Should You Pre-Order Apple’s AirPods Pro?

Well, that was unexpected. Without further ado – no kidding at all at a big press event last month – Apple officially announced its new AirPods Pro in today’s press release . What you lack in Tim Cook inserting tiny speakers into his ears, you gain in performance. Specifically, the noise canceling capabilities that have finally arrived in Apple’s wireless earbuds after nearly three years of waiting.

Whether your AirPods are glued to your ears or are planning on making your first AirPods purchase (like me), consider the following before pre-ordering:

How Good Are The AirPods Pro?

We do not know. At the time of this posting, no one has tested them, and Apple loves to play these things as close to the vest as possible. With only two days left until the release date (October 30), it’s unclear if you’ll see any serious reviews before the AirPods Pro officially drops. While I am always of the opinion that pre-ordering invisible devices (and games) is silly, I would also be annoyed if I had to wait an extra week (or weeks, or months) because everyone else pre-ordered something that I eventually made sure to buy myself.

What should you do? If you’re unsure about AirPods Pro , please wait. It’s no shame to know if the quality of their speakers or the power of their noise canceling capabilities justifies the price – especially since there are so many options out there if noise cancellation is your top priority.

If you know you want AirPods Pro and need a little extra confirmation , order them; you have 14 days to return them if you don’t like them or if future reviews say they are still not very good. Make sure you keep everything: box, cables, etc., and I would recommend not getting your AirPods Pro engraved anyway. Engraved or “personalized” items are non-exchangeable under Apple policy , and I would not want to risk getting Apple to carve your name on your pre-ordered wireless charging case.

What makes AirPods Pro so special anyway?

Let’s talk about the specifications. AirPods Pro Features:

  • Bonus microphone! As Apple describes, “The second microphone, facing inward, listens to the ear, and the AirPods Pro eliminates the remaining noise detected by the microphone.”
  • Three different silicone ear tips that fit your new earbuds perfectly and are also an important part of blocking sound.
  • Slightly shorter “sticks” protruding from the ears (1.22 inches high versus 1.59 inches)
  • Lightning to USB-C cable in the box, not Lightning to USB cable. (Slowly but surely, the transition to USB-C continues. The wireless charging case itself still connects to Lightning; that’s the other end of the cable, which is different.)
  • An “Adaptive Equalizer” function that automatically “adjusts the low and mid frequencies of music to suit the shape of the human ear.”
  • A new “force sensor” that you can press and hold to toggle between AirPods Pro noise canceling and “Transparency Mode” that lets you listen to music, podcasts, or whatever, while still hearing your surroundings.
  • A new “Headphone Fit Test”, which Apple says uses AirPods microphones (and accompanying software) to “measure the sound level in your ear and compare it to that coming from the speaker.” By doing so, you can find out – if you haven’t already – whether the earmold you have chosen is the best acoustically for the size and shape of your ear.
  • Sweat and water resistant ( IPX4 ). Don’t go swimming with them, but don’t worry if they fog up slightly when you walk past someone who was spitting.
  • Slightly higher price for no-warranty repairs ($ 89) versus $ 69 for their slightly less tech-savvy siblings. The wireless charging case, which is slightly thinner than the AirPods Pro, will also cost you an extra $ 20 for post-warranty repairs.
  • Slightly less compatibility. According to Apple’s website , AirPods Pro are not compatible with iPhone 5S, iPhone 6, or iPhone 6 Plus; 6th generation iPod Touch; 1st generation iPad Air or iPad Mini 2 and 3. It’s possible that Apple is removing super-old devices from the list and AirPods Pro will still work with them, but I wouldn’t risk it if you want to pair the ancients with the new one.

What separates AirPods Pro from a pair of AirPods?

