There was expectation that Apple would unveil the latest generation to the AirPods wireless earbuds line-up, and here we have the AirPods Pro. These are priced at Rs 24,900 and the biggest update is the noise cancellation feature. The AirPods Pro go on sale on October 30. Do remember though, the AirPods Pro are an addition to the AirPods line-up, and not replacing the existing variants. This means that the AirPods line-up in India now reads something like this—the AirPods (2nd generation) with standard charging case are priced at Rs 14,900, the AirPods with the wireless charging case cost you Rs 18,900 while the AirPods Pro now sit at the top of the ladder priced at Rs 24,900.
"AirPods are the best-selling headphones in the world. The one-tap setup experience, incredible sound and iconic design have made them a beloved Apple product, and with AirPods Pro, we’re taking the magic even further. The new in-ear AirPods Pro sound amazing with Adaptive EQ, fit comfortably with flexible ear tips and have innovative Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency mode,” says Phil Schiller, senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, Apple.
Apple added microphones to the AirPods Pro that detect external sound, and then cancel the sounds. This is very similar to the noise cancellation feature in the new Beats Solo Pro headphones, albeit with size reduction to work better in the AirPods. “The first microphone is outward-facing and detects external sound to analyze environmental noise. AirPods Pro then create an equivalent anti-noise that cancels out background noise before it reaches the listener’s ear. A second inward-facing microphone listens toward the ear, and AirPods Pro cancel remaining noise detected by the microphone,” is how Apple describes the workings of the noise cancellation feature. Apple says noise cancellation is adjusted up to 200 times per second. There is also a Transparency Mode that allows you to stream in ambient sounds along with the music that you are listening to, and this could be very relevant at airports, for instance.
Apple says this has been achieved with the new H1 chip, which has 10 audio cores and powers “everything from sound to Siri”. The extremely low audio processing latency of the H1 chip allows the AirPods Pro to do real-time noise cancellation, audio processing, transparency mode and adaptive sound as well as the “Hey Siri” requests, at the same time.
There is also a completely new design that the AirPods Pro arrive with. And this is the first time that silicone tips are a standard accessory for the AirPods—Apple is bundling three different sizes with the AirPods Pro. These are also sweat and water resistant, which makes them even more at home in a gym, for instance.
Apple says the AirPods Pro offer up to 5 hours of usage, and as always, if you are topping up the battery via the charging case, these will last up to 24 hours. The wireless charging method is supported for the charging case as well.
The AirPods Pro require Apple devices running iOS 13.2 or later, iPadOS 13.2 or later, watchOS 6.1 or later, tvOS 13.2 or later, or macOS Catalina 10.15.1 or later to be able to pair and stream.