Airpods pro gaming. 7 reasons why Airpods Pro are worth the upgrade

reasons why Airpods Pro are worth the upgrade

Apple’s Airpods Pro has become a must-have accessory for anyone with a smartphone. With the release, Apple has upped the ante by offering a premium version of their popular wireless earbuds. While the standard Airpods remain a popular choice for many, there are several reasons why the tech upgrade to the Pro model is worth consideration.

Due to their in-ear design and customizable silicone ear tips, the Airpods Pro provides a more comfortable and secure fit. They also have an active noise cancelation, which eliminates background noise and creates a more immersive listening experience. Furthermore, the Airpods Pro has improved sound quality over its predecessors, with enhanced bass and more detailed audio.

This article will go over these reasons in greater depth to help you decide whether the Airpods Pro is worth the upgrade.

Is investing in Airpods Pro a good decision?

There are plenty of other options available on the market when it comes to earbuds and wireless earphones. Let’s take a look at the seven reasons why you should consider buying the Apple Airpods Pro.

1) Convenience

The first and most obvious reason to upgrade to Apple Airpods is the added convenience. Airpods provide a complete wireless listening experience because there are no cords or wires to tangle with. They also include a small charging case that fits easily in a or purse, making them ideal for on-the-go use.

2) Seamless integration with Apple devices

The Pro Airpods are specifically designed to work in tandem with Apple devices. When paired with your iPhone, iPad, or Mac, they will automatically connect and pause playback when removed from your ears. This level of integration makes them an obvious choice for Apple users who value simplicity.

3) Improved sound quality

Although the original Airpods had decent sound quality, Apple has made significant advancements with later models. For instance, the Airpods Pro provides active noise cancelation and an adjustable fit, improving sound quality overall. Airpods are a necessary upgrade for music lovers who want to have the best listening experience possible.

4) Enhanced comfort

Long-term discomfort from using conventional earbuds is one of the most frequent complaints. With the premium Apple earbuds, which have multiple ear tip sizes to ensure a snug and comfortable fit for all users, Apple has addressed this issue. To make the earbuds more comfortable for prolonged listening sessions, they also have a vent system that helps relieve pressure on the ears.

5) Increased battery life

The battery life of the original Airpods was respectable, but it has been greatly improved in more recent models. For instance, the Pro provides up to 4.5 hours of listening time on a single charge and an additional 24 hours of listening time when using the charging case. They are therefore perfect for extended travel, flights, or even all-day use.

6) Fitness-friendly features

Airpods have a number of features that make them the perfect upgrade for fitness enthusiasts. These earbuds are water and sweat resistant, making them suitable for even the most demanding workouts. Additionally, they have a transparency mode that, for increased safety when engaging in outdoor activities, lets you hear background noise.

7) Advanced control and features

Last but not least, Airpods provide a number of sophisticated controls and features that are not found on conventional earbuds. Hands-free control of music playback, phone calls, and other functions is made possible by Siri integration. Additionally, the Airpods Pro has touch controls on the earbuds themselves, making it simple to manage playback and access.

These earbuds are also sweat- and water-resistant, making them a fantastic choice for exercise and outdoor pursuits. They also include a wireless charging case that extends battery life by up to 24 hours.

Apple Pro Earbud’s transparency mode, which enables users to hear their surroundings while still playing music or making phone calls, is another important feature. In the Pro version, there are also more touch controls, like the ability to switch between noise cancelation and transparency modes by pinching the stem.

These features should be more than enough for those who would like their audio to be pro-mode. Check out these AirPod competitors to make a more informed decision.

Apple’s new Airpods Pro are the best earbuds, all over again

The sci-fi movie Her imagines a future in which people carry electronic earpieces almost everywhere. With the new Airpods Pro (available at Amazon for 199.00). Apple has come one step closer to that strange future. The design hasn’t changed; the Pro remain among the lightest and comfiest earbuds around. But with much-improved ANC and the fantastic new Adaptive Transparency, you can wear them virtually anytime, anywhere—including some of the loudest places you venture. Add in a few other key upgrades and the Airpods Pro are, once again, the buds to beat.

Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases made through the links below may earn us and our publishing partners a commission. were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

  • About the Airpods Pro (2nd generation)
  • What we like
  • What we don’t like
  • Should you buy the Airpods Pro (2nd generation)?
  • Related content

Cons

With incredible noise canceling, great usability, and even moderate hearing protection, the new Airpods Pro change the game (again).

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After three years, you might expect an all-new Airpods Pro design, but it seems Apple believes it’s already reached perfection on that front. Apart from a smarter case, the majority of the upgrades are under the hood, including new precision drivers, a new microphone venting system, a battery boost, and the all-important H2 chip, which drives how the earbuds connect, perform, and analyze the audio around you with increased efficiency.

By improving upon multiple performance aspects while keeping the basics the same, Apple ensures that those who loved the Airpods Pro before will love the new pair even more. While there’s aesthetic déjà vu, the ways in which the new buds handle what you hear (and don’t hear) are far from subtle. Those improvements alone make the latest Airpods Pro worth the upgrade.

About the Airpods Pro (2nd generation)

The case of the new Apple Airpods Pro is nearly identical to the original, with a few new tricks.