  • You can purchase a wireless charging case for both – worry free. (The AirPods Pro will cost you an extra $ 50 over the regular AirPods / wireless charging case combo.)
  • The chip is still H1, like the second generation AirPods.
  • Still uses a Lightning cable for charging if you’re not using wireless (sorry USB-C fans).
  • Same battery life. You get five hours on both AirPods and AirPods Pro if you don’t use the latter’s more attractive features. Turn on the noise canceling and transparency features of the AirPods Pro and the battery life drops slightly faster at 4.5 hours, according to Apple specifications.
  • You can still listen to music “for more” a day if you use AirPods or AirPods Pro with a fully charged Wireless Charging Case. (AirPods get “up to 18 hours talk time” in this setting, while AirPods Pro get “over 18 hours talk time.”)
  • Probably the same charging capabilities. Apple missed the math on this issue, describing the AirPods’ charging capabilities as “15 minutes in a case provides up to 3 hours of listening time or up to 2 hours of talk time.” For AirPods Pro, Apple says that “5 minutes in a case provides about 1 hour of listening time, or about 1 hour of talk time.”
  • The same colors. No crazy color options for AirPods Pro (for now) regardless of rumors
  • No discounts. Sorry, education store shoppers – AirPods and AirPods Pro cost the same whether you’re shopping on a student site or Apple’s main online store.
  • You still can’t replace the battery in AirPods or AirPods Pro

Wait, I can’t replace …

Yes. It is right. If you’ve followed the recent coverage of The Washington Post at all , you know that even Apple itself doesn’t want to try to replace dead batteries on a pair of AirPods. They go to the trash, you pay $ 49 for the AirPod as an post-warranty fee, and they give you a new pair of AirPods.

However, this shouldn’t surprise you. This is the name of the game for lithium ion batteries. Eventually, they fail and the precious device they power turns into a paperweight (unless you have a way to replace said battery).

To Apple’s credit, the company will replace your AirPods battery for free – more specifically, the AirPods themselves – if the battery fails within the first year of ownership. After that, you pay, but $ 49 for an AirPod (or AirPod Pro) is still lower than buying a new pair of AirPods, which you’ll probably get as part of “battery service” anyway, so. (Yes, the overall price is lower because you’re not getting a new charging case – which you’d be stuck with if you bought a new pair of AirPods from the Apple store.)

Remember, you have to insist that your AirPods’ battery fails in order to benefit from the slightly lower cost of replacing them. Don’t say they’re broken, or you might have to shell out an extra $ 40 if Apple handles your repair request differently.

You can also buy AppleCare + for your AirPods, which brings the cost of battery maintenance down to $ 0, but this additional warranty only lasts for two years from the date of purchase. Your AirPods, if they are good, will probably last as long without battery issues. After that, however, you will have to pay extra for AppleCare + and for “battery replacement” and you will feel bad.

What should I do then with my old AirPods?

If you are looking to sell them, the best time is to post them on eBay, Craigslist, or elsewhere yesterday. I suspect there will be a flood of people wanting to upgrade from today, which will probably lower the price of what you could get for them a bit. That said, I’ve seen lists ending today – before the announcement of the AirPods Pro, of course – hover between $ 80 and $ 100 for second generation AirPods, so you can still get something decent for your old wireless earbuds. … (And if you plan on selling them, please clear them first and then be sure to reset them before selling.)

You can also keep your old AirPods. Sure, their battery will likely run out before you ever need them again, but it never hurts to have a backup pair in case you lose or lose your new AirPod Pros. And if you live with friends or loved ones, you can always let them borrow your old AirPods if you ever want to hang out together (or listen to podcasts).

And if you feel eco-friendly, you can recycle them as well . Please do not throw away your old AirPods. Is not cool.

I want AirPods Pro and I want them now

Well, you can’t get them right now. You can pre-order the AirPods Pro today for $ 249, and they will begin shipping on October 30 (and will be available for in-store purchases later this week). No, you can’t use your old wireless charging case with the new AirPods; you need to buy the complete package and you will no longer be able to choose an enclosure with a smaller wire. It looks like there is still no insane dash for the AirPods Pro as I can still get the Oct 31 delivery date if I order now.

Why are they called AirPods Pro and not AirPod Pros?

Beats me. Maybe just one … pro?


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