Introducing AirPods Pro

AirPods Pro. Active Noise Cancellation for immersive sound. Transparency mode to hear what’s happening around you. And three sizes of silicone tips for a customizable fit. It’s magic like you’ve never heard. Order online now. Available in stores October 30.

Per The Verge:

The $249 AirPods Pro includes a multi-microphone system (two in each earbud) that analyzes external ambient sound and cancels it out with anti-noise. After some early time with them, I can already say that the noise cancellation is legit. The AirPods Pro does a good job of cutting down on outside noise. They’re earbuds, after all, so the effect isn’t miraculous, but Manhattan streets are a proving ground for noise-canceling tech and the AirPods are off to a strong start.

Each earbud runs its own noise cancellation process independently. (You can still use just one AirPod individually if you want.) Apple says you’ll get 4.5 hours of continuous music listening when NC is enabled, but like other AirPods, there’s enough juice in the carrying case to power them for a little over 24 hours.

Noise cancellation can be controlled from iOS Settings, Control Center, through Siri voice commands, or the indented “force sensor” area of each earbud. The old tap gestures are now gone since tapping a silicone earbud into your ear canal can get uncomfortable. You control these AirPods by squeezing the force sensor: a quick squeeze to pause or play, twice to skip a track, or three times to go back. Holding down switches between noise cancellation and transparency modes. You hear a tiny little click sound whenever you use the force sensor to confirm your squeeze was registered, but there’s no button that actually moves.

Transparency mode lets you hear what’s going on around you. You just hold the force sensor, and a little chime indicates that you’ve entered the ambient sound mode. The vent system also comes into play here, as you can talk at people’s normal volumes without speaking awkwardly loud or shouting because of the ear tip seal. You’re free to just leave transparency mode active whenever you want, so this is a helpful feature for people who like the awareness provided by the open-air design of the regular AirPods. If you’re running outside, it can be important for safety.

This will definitely be at the top of a lot of people’s Christmas lists.

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