In this article we’re looking at the most famous TWS in the world: The $ 249 Apple AirPods Pro. Hype or serious audiophile sound? We’ll find out today.
Disclaimer: The Apple AirPods Pro were bought by myself to do this review. Apple is not linked to Headfonia in any way.
Unless you stayed inside a cave for the last thirty years, you must be accustomed to Apple Inc. The products of this mega-company – valued at more than $1 Trillion USD – are sold worldwide and Apple, together with Coca-Cola, remains one of the most recognizable brands in the world. And, even if we normally do not review Apple products at Headfonia, the new AirPods Pro has been on the list for quite some time.
Sold for just under 280€/$, they are the top of the line of Apple AirPods earphones range which holds no less than… 90% of the TWS world sales! So, whatever we’ll say in this review, people will keep buying AirPods. The real question is : as an audiophile, should you buy it too? Time to find out.
The AirPods Series
As usual, let’s check Apple’s line-up first, to see where the new AirPods Pro ends up.
Apple AirPods 1 were launched at the end of 2016, just before Christmas. And in the beginning people were a bit… skeptical. “It looks like a toothbrush…”, “You can’t jog with them, they may and will fall on every turn…”, “179€ for this? Who would be dumb enough to buy that…” And, to be honest, I was one of those guys. Yet, history proved me wrong, by far.
In just a few months, the AirPods became more than an earphone, or an Apple TWS. Teenagers crave for them as it shows that you are using an Apple device, which is cool in most parts of the world (or isn’t it ?). At the end of 2017, Apple sold around 17 million AirPods. Twice that amount in 2018…
Inside, Apple kept the same dynamic driver previously found in the classic EarPods. What they added was a full Bluetooth SOC to ensure the connection between each side and the phone. As usual, there is no real information regarding the chip inside, Apple being Apple, but the W1 chip supports Bluetooth 4.2, AAC streaming and beamforming for the microphone.
How does it sound? Like the EarPods, but wireless, so not audiophile-grade…
After two years, Apple released the AirPods 2. If the sound was the same (bouuh), the brand optimized its best-seller by providing some neat features. First and foremost, the second generation supports wireless charging: just put the carry case on a Qi charger and it’s good to go.
In the same way, the AirPods 2 gives you a whole day of listening. As usual, you’ll have to put the earphones in the box and they’ll instantly charge, Apple advertising 3h of continuous listening, for a quick 15 minutes charge. The W1 chip was replaced by the H1 which is compatible with Bluetooth 5.0 and embeds a faster CPU, for better communication and stronger signal.
Price? Still the same, 179€
Sound? Still the same, still lacking (in my opinion).
Sales? Still the same, stellar
The AirPods Pro are the most recent and top of the line model of the brand. It shares the same Apple H1 chip found in the AirPods 2 with some new features. Noise-cancelling, better sound thanks to “adaptive equalizing” and a whole new proprietary dynamic driver.
New design, new system and new price. Higher of course: 279€/$. This can be a lot for classic consumers but this isn’t a big deal in the audiophile world (look at this Luxury&Precision DAP), but, is it worth it?
I won’t say more since those Airpods Pro are the purpose of this review. So, let’s check them out!
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