Apple AirPods Pro Review

Sound performance



For this review, I mostly used my iPhone as a source. This IEM is made for travelling and commuting, so it doesn’t really make sense to connect a high-end DAP to them, or a domestic source.

That said, I connected my FiiO M11 in Bluetooth and cable, to check if it really makes a difference. Most files used were FLAC 16bits/44kHz, streamed from Spotify / Amazon Prime, or from internal storage.

Overall signature

It took a while but, Apple finally gave us an earphone worth pairing with their iPhone.

The AirPods Pro, if not audiophile-grade, can be considered prosumer good. Maybe Tim Cook and his team were tired to hear constant jokes regarding their EarPods and AirPods “Fischer Price Audio Quality” ? Or just because they bought Beats By Dre and wanted to make use of all those sound engineers?

The result is a TWS showing a lot of good traits, and alas some caveats. First of all, the sound signature didn’t deviate much from the previous Airpods. It can be either fun or terribly lifeless depending on the track, all depending on how good the DSP works over the driver.

The AirPods have been tuned to flatter your ears, pushing the lower frequencies upfront and giving the voices this airy, but exaggerated sensation of spaciousness. Accuracy is good but not amazing either, compared to my usual CIEM the difference is immediately palpable. The sound stage stands between the BGVP Q2 and the Jays M-Seven, worse than the first and better than the latter.

Yet, over time, the AirPods Pro sound grew on me. Thanks to the marvelous noise-canceling I was surprised to hear details, that I could find on much higher-end gear, in difficult environments such as the train or crowded spaces. Transients are fast, dynamic range is good and if sometimes highs are lacking, it’s hard not to praise Apple for the massive improvement that is the Pro, compared to the basic ones.

ADSR is excellent, on this aspect, the AirPods really outshine their competitors, all thanks to its powerful CPU. I couldn’t feel a difference switching from transparency mode to noise-canceling, and even hard-hitting electro tracks from F-Rontal were played with ease.

All-in-all, the AirPods Pro isn’t the best-sounding IEMs I have heard, but it’s one of the best TWS I had the chance to listen to this year. To be fair, there are better options out there, as well as cheaper (BGVP Q2). However, there also are worse options too, much pricier.


Highs: crisp but a bit artificial. The AirPods Pro is never aggressive but doesn’t offer the same extension seen on Knowles drivers. they’re clean, show quick transients and pan effects are superb with the right recordings. They’re not as good as the Q2, or as defined as the Momentum wireless.

Good test-track: Strobe Lights (feat. Kilian & Jo) – Henry Green remix

Mediums: spacious with clean vocals. Clearly, the Apple AirPods are showing off in this area. The DSP always tries to put the voices upfront, like the bass. There’s no real bump but, the more you listen to them, the more you’ll discern those slight magnifications. I like it but that’s nowhere near natural.

Good test-track Way Down we go – Kaleo

Lows: beats by Dre… ish. When noise-canceling is turned on, you’ll get powerful, deep bass. These earphones can handle electro tracks but lack the resolution of multi-drivers IEM, where one sole driver take care of the bass. That said, the SOC is still working very hard to push the driver beyond its capacities, which good measure. Sort of a Jays M-Seven++

Good test-Track: To the Moon and Back – Boris Brejcha

Sensitivity / Hiss

The AirPods Pro aren’t hard to drive: the amplifier and DSD are directly built-in, so all you have to do is connect your source, and click play. There is no hiss whatsoever, whether you use “transparency mode”, “noise-canceling” or even “pure” mode.

Volume can reach high volumes even though it’s a TWS, so you should stay just below your comfort zone, to train your ears.


This will be quick: go iPhone or go home.

The intricate relationship between the AirPods Pro and iOS is so deep that you will feel sorry just looking at the box with an Android phone. Sure, if you want to connect your FiiO M15 with Bluetooth that’s possible, but you won’t be able to activate the noise-canceling or see how much battery is left.

If you have an iPhone/iPad, you’ll never have to do any special pairing once you’ve connected them to one of your devices. You can switch from one device to the other, in no time.

Also, these earphones only support AAC. No apt-X or LDAC so don’t expect any Hi-Res Wireless Audio support.

The article continues on Page Six, after the click here

4.5/5 - (146 votes)

A nerdy guy with a passion for audio and gadgets, he likes to combine his DAC and his swiss knife. Even after more than 10 years of experience, Nanotechnos still collects all gear he gets, even his first MPMAN MP3 player. He likes spreadsheets, technical specs and all this amazing(ly boring) numbers. But most of all, he loves music: electro, classical, dubstep, Debussy : the daily playlist.


  • Reply March 5, 2020


    Nice Review!
    I am currently using AIRPod 2 and is fully satisfied with its sound quality and the most important easy placement inside the ear. I was looking to upgrade to Airpod Pro but now thinking to wait for the next release as my Airpod 2 is still working fine.

  • Reply March 5, 2020

    Joshua Chew

    Is there a review for the Momentum TW coming anytime soon?

  • Reply March 5, 2020


    Hey guys, I have a pair, too, and love it. I think the original AirPods sounds better, but the connection quality, and isolation/NC is so cool. Great job Nano.

  • Reply March 5, 2020


    Nice review. I love mine! I’m sure there are many others that sound better. I honestly think $30 wired Apple EarPods actually sound better. But, AirPods Pro is just so convenient. I do wish Apple will improve the sounds just a tad bit on the next version.

  • Reply March 5, 2020


    Apple has been shipping an 18 watt adapter with iPhones for almost a year.

  • Reply March 6, 2020


    I have to chime in – these suck (Airpods are great! but not these) – STOP THE HYPE – fit is terrible both in ear and trying to get them in and out of the case, tips included do not fit all, battery life is terrible, sound quality subpar, form factor far worse that the regular Airpods (which rock!)! The BEST TWS are Creative Outlier Gold. Bar none! The only thing that Apple has “right” is the open ventilation that would be good to have others solve as well but it probably has to go with NC…

  • Reply November 28, 2020


    Apple product are amazing, i am using some apple product like iPhone and laptop. and love it

  • Reply November 28, 2020


    love the sound of airpods…. good review

  • Reply December 15, 2020


    Very nice article. Specially the sound of airpods are super.

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