Apple AirPods Pro 2: getting started

The AirPods Pro (2nd generation) have finally been made official. Apple unveiled its new noise-cancelling, totally wireless headphones as part of its iPhone 14 “Far Out” event and they will be available for pre-order on September 9 at 2 p.m. for first shipments from September 23. If the price does not move in the United States, in France it will be necessary to pay a little more than for the previous model, 299€ against 279 previously.

The new AirPods Pro are very similar to the previous model that debuted in October 2019. But now they’re powered by Apple’s new H2 chip, which offers more processing power while also being more power efficient.

The new chip, along with new low-distortion speakers, allows for improved sound that should offer better clarity and more depth. Noise reduction is also improved – Apple claims the new AirPods “double” the noise reduction of the original AirPods Pro.

Key Features of AirPods Pro 2

  • Same design as previous AirPods Pro
  • Powered by the Apple H2 chip
  • Improved sound with new low distortion drivers
  • Improved noise reduction
  • Adaptive Transparency Mode
  • Custom spatial audio
  • The charging case now has a built-in speaker that allows it to play a sound to be found
  • 6 hours of built-in battery capacity (1 hour more than the original AirPods Pro) with an additional 24 hours in the charging case
  • Touch swipe control for volume
  • Can now charge with the Apple Watch charger as well as Qi wireless chargers
  • A lanyard can be connected to the case (lanyard not included)
  • Price: 299€
  • Shipping date: September 23 (available for pre-order September 9 at 2 p.m.)

Our first impressions

We got to try the AirPods Pro 2 for a limited time during the launch event in the demo area, with hundreds of people around. Noise reduction seems improved, although it was only able to drown out the din in the room. The headphones also seemed to deliver clearer, cleaner sound than the original AirPods Pro. For this test, we listened to a few tracks on Apple’s iPhone 14 demo phones. (We couldn’t use the headphones with our own iPhone and our usual test audio tracks.

It is really essential to obtain a good phonic seal to have an optimal noise reduction and sound quality. Apple hasn’t changed the design of its eartips – with the original AirPods we use the large eartips and third-party foam eartips – but the new model will include a fourth pair of extra-small eartips for smaller earbuds. small ears.

Some hoped the new AirPods Pro would be able to stream Apple Lossless tracks wirelessly. Apple hasn’t mentioned anything about it, but some features may be revealed later. Apple didn’t introduce Spatial Audio until months after the release of the first generation, for example.

On that front, Apple says the AirPods Pro 2 now feature Custom Spatial Audio that creates a more personalized listening experience for your ears. Transparency mode is also improved, adapting to the ambient noise you encounter, and there’s a new touch swipe function on the stalks to adjust the volume, like on Huawei, Oppo or Nothing.

Battery life is now six hours on a single charge (up from five), and the case gives you four additional charges. Additionally, the case now has a built-in speaker, allowing it to play sounds to easily find the accessory.

Although Apple hasn’t improved the design of the AirPods Pro 2 (there are still some changes when it comes to the microphone and other small improvements like vents), the 2nd Gen AirPods Pro are largely what we expected: AirPods Pro with better sound, better noise reduction, better battery life and a slightly improved wireless charging case.

We’ll have a lot more to say about them in our full test where we compare them to other noise-canceling headphones, including Bose’s new QuietComfort II headphones which were also unveiled on the evening of September 7, 2022.

CNET.com article translated by the CNET France team

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