Apple AirPods Pro Announced

Discussion in 'IEMs and Portable Gear' started by pure5152, Oct 28, 2019.

  1. Chittagong

    Chittagong Acquaintance

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    Haha, yes I meant to write Apple headphones. Apologies for the confusion. I do love my HE-1000s of course.
     
  2. Bloom

    Bloom MOT: Bloom Audio

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    It's wild that AirPods are so good for Apple ecosystem users at "convenient" things like quickly connecting between devices that I'm buying a pair just for phone calls and one ear podcast listening. Will give my wife my gen 2 pair. Never gonna do serious music listening with these, but frig me is Apple so good at making the most "useful" true wireless earphones. Absolutely worth the premium (for iOS and Mac users).
     
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  3. Erikdayo

    Erikdayo Friend

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    I ended up purchasing these yesterday instead of waiting like I originally intended. Honestly, I don't want to hype them up too much. I think they sound quite wonky and unnatural. Something about the upper mids(?) and also the treble roll off. They lack clarity. I appreciate that they don't have the same sort of bloated bass that the WF1000XM3 has, but I would call them a bit of a downgrade in sound otherwise. To my ears the Sony sounds a bit more natural. If you're primarily looking for sound quality and value and don't care about ANC I would say to give these a hard pass. These are not for you.

    That said I am keeping the AirPods Pro and selling the WF1000XM3. Why? Well, I don't consider myself much of a power IEM user anymore. I use my over ears more often than not. These provide better call quality, have better controls, and do not cut out like the Sony model sometimes does. The AirPods Pro is also low profile and far less goofy looking than the WF1000XM3 which looks like a mid-2000s bluetooth headset. I did not compare the ANC capabilities side by side, but I'd say both are fine for the bus and train. I have to swap the settings on the Sony more because it's awful with wind noise. No such issues with the AirPods Pro and wind so far.

    Edit: Wanted to add a few more notes. I noticed today that when I walk around the sound can become kinda flangy like a low quality mp3 back in the day. This happens when it gets bumpy on the bus too. I am able to replicate the sound by kind of shifting the AirPods Pro around while sitting here at work. According to Apple's test I got 'good seal' with small, medium, and larger tips. Yes. Every size. It seems I might need to try the other sizes next week and see if any of them shift around a little less so I don't get that flangy sound as much. If anything I assume that will be the small tips. Using the medium ones currently. Wish I had brought the other tips with me to work today as I'll be away for a long weekend with the SO. Oops.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2019
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  4. netforce

    netforce MOT: TSAV

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    Headed to the Apple store today to try the Airpods Pro out. Didn't even really get a chance to hear them in the store, long line of people. And when I did get a chance with them, I was figuring out how to pair with my phone when a lady grabbed the left side. So that was really fucking rude.

    Ended up just deciding to buy a pair and try them for the return window I have.
     
  5. pyu

    pyu Rando

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    Well, I got my pair. Just used them on my public transport commute and the noise cancelling was good enough to eliminate most of the background stuff going on like the traffic outside the bus, within the bus, people yakking around me, etc.

    Sound signature: Spent most of my time listening to my generic/commute playlist, which also contains stuff from Yosi Horikawa. And this is with Apple's noise cancelling algorithms / techniques running in the background. Since I used to listen to them quite often on a modded HD800 and a pair of Noble K10 universals at home, it is pretty clear to me that the sound is tad rolled off and isn't as clear.

    Which I expected.

    So for the IEM-nirvana seekers, no, Apple hasn't reached there.

    For what it is worth, if the Airpods didn't work out for you when you tried them and they kept falling out of your ears, you should audition these to see if the AirPods Pro work out for you and then decide if you want to go for the "true wireless" life for your daily, non-critical audio listening routine.

    And as a side note, since I commented that I am buried deep within Apple's ecosystem (Macs at work/home, iPad Pro, iPhone, etc), they are easy to pair and then all of my devices that are hooked into iCloud already have them as an option.
     
  6. Bloom

    Bloom MOT: Bloom Audio

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    I can't imagine anything worse than trying to pass around earwaxy AirPods with a mob of nutty Apply Store customers.
     