Here are the updated Airpods Pro’s main specs:

  • Price: 249
  • Battery life: Up to 6 hours with noise canceling (7 without), up to 30 hours with case
  • Fast charging: 5 mins for an hour of playback; MagSafe, Qi, Lightning compatible
  • Colors: White
  • Ambient sound modes: Active Noise Canceling, Adaptive Transparency Mode
  • Speakers: Proprietary “low distortion” drivers
  • Calling: Beam-forming microphone with targeted voice uplink and wind-noise mitigation
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.3, Apple H2 chip
  • Audio codecs: AAC, SBC
  • Dust/water resistance: IPX4 (case and buds)
  • Fit: Four ear tip sizes (new XS size)
  • Weight: 5.4 grams per earbud, 45.6-gram charging case
  • Apple features: iCloud Sharing, Automatic Switching, Audio Sharing, Personalized Spatial Audio w/ Dynamic Head Tracking, Hands-free Siri, Find My (buds and case), “Hey Siri” support

As touched on above, the updated Airpods Pro’s exterior is nearly identical to the original, including the same weight and size, with only modest changes along the housings. The case is also nearly identical, but adds a few new tricks, including a speaker for alerts when lost, as well as the ability to track it separately with Apple’s Find My app. There’s also a new lanyard loop.

The biggest new addition is the H2 chip for faster computation, as well as new drivers inside. There’s also now an extra-small size of magnetic ear tips to try. Everything else that’s new here is internal or software-based, accounting for their biggest advancements over the previous pair.

What we like

Adaptive Transparency mode is a game changer

Adaptive Transparency mode lets you hear the world around you without being overwhelmed by extremely loud sounds.

Apple’s transparency mode has been universally praised for its natural, clear performance that lets you keep the buds in for a variety of situations. While it’s subtle, the new version is even more natural sounding, particularly when it comes to the sound of your own voice. The buds reduce the plugged-up resonance so you sound almost like you’re not wearing earbuds.

There’s still an artificial sheen over your environment—transparency mode doesn’t sound exactly like the real world sans earbuds as some Apple PR reps claimed, but it’s strikingly clear in multiple scenarios, including biking, moving through a crowd, and moderate wind. It’s less obtrusive than any transparency mode I’ve tested, buoying the “wear them anywhere” usability.

But that’s just the tip of the upgrades. One of the most highly touted new features at Apple’s event was Adaptive Transparency mode. It’s designed to let you hear the world around you without being overloaded, even in extreme environments, by limiting incoming sounds to 85dB. While neither Apple nor Reviewed can tell you it’ll keep your ears safe, having had a unique chance to test this feature in multiple scenarios over two weeks, let me assure you: it’s legit.

My test period happened to correspond with my tickets to the Broncos/Seahawks game at Lumen Field, one of the loudest stadiums in the NFL. The crowd noise was shockingly loud, which is why I brought my 200 fitted earplugs. But, to my surprise, the Airpods Pro worked nearly as well at blocking out the worst of the voracious crowd noise, taking it from excruciatingly loud to just pretty loud. In fact, I wore them for the entire, raucous fourth quarter.

A few days later, my wife and I got some tickets to the Gorillaz show at our local venue. While the Airpods Pro definitely distorted some of the loudest moments, particularly the Band’s energetic “M1 A1,” they did a good job keeping the show in check, again keeping pace with my tailored earplugs. It’s a brighter, tinnier sound. But the fact that the buds are even in the same class as 200 plugs shows just how useful (and valuable) Adaptive Transparency can be.

Vastly improved noise canceling

Testing proved that these earbuds are among the best out there when it comes to noise canceling.

Continuing the theme, Apple’s new noise canceling technology provides some of the best performance you can get in a pair of wireless earbuds, full stop. In fact, it’s among the best noise canceling in any headphones I’ve tested—earbuds or otherwise.

Through multiple real-world tests, as well as controlled lab testing of airplane drone and vocal chatter videos through studio monitors, the Airpods Pro matched or beat every pair I referenced, even holding their own with our current top noise-canceling over-ear headphones, Sony’s WH-1000XM5. (While I haven’t had a chance to test, Reviewed’s A/V editor, John Higgins, says Bose’s new QuietComfort Earbuds 2 surpass the Airpods in overall noise canceling.)

When it comes to drone sounds, the Airpods Pro outperformed both the original Bose QuietComfort Earbuds and Sony’s WF-1000XM4 buds (two of the top noise-canceling models), handily outdueling the Sony pair. Things were closer in higher frequencies like keystrokes (Bose did better there) and vocal chatter, but the Airpods did well in the latter test, shaving off a good bit of the voices in our test recording of a loud party.

Those results are all the more impressive considering that the Airpods Pro weigh two grams less per bud than Sony’s pair, and three grams less than Bose’s older model. Both rivals also offer specially molded ear tips designed to passively block out noise, making them more obtrusive and harder to swap in and out.

Taking the new Pro for a walk evoked a striking blanket of solitude. Cars driving by went from semi-dampened wooshes in the original Airpods Pro to vanishing whispers in the new model, barely noticeable from a few feet away. In fact, Apple’s new noise canceling may even be a bit too good in some scenarios.

airpods, gaming, reasons, upgrade

When I tested the Pro against the XM5 on my plane ride home from Cupertino, while they stood up very well, I noticed a sucking feeling and my ears kept popping. On my next trip a few months later, a five-hour vacation flight, I felt no such effect until landing on the trip home when the air pressure got intense—the kind where babies cry and your head feels like it’s being squashed. I’m confident this won’t affect most users unless they have sinus issues, and even then, only on occasion.

Audio performance upgrade

The bass is richer and fuller than in the first generation of Airpods Pro.

Apple’s new drivers, amplifiers, and “advanced computation audio” improve the performance of the new Airpods Pro. While I thought it was relatively subtle at first, over time I’ve increasingly enjoyed the new sound signature’s better fidelity. I still wouldn’t place the audio performance in the same league as some of my favorite performers on the market like Sony’s WF-1000XM4 and Sennheiser’s Momentum True Wireless, but sound is clear, accessible, and offers improved stereo spacing and bass response.

The bass is probably what users will appreciate most. It’s richer, fuller, and more powerful without masking or bloating the upper register. Songs like The Weeknd’s “Starboy” showcase firm, foundational thump in the bass and sub-bass regions that outdoes what you’ll hear in all other Airpods models, as well as the Beats Fit Pro.

