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Apple AirPods Pro vs Apple AirPods (2019): Which should you buy?

Airpods Pro Battery Indicator

Chase Bernath / Android Authority

Desk of contents

Apple’s AirPods Pro appear to have the AirPods (2019) outmatched in almost each manner. Energetic noise-cancelling (ANC), improved battery, and a greater in good shape depart the AirPods Pro feeling miles forward for iPhone homeowners, and even make an okay selection for Android customers. The true query is whether or not or not the AirPods Pro ($249) are definitely worth the steep asking value, or if the AirPods ($159) ship higher worth in your cash. Discover out on this Apple AirPods Pro vs AirPods comparability.

Our verdict: 2019 AirPods overview | AirPods Pro overview

About this Vs: This text comes from the audio specialists at our sister web site SoundGuys. Try their in-depth tackle the Apple AirPods Pro vs Apple AirPods.

Apple AirPods Pro vs Apple AirPods (2019)


Apple AirPods Pro 11 in hand

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The AirPods Pro are the primary AirPods to sport interchangeable ear suggestions, one thing iPhone homeowners needed because the unique AirPods launch. The open-fit AirPods don’t seal to the ear, which severely degrades audio caliber. Whereas this makes it simpler to listen to your environment with out a seal, it has a damaging influence on sound caliber as exterior noise drowns out the element in music on account of auditory masking.

Headphone shopping for information: A newbie’s information to all issues headphones

Alongside a lot better passive isolation, the AirPods Pro even have energetic noise-cancelling, a characteristic not seen in earlier Apple earbuds. ANC additional blocks out exterior noise, which helps with listening to music clearly in noisy environments. This characteristic additionally works to guard listeners’ listening to, as as an alternative of accelerating the loudness of music to counter environmental noise you can merely activate ANC.


AirPods 2 carpet

Chase Bernath / Android Authority

With an IPX4 waterproof ranking, the AirPods Pro are additionally extra sturdy than their predecessors. The sweat and water resistance makes the AirPods Pro a a lot better exercise companion than the outdated AirPods. The improved in good shape additionally means the earbuds usually tend to stay in your ears. Many individuals danger utilizing the older AirPods within the health club, simply word that any water injury received’t be coated by the guarantee.

Onboard controls

Apple AirPods Pro in hand outside

Chase Bernath / Android Authority

The AirPods Pro characteristic an indentation on both stem for contact controls, whereas the older AirPods use contact controls that require you to faucet the surface of the earbud. The Pro makes use of drive sensors that register quick and lengthy squeezes in opposition to the stem. On each units of earbuds, performance might be personalized by coming into your iPhone’s Bluetooth settings and deciding on the “i” icon subsequent to your system. This permits for simple management over what occurs with every mixture of touches or presses.

See: The very best AirPods offers obtainable proper now

If you’re utilizing an iPhone, you’ll get computerized ear detection on each the AirPods Pro and AirPods (2019). Music robotically pauses when you take them out and resumes when you put them again in, though you can toggle this off throughout the iOS system settings if you so select.

Charging case

Xiaomi Mi 20W Smart Tracking Wireless Charging Pad with airpods and the green orb on show

Ryan-Thomas Shaw / Android Authority

The AirPods have a two-tiered buying possibility, with both a regular charging case or Qi wi-fi charging case for an additional $40. The AirPods Pro at all times comes with a wi-fi charging case, so no want to fret about further prices. Wi-fi charging actually isn’t essential characteristic, however anybody who already has a Qi wi-fi charger mendacity round the home will recognize it.

Software program options

Airpods Pro Pairing

Chase Bernath / Android Authority

For these with iPhones operating iOS 14, customers can now use computerized system switching with different Apple gadgets so long as they’re all below the identical iCloud account. Each AirPods fashions even have accessibility choices for a customizable audio profile and quantity security monitoring.

Associated: What makes set of in-ear headphones?

Battery standing notifications can be found with each the AirPods and AirPods Pro, so you’ll always remember to cost. A battery optimization characteristic on each AirPods learns your each day charging routine and refrains from charging previous 80% till essential. True wi-fi earbud battery lifespan is notoriously quick, however this should assist prolong the lifetime of your AirPods.

Each the AirPods and AirPods Pro help spatial audio with Dolby Atmos via Apple Music or an Apple TV 4K. Spatial audio mimics encompass sound on tracks combined for Dolby Atmos. To be clear, solely the AirPods Pro (and AirPods Max) help spatial audio with dynamic head monitoring.

Connection caliber and Bluetooth codec help

AirPods Pro Connecting

Chase Bernath / Android Authority

Each units of AirPods join seamlessly to Apple gadgets and help the high-quality AAC Bluetooth codec. In addition they each have the built-in H1 chip, which facilitates hands-free Siri entry, streamlined utilization throughout Apple gadgets, and better power effectivity over non-H1 chip headsets.

