since it decided tablets should be a thing,” Austin wrote. “It’s the company at its finest, refining an idea until it’s close to perfect.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.