The better stereo spacing, too, makes for a more enjoyable ride, letting you easily follow instruments across the stereo field with increased precision. I still find the upper register gets a little too tinkly for my ears in some moments, but not often, and I’ve found myself reveling in some of the instrumental timbres in a way I never did with the original Airpods Pro. These are easily my favorite Apple earbuds to listen to, and I had very few complaints.

Apple also highly touted the new Personalized Spatial Audio feature, but if there’s a difference between the personalized version and regular Spatial Audio, it wasn’t notable to my ears. After taking the test (requiring snapshots of your ears with a phone running iOS 16), I thought maybe the soundstage opened a bit more, but it was subtle enough to question whether it was observational bias. I’ve never found Spatial Audio effects particularly useful shy of VR applications, and that remains the case, but if you use them often this may be of interest.

Exceptional call quality (as usual)

These buds have great call quality, garnering few complaints from listeners.

One thing that hasn’t changed is the Airpods Pro’s excellent call quality, placing them once again atop the very best wireless earbuds on the market. I used the Airpods on many a call, including using one bud on a windy day and both buds next to a very noisy Seattle construction site, and my recipients heard me clearly and consistently with few complaints. I did get one comment that I sounded tinny over a Slack huddle, but that’s the case with most any earbuds I’ve used.

A much-needed battery boost

A boost of 1.5 more hours per charge is one of the perks.

After nearly three years, Apple’s battery boost to 6 hours per charge (7 if you disable ambient sound modes) may not seem incredible, and it’s not. Compared to rivals like the Sony WF-1000XM4 (which packs up to 12 hours per charge) or even cheap pairs that trade performance for battery, 6 hours is still middling.

That said, apart from the fact that the Airpods Pro are comfy enough to use for multiple hours at a time, you’re unlikely to use any earbuds for more than a few hours at once. Since they charge in mere minutes, 6 hours should do you well for most use cases (I got a bit more than that in testing), and it’s a solid step up from the 4.5 hours with ANC the previous pair offered.

The only caveat is that less battery may shorten the earbuds’ overall lifespan. But it’s enough for almost any daily scenario.

Comprehensive controls (finally)

On-board volume control is now available, letting you leave your phone tucked away.

One of the biggest knocks I’ve raised about the original Airpods Pro was a lack of onboard volume controls. I’ve long argued (alongside others) that it’s a feature any great pair of earbuds should include, without the need for swapping out other controls. Luckily, Apple listened.

While you can still use “Hey, Siri” for volume control, it’s now available by default with a swipe along the base of the stem’s squeeze control notch. It took me a while to get used to it, but once Apple reps told me to go as if to squeeze the buds and then slide my finger up or down, I found it intuitive and accurate. It is matched with your phone for granular progression so you don’t get adjustments that are too loud or soft. It’s also on by default, meaning even Android users can take advantage.

Other controls remain the same, letting you squeeze your way through calling and playback, as well as holding to activate noise canceling and Adaptive Transparency. You can also customize the long-press to call up Siri, but only within your iPhone settings. With the same controls on both sides, it’s a simple yet fully comprehensive system.

Same comfy design and some new iOS goodies

These buds maintain the high bar for design that Apple has set with the original Airpods Pro (left).

If you had trouble keeping the old Airpods Pro in your ears, the only change is an extra ear tip size. I was able to find the perfect match. Apart from a minor slip or two, including one on my roof when I was cleaning the gutters, I rarely worried about the buds falling out—in fact, I rarely worried about them at all. They’re, in my opinion, the comfiest and least obtrusive earbuds available, which is another reason you can wear them virtually all day.

As with the design, Apple didn’t change any of the staple iOS features that make the Airpods so useful for iPhone folks. You’ll be getting Audio Sharing, Hands-free Siri, and Automatic Switching (which mostly works well with my MacBook and iPhone).

Other features, like Find My, have improved, allowing you to locate the case separately, including Precision Finding and an onboard speaker to easier track it in your messy home.

What we don’t like

Still no EQ or other ANC controls

There’s definitely room for improvement with the granularity of the earbuds’ audio controls.

I definitely dig what Apple has done with the sound signature in the new Airpods Pro, but there’s always room for improvement—or, at least, customization. Apple’s latest settings pane for the Airpods offers some ways to tinker, including an Ear Tip Fit test, stereo balance, and Personalized Spatial Audio. But there’s still no EQ available to adjust default sound like most earbuds we test. Even Bose has added this option in its latest buds.

Most notable for my purposes is a lack of adjustable active noise canceling. With noise canceling this powerful, there may well be times when you want to back it down a bit. On the bright side, it’s easy to turn head tracking on or off for spatial audio, right in the main iPhone control center.

Automatic audio switching is good, multipoint is better

The buds offer seamless audio switching from one iOS device to another.

Apple’s Auto Switching between iOS devices connected to your iCloud account makes it relatively easy to use the buds seamlessly between them. It works pretty well, if not always instantly.

But I do wish the new Airpods Pro added multipoint audio like Jabra and other top brands offer, letting you connect to any two Bluetooth devices at once. This is particularly useful for those with non-Apple devices, like an Android phone or Windows PC.

No separate app for Android

The buds would be more useful to those who don’t use an iPhone if Apple created a separate app.

Apple’s advanced iPhone settings menu (accessible by clicking on the “i” next to the buds in your Bluetooth settings or within General Settings) means the Airpods Pro are catching up to the loaded apps many competitors offer—as long as you own an iPhone. If Apple were to make a separate Airpods app, as it does for its Beats headphones, the Airpods Pro would be much more useful for those without an iPhone.