Grow to be an skilled: Understanding Bluetooth codecs

Whereas the connection is nice throughout the Apple ecosystem, the identical can’t be mentioned when utilizing both the AirPods or AirPods Pro with an Android system. AAC doesn’t deal with common streaming throughout Android gadgets and efficiency is doubtful at foremost. Android customers nonetheless get Bluetooth 5.0 and may stream over the AAC codec, however you may wish to drive SBC streaming for extra constant streaming caliber.

Battery life

AirPods Pro in ear

Chase Bernath / Android Authority

The AirPods Pro persistently outlast the AirPods (2019). In our testing at a relentless 75dB(SPL) output by way of an iOS system, the AirPods (2019) lasted 4 hours and eight minutes, whereas the AirPods Pro managed a powerful 5 hours and 7 minutes with noise-cancelling on. Each assessments have been carried out with music streaming over an AAC Bluetooth connection.

With the charging case, each AirPods are capable of make it via 24 hours of mixed playback. The charging circumstances additionally characteristic fast charging. The older mannequin provides 180 minutes of playback from quarter-hour of charging, and the AirPods Pro case gives 60 minutes of playback from 5 minutes of charging. Your math isn’t flawed, that’s the very same quantity, Apple simply determined to vary its wording on the official specs web page.

Sound caliber

For the price of the AirPods Pro and even the AirPods (2019), you should anticipate one thing that sounds good. The tight seal created by the ear recommendations on the AirPods Pro actually helps on this regard. Within the frequency response charts, the cyan line represents a product’s frequency response and the pink line represents our sister web site SoundGuys’ home curve (what it deems because the platonic perfect for this explicit sort of audio product).

The AirPods Pro have a extra neutral-leaning bass response than the older AirPods. This implies the Pro variant will make your music sound nearer to how the artists and engineers supposed. You possibly can’t create a customized EQ via the iOS Settings app with both set of earphones, so what you hear is what you get.

Because the unique AirPods don’t block out environmental noise, the increase in bass is probably going an try and counteract the results of exterior auditory masking. In a managed atmosphere, the AirPods (2019) have a extra exaggerated low-end, however bass notes rapidly turn out to be exhausting to listen to when you step on a loud practice platform.

Don’t miss: Apple Music vs Spotify Premium

It’s possible you’ll discover it tougher to understand treble element when listening to the AirPods (2019) in comparison with the AirPods Pro, due to the previous’s bass emphasis which is as loud or louder than subsequent treble frequencies. Which means you might need a tough time listening to cymbal resonances and vocal harmonies throughout loud music segments. Neither AirPod mannequin gives a wonderfully correct illustration of an unique audio file, however each observe a usually accepted consumer-friendly sound signature.

Noise-cancelling and isolation

Isolation on the AirPods (2019) is just about non-existent as a result of missing seal. The AirPods Pro alternatively is ready to successfully attenuate each low and high-frequency sounds via the mix of a good seal and energetic noise cancellation.

Within the charts above, the upper up the road, the extra attenuated a sure frequency is. Isolation alone is ready to block many high-frequency sounds.  Turning on noise-cancelling reduces low-frequency sounds (e.g. the rumble of an engine or A/C unit) to about half as loud as they’d be with out ANC.

Squeezing the stems on the AirPods Pro toggles between three listening modes: noise-cancelling, off, and transparency. Transparency mode has the other impact as noise-cancelling, and will increase the quantity of out of doors noise for elevated consciousness of environment.

See additionally: Apple AirPods Pro vs Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro

Microphone caliber

The AirPods (2019) are nice for taking calls, due to the stable microphone and assortment of sensors and accelerometers packed into every earbud. Apple additional improved this know-how with the AirPods Pro, leading to a good higher microphone response. You possibly can take heed to the AirPods and AirPods Pro mic samples right here.

Apple AirPods Pro vs AirPods: The decision

If you’ve learn this far, then you already know that the AirPods Pro are far superior to the AirPods. If you have an iPhone and are searching for true wi-fi earbuds, the AirPods Pro are price saving for. That mentioned, there are many AirPods alternate options price testing, together with the Beats Powerbeats Pro.

What in regards to the Apple AirPods Max?

The Apple AirPods Max are primarily the AirPods Pro remodeled right into a pair of on-ear headphones. These headphones have an ultra-premium design with a mesh knit cover headband, chrome steel body, and a digital crown on the ear cups impressed by the Apple Watch. It’s an unconventional design that Apple claims are designed to stability consolation with acoustic efficiency.

Different options that the AirPods Max borrow from the AirPods Pro embrace Transparency Mode, Adaptive EQ, and Spatial Audio. The headphones even have a battery that may final 20 hours on a single cost, with quick charging that may present 90 minutes of playtime with solely 5 minutes of charging.

AirPods Max in black on a white background.

Apple AirPods Max

Grade-A noise-cancelling headphones with a smooth design.

Apple’s debut noise-cancelling headset rocks an H1 chip in every headphone, and has best-in-class ANC. This highly effective headset is for area of interest customers, and works properly throughout the Apple ecosystem.