For people who just want wireless Bluetooth headphones that seamlessly connect to their Apple devices, the basic AirPods make sense. But if you want all that plus sound-blocking active noise cancellation, the more expensive AirPods Pro are the way to go. Finally, after almost three years, Apple has revamped these premium headphones.
The just-announced second-generation AirPods Pro don’t look any different, but they improve on the 2019 original in several ways. Apple claims active noise cancellation is twice as good. A swipe from the side now controls the volume, and the case has a new H1 chip and speaker to help find your Pros when they’re stuck between couch cushions.
The most significant update is the increased battery life: six hours of listening time, up from 4.5 hours. That won’t last you a full work day, but with the charging case, users now get up to 30 hours of total listening time.
For now, we’re still stuck with the same AirPods Pro design and the much-criticized curved stems. The new Pros can block out more noise and are more detectable than before, but they can still fly out of your ears when you take off your sweater. The model retains its current price of $249. The Pro models offer active noise cancellation, giving consumers a reason to pay for the higher end. The other models cost $129 and $179, and the over-ear version, the AirPods Max, costs $549.
The first AirPods were launched in 2016, as part of an expanding range of audio accessories that also included the HomePod mini speaker. The company is also working on a more advanced, larger home speaker that will be released next year, Bloomberg News reported.