That said, seeing as brands like Samsung and Google have increasingly siloed their earbuds in their respective ecosystems, I don’t expect Apple to change this anytime soon. The good news is that, with improved onboard controls, the Airpods Pro now work better than ever with phones not made by Apple.

Should you buy the Airpods Pro (2nd generation)?

Yes, especially if you have an iPhone, they’re the best earbuds around

This is a surefire purchase for iPhone users and worth considering for others.

Apple’s strategy to keep the Airpods Pro mostly intact from the outside, and completely reinvent features like Adaptive Transparency mode and active noise canceling makes the latest version a brilliant double-down on the world’s most popular earbuds. If you own an iPhone, these are easily the best earbuds for overall usability on multiple fronts, and considering the performance, they’re worth consideration even for some without an iPhone.

If you’re a diehard Android user, you’ll want to consider Samsung’s excellent new Galaxy Buds 2 Pro as an alternative. They offer solid noise canceling, a great fit, and great sound, but they can’t match Apple’s impressive Adaptive Transparency, and I’d argue they also come up short in overall usability. Other solid alternatives include the Sony WF-1000XM4, which beat the Airpods in sound quality, and Bose’s new QuietComfort Earbuds II, which offer their own impressive noise canceling advancements that (I’m told) exceed Apple’s.

airpods, gaming, reasons, upgrade

For a sportier option, Apple folks will want to consider Apple’s own Beats Fit Pro, though I don’t find them as comfortable, and they don’t match the Pro’s sound quality, noise canceling, or Adaptive Transparency mode.

It took three years, but the new Airpods Pro got the upgrade we’ve been waiting for. While the design may seem stagnant, Apple has created both a familiar face and a notable reinvention of the original “best” earbuds. If there’s a better pair of earbuds for overall usability and value out there, I haven’t found them. If you have an iPhone, these are the buds to buy.

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were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

Meet the tester

Former Managing Editor. Electronics

Hailing originally from Montana, Ryan parlayed his time working as a musician and audio engineer into a career in digital media in 2012. Since then he’s had extensive experience as a writer and editor, including everything from op-eds and features to reviews on TVs, audio gear, Smart home devices, and more.

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The Airpods Pro 2 offer great noise cancelation and impressive spatial audio

Tom’s Guide Verdict

Apple has delivered a substantial upgrade with the Airpods Pro 2. They amp up many of the features we loved about the original, and while they’re not perfect, they offer some of the best noise cancelation and spatial audio of any pair of earbuds available.

Pros

  • World-class noise cancelation
  • Volume controls right on the stem
  • Dolby Atmos spatial audio
  • Improved battery life

Cons

  • – Audio performance needs finessing
  • – Lackluster call quality
  • – Lanyard costs extra

Why you can trust Tom’s Guide?

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Price: 249 / 329 CAD / £249 / AU399

Colors: White

Battery life (rated): 6 hours; 30 hours (charging case)

Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.3 (codec support: AAC)

Water resistance: Yes (IPX4 rated)

Size: 1.22 x 0.86 x 0.94 inches (per bud); 1.78 x 2.39 x 0.85 inches (charging case)

Weight: 0.19 ounces (per bud); 1.8 ounces (charging case)

The Airpods Pro 2, officially called the Airpods Pro (2nd Generation) take everything we loved about the Apple’s first noise-canceling earbuds to the next level. The Airpods Pro 2 promise 2x the noise canceling performance, and they deliver. In fact, Apple’s noise-canceling tech inside the Airpods Pro 2 is among the best we’ve tested. So much so that they win the best noise-canceling headphone in the Tom’s Guide Audio Awards 2023.

On the audio front, Apple has included a new custom amp and driver that delivers better lower and higher frequencies, and you can use the iPhone’s TrueDepth camera to create a personalized spatial audio sound. You also get longer battery life and the charging case is improved with water resistance and a built-in microphone that helps you find it when it’s lost.

And yet, these aren’t quite the perfect pair of earbuds and Apple still has some room left to improve. There’s still space in the low-end for more details, while the high-end frequencies can be fatiguing at first. And there’s no lanyard to accompany that neat little lanyard hook on the side.

However, our gripes are minor compared to what’s on offer here. Overall, the Apple Airpods Pro 2 deliver an exceptional audio experience with some of the best noise cancelation in any pair of earbuds on the market. Yes, it’s that good. And with Apple’s Adaptive Audio capabilities coming via iOS 17, their capabilities are going to get even stronger.

Airpods Pro 2 review: Price and availability

Apple’s Airpods Pro 2 earbuds are on sale priced at 249 (329 CAD / £249 / AU399), which is the same amount the original Airpods Pro launched at in 2019. They are available from the Apple Store at the full asking price, but they can also be found at online retailers discounted to 199 at Amazon and 199 at Walmart, while Best Buy has them at 199 with a free 4-month Apple Music trial.

The original Airpods Pro have been discontinued on the Apple Store, but can still be found on sale while stocks last with the best Airpods deals.

In terms of the competition, that’s slightly less than the going rate for a pair of flagship noise-canceling earbuds. The Sony WF-1000XM4, a top contender for the best wireless earbuds, comes in at 279 while the newly launched Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II cost 299. That means you can get the Airpods Pro 2 for quite a bit less.

Sure, there are a number of great true wireless earbuds available for less than 200 — the Sennheiser CX Plus and the OnePlus Buds Pro come to mind — but, if you’re only looking at the big mainstream audio companies, the new Airpods Pro are a very reasonable choice.

Apple AirPods Pro 2. Real World REVIEW! (Not What I Expected)

Airpods Pro 2 review: Design

At first glance, it can be hard to tell the difference between the first-generation Airpods Pro and the new Airpods Pro ― but spend enough time with them and you’ll have no problem telling them apart from one another.

