Everything you need to know about Apple’s new AirPods Pro

29 Oct 2019

Image: Apple

The AirPods Pro are available to purchase from Wednesday 30 October and will include new noise-cancelling technology which uses built-in microphones to filter out background noise.

Apple has announced a new version of its AirPod earphones, which will include noise-cancelling technology for the first time.

The €249 AirPods Pro will be will use built-in microphones to filter out background noise when being used.

Cable-free earphones have become increasingly popular products for major smartphone and tech brands – companies including Huawei, Google, Samsung and Microsoft have all released or are planning to launch their own versions of wireless earphones.

The technology giant confirmed the earphones would be available from Wednesday 30 October.

Apple said the AirPods Pro will also include what it calls transparency mode, which enables users to hear sounds from the world around them – such as traffic or transport announcements – while also listening to audio.

As part of a redesign to the earphones, they will now come with changeable soft ear tips for the first time, Apple said.

Apple senior vice-president of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller said: “AirPods are the best-selling headphones in the world. The one-tap set-up 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. We think customers are going to love this new addition to the AirPods family.”

Two white earphones in front of a black background.

Image: Apple

Differences between AirPods and the AirPods Pro

The wireless earphones were first introduced in 2016, with a second-generation that also came with a wireless-charging compatible case introduced earlier this year.

Apple confirmed the new AirPods Pro would also come with the wireless charging case that can be used with Qi-certified chargers or the Lightning connector. Customers previously had to pay extra for a charging case when purchasing AirPods.

The AirPods Pro will have a battery life of up to 4.5 hours of listening time with a single charge (or up to five hours with active noise cancellation and transparency off) and up to 3.5 hours of talk time with a single charge.

When paired with the wireless charging case, the earphones can offer more than 24 hours of listening time and more than 18 hours of talk time. According to Apple, five minutes in the case provides around 1 hour of listening time.

This iteration of the AirPods includes an inward-facing microphone, which points into a user’s ear and detects any “unwanted” noise and to filter it out with the product’s anti-noise feature. Apple said that noise cancellation is continuously adjusted at 200 times per second for “truly immersive sound” when users are listening to calls, podcasts or music.

The difference in price between the AirPods Pro and the previous AirPods is around €90, and besides the visual differences between the two products, the newer product is water and sweat-resistant while the older AirPods are not.

Unlike older editions of the AirPods, the Pro model won’t be compatible with the iPhone 5s, iPad Mini 2, iPad Mini 3 or the first generation of the iPad Air. The new earphones will also be incompatible with the iPod Touch sixth generation. The full list of specs can be read here.

Additional reporting by PA Media

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic