I waited impatiently for the Apple AirPods Pro 2. Scheduled to launch at the next Apple event, which could take place in September, the successor to Apple’s first Pro earbuds will have a lot going for it. And not just because it’s been a long time since we’ve seen major changes in Apple’s buds.
I enjoyed the first generation AirPods Pro for some time now, and I’ve been particularly impressed with the effectiveness of the ANC technology that’s on board to help free me from the boredom of long journeys and transport me to my personal world away from the hubbub noisy from other passengers.
Compared to the many rivals we encountered at Tom’s Guide, we weren’t exactly blown away by the AirPods Pro’s battery life, but I haven’t had any issues with their mediocre duration so far. And unlike some others, I’m pretty ambivalent about the protruding stem design.
There are just two things that bother me about the AirPods Pro: first, the price (and I really can’t see Apple reducing its $249/£239 price for its next-gen model), and second, that they are only available in white.
White has always been the go-to singular option for Apple buds ever since it launched its original headphones in 2001, along with the first-generation iPod. In my opinion, the look is getting a bit boring and has become something of a commuter uniform, at least due to its ubiquity among my fellow travellers.
We already liked the Google Pixel Buds 2 and Google Pixel Buds A-serieswhich has improved sound quality with each new incarnation since the original Pixel Buds, and I hope the Pixel Buds Pro will continue to follow this trend.
Battery life is rated at 11 hours of listening time on the new model, or up to 7 hours with active noise cancellation turned on. Compare that to just 5 hours for the AirPods Pro with noise cancellation off and 4.5 hours with it.
The signs are also encouraging in terms of the type of technology that has been implemented. Just as the AirPods Pro brought active noise cancellation to the Apple series, the Pixel Buds Pro bring active noise cancellation to the Google one. In terms of technological advancements, Google may seem a little out of step with other ANC models, but its new headphones seem to have the potential to outshine the competition, if the advancements are to be believed.
Like the AirPods Pro, the Pixel Buds Pro claim to actively adapt their output to achieve the best sound balance for your ear shape, even if it’s ill-fitting in your ear. As an earphone, I imagine a selection of different sized ear tips will be supplied to fit your ear canal perfectly, although I haven’t seen any information on this yet. But because everyone’s ear shape is different, the acoustic seal may not be perfect for all users at all times.
All sorts of factors come into play when fitting headphones, from the depth of insertion to the quality of the ear tips for an effective acoustic seal. These are all things that can prevent the speaker from delivering its best performance and have a significant impact on sound performance.
To overcome any form of fit inconsistency or irregularities, Google’s Silent Seal technology claims to tailor audio to your particular ear shape and fit, sensing how much sound manages to get through. escape and adjusting the output to ensure accurate representation of all frequencies. on everything you listen to. The sensors even measure the pressure in your ear canal, to ensure there is no excessive discomfort from buildup of pressure levels, and to alleviate the clogged-ear feeling that some listeners may experience. to feel.
The external sensors also adapt to windy situations outdoors to help you make clear calls even when it’s loud and also offer Transparency mode so you can hear ambient noises for your own safety.
We won’t know for sure how good the Pixel Buds Pro are and whether they should be considered among the best noise canceling headphonesuntil we’ve carefully assessed and listened to them for ourselves – and given that they won’t be available until July, that’s still a few months away.
However, the signs are good, and while it’s similar technology to what we’ve seen elsewhere, the color choice certainly brings some personality back to the personal sound market.
And then there’s the price: $199 / £179 / AU$299, which undercuts Apple’s Pro buds by around $50. Sure, you can buy the AirPods Pro for a lot less now, more than two years after they launched, but don’t expect the AirPods Pro 2 to suddenly challenge the Pixel Buds Pro in that regard when they finally arrive.
With that in mind, and assuming their performance matches their potential, I can easily see myself drawn to the Pixel Buds Pro.
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