The key distinction between them are the built-in speaker on the case that you’ll see every time you look at the charging port and the new loop hook for a lanyard. These aren’t radical redesigns by any measure, but they did prevent me from picking up the wrong Airpods when I had the two pairs next to one another.

When holding the two earbuds, though, you won’t notice much of a difference in weight or size. The original Airpods Pro measure in at 1.2 x 0.9 x 0.9 inches while the new Airpods Pro 2 are 1.22 x 0.86 x 0.94 inches — basically, the numbers differ slightly but there’s no tangible difference.

In terms of weight, both the original Airpods Pro and the new Airpods Pro 2 are 0.19 ounces each. Put them in your ears and you won’t feel a difference.

The real change, of course, is going to be to the earbuds themselves and the hardware that’s inside of them. For the new Airpods Pro 2, Apple is using a new Skin-detect sensor instead of a proximity sensor to tell when the earbuds are on versus when you take them off that offers a significant improvement compared to the original Airpods and includes a smaller pair of eartips in the box to provide folks with smaller ears a better seal.

Having the right seal is absolutely crucial ― without it, you’re still going to hear a lot of outside noise and you’ll lose out on some of the bass response. Thankfully, you can test the fit at any time using the Test My Fit option in the Airpods Pro settings.

Inside the earbuds are two new key design details: the cutting-edge H2 Wireless Chip and the custom amplifier that powers the re-tuned drivers. We’ll get into how these factor into performance later in the review, but we couldn’t end the design section without at least mentioning their existence in the earbuds.

Overall, while the design isn’t a major departure from the original Airpods Pro ― there are a number of subtle exterior and substantive interior improvements that set the two apart.

Apple Airpods Pro 2 review: Comfort

Here it is, the one of the big reasons you should upgrade to the Airpods Pro 2 if you’re still using a first- or second-generation pair of standard Airpods — these are wildly comfortable by comparison.

They’re more comfortable because the Airpods Pro 2 continues to use the soft silicon tips of its predecessor rather than the plastic shell design used on the original Airpods. The difference is that the silicon tips gently conform to the ear canal rather than force it to open wider for the hard plastic casing. In practice that means you can wear the earbuds a lot longer without having to take them out — allowing for all-day wear without issues. (You can also read about how this writer tried foam ear tips with his Airpods Pro 2 and they made a big difference).

As mentioned earlier, you definitely want to get the fitting right, so take your time with the included ear tips to make sure that you’re getting the best seal. They may not feel quite as secure in your ear when you’re doing more intense athletic activities — we certainly wouldn’t wear them while playing sports, for example — however they are safe to be taken to the gym and are among some of the best running earbuds and best workout headphones. We also tried running with the Airpods Pro 2 to see how they’d hold up.

Overall, these are still in-ear earbuds and they’re going to feel uncomfortable after a few hours of use. Ears simply weren’t meant to have something blocking them for hours a day. As far as in-ear headphones are concerned, however, these are more comfortable than others.

Apple Airpods Pro 2 review: Setup

If you’re using an iOS device, setup is seamless. Truly all it takes is holding the Airpods near your iOS device and you’ll see a prompt on the screen asking if you want to pair them. If you’ve owned a pair of Apple earbuds before, you know the drill.

What’s new this time around is that the image of the earbuds displayed on your phone will match the exact earbuds in your hands — which means, if you’ve paid extra for an emoji engraving, that too will appear on the phone when you go to pair it.

Once paired, the Airpods will then ask if you want to try personalized spatial audio. To get the proper measurements, the earbuds will play music with varying levels of height to see which one sounds the most 3D to your ears. It’s similar in a lot of ways to a test at the eye doctor when they ask whether image one or image two looks clearer. It might not be 100% accurate, but it does help to make the experience better overall and we absolutely recommend doing the 20-second test upon setup.

If you want more customization options, those can be found in the Airpods settings that can be found in the Settings app on your iOS device. Instead of burying the menus deep inside the Bluetooth connections setting, it’s right up near the top of the Settings app and easy to find. Inside you’ll find options to rename the Airpods, switch the noise control from Transparency Mode to Noise Cancelation and different options for the controls if you don’t like the default settings. This is also the place you’ll be able to re-enable the personalized spatial audio setting if you turned it down at setup.

There’s not a lot that’s changed here, admittedly, but the few bits and pieces that have changed are Smart decisions.

Apple Airpods Pro 2 review: Controls

One problem the original Airpods Pro had that wasn’t talked about often was the inability to change the volume on the earbuds. If you wanted to change the volume, you’d either have to ask Siri nicely or pull your phone out of your to change it yourself.

That’s not an issue with the Airpods Pro 2 that have improved touch controls that support swiping up and down on the stems to raise or lower the volume. Beyond the volume controls, you can tap the earbuds once to play or pause music, skip or rewind tracks with two or three taps, respectively, and hold to toggle active noise cancelation.

These controls will work regardless of whether you’re on iOS or Android, but if you want to control the earbuds with Siri, you’re going to need to stick with iOS.

Apple Airpods Pro 2 review: Siri features

Here’s where the H2 chip really shines. Being able to use hands-free Siri is great — as is getting notifications read to you when they come in. With the help of the Airpods Pro 2, Siri actually feels like a Smart assistant rather than a glorified food timer.

As far as outright new features are concerned, there aren’t many here. Everything you could use Siri for with the original Airpods Pro is available on the Airpods Pro 2 and vice versa. The small difference here being that the earbuds now have more precise tracking when you enable the Find My… option in the Airpods settings.

Apple Airpods Pro 2 review: Noise cancelation

Had the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2 not launched right before the Airpods Pro 2 the latter would’ve easily claimed the title of the best ANC earbuds of 2022 — unfortunately, now it’s a pretty close call between the two.

When it’s active with music playing at a medium volume the noise cancelation can overcome what I feel is 95% of household and office noise. You won’t be able to hear a person sitting next to you, even if you’re looking at them, and the dull hum of the office will fade into nothing.

That being said, when you just have them on without any music playing, some sound is going to slip through and you might even hear the small hiss of the earbuds trying to cancel out small amounts of ambient noise.

In terms of improvements, Apple says the Airpods Pro 2 cancel out twice the amount of noise as their predecessors — admittedly tough data to corroborate — but there is a noticeable difference between the two. That said, we feel the noise cancelation is at least as good as other market-leading earbuds like the Sony WF-1000XM4, and easily sit within the top three of all-time when it comes to sheer noise-cancelation.

Apple Airpods Pro 2 review: Transparency mode

Transparency mode is the polar opposite of active noise cancelation — instead of keeping noise out, it amplifies ambient noise — and it does a darn good job of it.

To activate it, you can either take one earbud out and leave a single earbud in, or press and hold either of the stems to change from active noise cancelation to Transparency Mode.

So, why would you want Transparency Mode on in the first place? Well, imagine you’re on a plane and you’re asked what you’d like to drink. Instead of taking out the earbuds, you can keep them in, turn on Transparency Mode and carry on with a regular conversation. You can also have it turned on when you’re running to hear traffic, or in an office if you want to stay tuned in to what everyone else is saying.

Apple Airpods Pro 2 review: Sound quality

Look, the Airpods Pro 2 aren’t ever going to replace my open-back Sennheiser headphones that I use for critical-listening — but they do articulate some really nice details that you wouldn’t be able to hear as clearly with other earbuds. For example, you might’ve noticed that the introduction to Hurt by Nine Inch Nails (and famously covered later by Johnny Cash) had some dissonance at the beginning of the song, but you’ll really hear how powerful that clashing sound is with the new Airpods Pro.

Speaking of powerful, we have to hand it to Apple on the way the new earbuds convey Dolby Atmos spatial audio. Compared to the competition, the Airpods are miles ahead with spatial audio technology and music simply transforms into a three-dimensional experience with these earbuds in. Albums mixed in Atmos — like Natural Brown Prom Queen — feel all-encompassing. There’s no edge to the soundstage but rather it extends all around you.

That’s not to say that the imaging — where the instruments are positioned in the mix — is perfect, nor are all instruments perfectly represented in the earbuds. The higher frequencies can, at first, feel a bit fatiguing compared to other headphones (just try any Ozzy Osbourne song if you don’t believe me) and the low-end could still be a bit richer. Depending on what kind of music you listen to that shouldn’t be a deal-breaker, but it might make some of your favorite songs — including one of my own favorites Dark Necessities by Red Hot Chili Peppers — feel a bit light when it comes to the low-end.

Listening to the same song on both pair of earbuds — the original Airpods Pro and the Airpods Pro 2 — you can hear a slight uptick in the bass response, but it’s not so substantial that it’s worth ditching the older generation just for the new amp and driver.

The other feature we take umbrage with is the lack of true lossless support. Apple has updated every song in Apple Music to stream in lossless quality — but that support ends when you put on a pair of earbuds and the data is transmitted wirelessly. Because some form of compression will always be needed to send data over Bluetooth we weren’t expecting a completely new codec here but it does hurt to be paying for a service that we can’t fully appreciate with Apple’s own true wireless earbuds.

Apple Airpods Pro 2 review: Battery life

While true lossless audio support didn’t make the cut for the list of improvements, improved battery life certainly did. Now, instead of 24 hours of charge in the case, you’re looking at 30 hours, and the earbuds last six hours on a single charge instead of four.

In our testing, we were able to verify those numbers — though we landed a little closer to five hours per charge and 26 hours with the case. Those numbers are likely to change as the earbuds get more use over the coming months, so take the out-of-the-box numbers with a grain of salt.

What we found a bit strange about the earbuds is that they only glow amber when charging temporarily. The LED on the case will glow for about 15 seconds, then shut off. That made us worried that the Airpods weren’t charging at all. We left them on the charger for two hours — and, lo and behold, we returned to them fully charged.

One of Apple’s big announcements is that the redesigned MagSafe‌ Charging Case can now be charged by an Apple Watch charger and will make a noise when it starts charging. It’s a subtle tweak and we’d rather have a fully glowing amber LED for the duration of charging, but that’s a personal preference rather than some fault with the Airpods themselves.

Apple Airpods Pro 2 review: Call quality and connectivity

Call quality is an area where we were hoping to see some improvement, but we didn’t find much: calls made with the Airpods Pro 2 always sounded a bit muffled compared to a call on speakerphone. Unfortunately, that meant people still preferred us using the phone’s built-in speaker rather than the Airpods — and, after listening to a voicemail recorded with the Airpods — we don’t blame them.

The reason we’re not seeing much of a change — if any — is because Apple hasn’t done much to the microphone array inside the earbuds themselves. Yes, the H2 chip may be able to do a bit of audio processing to eliminate more background noise but, as far as actual vocal clarity is concerned, the Airpods are limited by the microphones.

That’s not to say that the Airpods have the worst call quality of any earbuds we’ve tried — they don’t — it’s just that the call quality is relatively lackluster for what is otherwise a very premium product.

Airpods Pro 2 review: Verdict

They’re not worth tossing away a perfectly good pair of original Airpods Pro for, but the Airpods Pro 2 are absolutely worth it for first-time buyers and folks in need of a replacement. These are nearly perfect true wireless earbuds — with a few minor issues that prevent them from scoring the highest mark we can give out. For new iPhone 14 owners looking for a more tailored listening experience, these are the pinnacle of Apple technology.

How we test

With more than 30 years experience in testing and reviewing consumer audio products for all kinds of media outlets and big-name brands around the world, the Tom’s Guide audio team follows a rigorous test regime when it comes to reviewing each and every product and determining the best products to review for recommendation in our buying guides.

We evaluate earbuds based on a five-point system (1 = worst, 5 = best). If a product hits nearly every mark, it’s awarded a coveted Recommended badge, while our Best Value award speaks for itself. Only products with truly exceptional performance across the board are awarded an Editor’s Choice badge.

For more information, check out our how we test page for Tom’s Guide.

AirPods Pro 2 – Long-term Review 7 Months Later

Daily Deals: 40% Off Alienware QD-OLED Gaming Monitor, 2TB PS5 SSD for 119.99, Apple Airpods Pro for 199.99, and

Today’s daily deals include nearly 40% off a refurbished 34 Alienware QD-OLED gaming monitor directly from Dell Outlet, a 2TB PS5-compatible SSD for the absolute lowest price we’ve ever seen, a pair of Apple Airpods Pro true wireless noise cancelling earbuds for 199.99, a powerful HP OMEN 45L RTX 4090 gaming PC for about 3K, and more below.

Preorder the Nintendo Switch OLED The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Edition Right Now

It’s finally up for preorder. Amazon and Best Buy have opened up preorders for the Nintendo Switch OLED Tears of the Kingdom Edition for 359.99. There’s a queue right now to get it, but orders are going through. We don’t know how long this will last, but it’s certainly very popular. This Edition includes custom themed Joy-Cons, dock, and Switch case. Note that the actual game isn’t included.

Alienware AW3423DWF QD OLED Gaming Monitor for Only 677.49 (40% Off MSRP)

Refurbished with 90-day warranty

Dell Outlet is offering a major discount on the 2nd generation Alienware AW3423DWF 34 QD-OLED gaming monitor. It normally retails for 1099.99, but today you can get it at Dell Outlet for a mere 677.59 after coupon code 702612AW3. That’s a huge 40% price drop for one of the best Alienware gaming monitors you can get!

It’s important to note that this is a Refurbished monitor that’s sold directly from Dell Outlet, which is wholly owned and operated by Dell. According to Dell, Refurbished implies that the product has gone through a comprehensive process.- including repairs, replacements and quality testing.- to bring it to a set standard of performance and quality. It carries a 90-day manufacturer’s warranty, and in return you get the most current and best monitor for an absolutely unbeatable price.

Crucial P5 Plus 2TB PS5 SSD for 119.99

New price drop!

Crucial’s newest M.2 SSD meets all the requirements for your PS5 SSD upgrade. It supports transfer speeds of up to 6,660MB/s which is well above the 5,500MB/s minimum threshold. Yes there are faster SSDs out there, but if your intention is to put this in your PS5, then that extra speed is worthless because you’re bottlenecked by the original PS5 SSD. If you’re worried about opening up your PS5 case, don’t worry it’s very easy. Crucial has an official YouTube PS5 SSD install guide to see you through the process.

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Demon Slayer Manga Complete Box Set

If you love the Demon Slayer anime series but don’t want to wait months for another new season, here’s your chance to score the entire manga collection for nearly 50% off. The Demon Slayer manga is officially over (last issue published back in 2020) and comprises a total of 23 volumes. The anime misses quite a few details and events from the manga, so you’ll get even more out of re-reading the volumes you might have already watched.

nd Gen Apple Airpods Pro for 199.99

The 2nd gen Apple Airpods Pro truly wireless noise cancelling earbuds is back down to its lowest price again. Amazon currently has it for 199.99, a price drop of 50. The Apple Airpods Pro is one of the best sounding truly wireless earbuds you’ll find, especially at this price point. Truly wireless earbuds have no wires whatsoever, even to each other. In addition to the excellent sound quality, the Airpods Pro is the only Airpods earbuds with active noise cancelling technology.

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The Asus RT-AX86U is one of the best gaming routers you can get right now. It improves on its predecessor, the venerable AC86U, with the addition of Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax). It boasts speeds of up to 5700Mbps over Wi-Fi 6. It has a 2.5Gbps WAN port that can support true 2GB speeds from your modem. It also has gaming-centric features like a Mobile Game Mode that provides a lag-free, low-latency mobile gaming experience and QoS for prioritizing gaming bandwidth above all else.

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Amazon is offering the latest generation Apple Watch Series 8 (41mm, GPS) for only 329, a 70 price drop from its 399 MSRP. The Apple Series 8 carries over the best features of the Series 7 like the Always-On Retina OLED display, the dual-core CPU (now called the S8 processor, even though functionally it’s the same as the S7 processor on the Series 7), the rugged IP6X dust resistant and swimproof (to 50mm) casing, and the wealth of health features like ECG, blood oxygen, and heart rate meters. Two features new to the Series 8 are a built-in temperature sensor (primarily geared towards women’s health) as well as the ability to detect when you’ve been subjected to a serious car crash.

Acer Predator 4TB PS5 SSD for 326.99

Whether it be for your PS5 or your PC, the Acer Predator GM700 offers both performance and storage capacity in spades. This is currently the least expensive 4TB PCIe M.2 SSD we’ve found that boasts speeds higher than the PS5 minimum requirement. It performs similarly to the Crucial P5 Plus and faster than the Samsung 980 Pro.

HP OMEN 45L Intel Core i7-3700K GeForce RTX 4090 Gaming PC for 3025

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The Best Apple Airpods Pro Tips and Tricks

You’ll enjoy your Airpods Pro even more if you know how to fully use and customize them. Here’s how to get the most out of Apple’s premium wireless earbuds.

Apple’s Airpods Pro are a significant upgrade over the regular Airpods. The base model allows you to listen to your favorite music and podcasts, talk to Siri, trigger features with a tap, check the battery charge, and find them if they’re missing. But with the Pro, you can get a better fit, fully enhance the audio quality, optimize battery charging, and take advantage of other cool features. Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your Airpods Pro.

Take the Ear Tip Fit Test

One of the drawbacks with the regular Airpods is that they use a one-size-fits-all approach with an in-ear design that doesn’t necessarily fit all ears properly. If the fit isn’t snug, the Airpods can easily and quickly slip out of your ears. The Airpods Pro corrects that flaw by switching to an in-canal design with replaceable tips for small, medium, and large ear canal sizes (the 2nd gen Airpods Pro also offer an extra small option).

By default, the Airpods Pro are packaged with the medium tips, but you can easily change sizes. To switch out the current tips, pull firmly on them until they detach from the base. Position the new tips so that the center white circle meets with the center black circle on the base. Then push until they click into place.

To help you determine which of the three size tips will provide the best seal and sound, take an Ear Tip Fit test. To do this, attach one pair of the tips to the base of both Airpods Pro. Then insert both Airpods in your ears. On your iPhone, go to Settings Bluetooth. Tap the info icon for your Airpods Pro and tap the link for Ear Tip Fit Test. At the screen to test the fit of your ear tips, tap Continue, then tap the Play button. A short music clip plays.

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Afterwards, the app will tell you if your current tips offer a good fit. If not, it will tell you to either adjust your tips or try a different size. Go through all three sizes until the app tells you that both Airpods have the Good Seal of Approval.

Change the Name of Your Airpods Pro

The name of your Airpods Pro appears in a few different places, but you’re not stuck with it. On your iPhone, go to Settings Bluetooth. Tap the info icon for your Airpods Pro, then tap the current name. You can then revise the existing name or delete it and create an entirely new name. When finished, tap Done.

Control Music With a Press

Control the flow of music by pressing the stem of either your left or right Airpods Pro. To do this, you’ll need to press the stem with your thumb and forefinger until you hear a low click. Press once to pause/play, double-press to skip forward to the next track, and triple-press to skip backward to the start of your current track or to the previous track.

Customize the Presses

By default, pressing and holding the stem of either AirPod Pro moves between Noise Cancellation and Transparency, but you can change that for one or both of them. With the Airpods Pro in your ears, go to Settings Bluetooth and press the info icon next to your Airpods. Under the Press and Hold Airpods section, tap the entry for Left or Right.

Here, you can keep Noise Control as the activated action when you long-press but add the Off setting to the mix by tapping its entry. Alternatively, you can change the action from Noise Control to Siri by tapping the entry at the top for Siri. As a suggestion, you may want to keep Noise Control enabled for one bud but switch to Siri for the other.

Adjust the Volume on 2nd Gen Airpods Pro

The second generation Airpods Pro enhance the earbuds with better audio quality and other features. One new option allows you to adjust the volume by swiping up and down on a sensor located on the stem of the Airpods. To enable this, go to Settings Bluetooth [Your Airpods info icon] Accessibility. Turn on the switch for Volume Swipe. You can also adjust the time between swipes to avoid accidental volume changes by selecting Longer or Longest.

Fire up some music or other audio, put your thumb on the stem of either AirPod, and use your index finger to swipe up or down on the control. As you do, the volume will increase or decrease.

Turn on Noise Cancellation

The Airpods Pro offers two different listening modes that can help clamp down on background noise. The Noise Cancellation feature blocks out virtually all background sounds, so this feature can come in handy in a noisy environment where you want to be able to clearly hear your audio.

Transparency mode muffles the background noise so you can still hear it without it interfering with your audio. This would be a good option for public places where you still need to hear announcements or otherwise remain aware of your surroundings.

Switch between Noise Cancellation and Transparency mode with a long press on the stem of either bud until you hear a chime. If you prefer to go through your iPhone, there are two options.

Open Control Center, then press down on the audio control. Tap the icon for Noise Control, then choose Noise Cancellation or Transparency, or just tap Off to turn off Noise Control altogether. You can also go to Settings Bluetooth [Your Airpods info icon], then tap Noise Cancellation, Off, or Transparency in the Noise Control section.

Tweak Accessibility Settings

To further control certain accessibility features of your Airpods Pro, go to Settings Bluetooth [Your Airpods info icon] Accessibility. Here, you can change the speed required to press the stems of your Airpods to pause, play, skip ahead, or go back. You’re also able to adjust the duration needed for pressing the stems to change the noise cancellation mode. Further, you can enable noise cancellation with one AirPod and control the volume swipe.

Improve Sound Quality

Introduced in iOS 14, a feature known as Headphone Accommodations enhances the audio from your Airpods by boosting softer sounds and certain frequencies.

Go to Settings Bluetooth [Your Airpods info icon] Accessibility Audio Accessibility Settings Headphone Accommodations and turn on the switch. Tap Play Sample to hear a sample, then tune the audio for a balanced tone across a range of frequencies, a vocal range for middle frequencies, or brightness for higher frequencies. You can also boost softer sounds slightly, moderately, or strongly.

You may want to try playing music, podcasts, audiobooks, or other audio from your own library to discover which settings work best for your own tastes. Alternatively, the audio output can be customized if you tap Custom Audio Setup and answer a few questions. Your audio settings will change based on your answers.

Turn on Spatial Audio

A feature introduced in iOS 14 and unique to Airpods Pro and the third generation Airpods is spatial audio, which brings head tracking and surround-sound effects to supported videos. To enable this, you must be running iOS 14 or higher and have your Airpods Pro firmware updated to version 3A283 or higher (Settings Bluetooth [Your Airpods info icon] Version).

Go to Settings Bluetooth [Your Airpods info icon] and tap Personalized Spatial Audio. Tap the setting for Personalize Spatial Audio. Tap Continue, remove your Airpods if you have them in your ears, and then allow your phone to scan your face. Now fire up a supported audio or video to hear Spatial Audio in action.