  7. skem

    skem Friend

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    I also reviewed the AirPods Pro. I brought my Sony WH1000XM3 (over ear cans, not WF1000XM3 ear bud style doodads) for a side-by-side comparison.

    tl;dr: I prefer WH1000XM3.

    Baseline: The Sony WH1000XM3
    These have a few shortfalls: the bass is boosted and the sound of the AAC Codec is still pretty bad. I have not managed to get the LDAC Codec working on my iPhone yet, though it is theoretically possible for locally-stored audio. The over-ear design also bakes my ears, which is my chief complaint since I mainly want these for long airplane trips. The value of WH1000XM3 is incredibly good noise cancellation.

    Contender: The Apple AirPods Pro:
    The obvious advantage of AirPods is long-term comfort. Actually, they don't fit my (big) ears all that well, and I'm not a fan of rubber tips—but I suspect long-term they would still better in that they would not bake my ears. On other fronts, however, the AirPods fall too short to make me pull the trigger. They still use AAC codec (I think) and the audio is in no way better than the WH1000XM3. They don't have the bass boost that Sony put in, but instead the ~1k region seems really emphasized, which for me is even worse. As previously mentioned, there is also an incoherence to the audio. It might be a relative suppression of the higher frequency bands from which one gets detail (as some folks have posited), but I actually feel like there is something else going on. To me, it sounds as if there were a steep a crossover point right around 1K, causing some phase cancellation, comb filtering, or other unpleasant effect. I'm not saying that there is such a crossover, I'm just saying that's the sensation I get.

    The noise cancellation is better than I expected for an ear bud, but it does not do as well as WH1000XM3. It's not just that the over-ear design of WH1000XM3 shields more bone-conduction sound; it is that WH1000XM3 is actually able to suppress some high-frequency sound as well. As such, the WH1000XM3 has a more uniform noise reduction across the frequency band, which renders a more natural ambient sound stage for whatever sound does leak through. The AirPods do a great job of suppressing some low-frequency sound, but I can still hear overtones and harmonics. In particular, I doesn't help as much with broad-band noise, like wind noise or voices. The result is a kind of old-skool noise suppression signature in which things are quieter, but the background is still fairly distracting. I couldn't tell how much of the residual sound should be attributed to the noise-cancelling technology versus to a potentially a leaky seal from the rubber tips in my large ear canals. I'd be game for trying these again if anybody made an aftermarket foam tip. However, given the micro-latching attachment mechanism the tips use, I wouldn't expect an aftermarket tip any time soon.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2019
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  8. Erikdayo

    Erikdayo Friend

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    I would argue the best feature of the AirPods Pro is actually that they can easily fit in the coin pocket on any of my pants. You can actually just always have these TWS with ANC on you when you’re out without having to carry a bag around or have a super bulky case like the WF1000XM3. Maybe that sounds silly, but it’s quite nice and convenient. Convenience and call quality with decent noise canceling and okay sound.
     
  9. AdvanTech

    AdvanTech Friend

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    This sounds about right.
     
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  10. M3NTAL

    M3NTAL Friend

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    The WF-1000XM3 and iPhone are both not LDAC capable. AAC is going to be the best between the two.
     
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  11. skem

    skem Friend

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    @M3NTAL thanks! That tipped me off to a typo. I had meant WH-1000XM3. Fixed!
     
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  12. fraggler

    fraggler A Happy & Busy Life

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    What kind of cut outs are we talking about? Something with your pair or is it common? Kind of important to know :)
     
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  13. Erikdayo

    Erikdayo Friend

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    I have tried a few pairs so I’d say my recently sold pair appears to be normal. Had it happen with every pair of Bluetooth headphones/in ears I’ve tried recently on multiple phones. It isn’t a constant thing, but I believe it happened slightly more often with both the WF and WH Sony models compared to the APP, QC35ii, NCH700, and H9 in my experience. Then again I’ve also noticed that certain places tend to have cut outs more than others. So data can be skewed depending on where I go when using a particular Bluetooth device. Maybe I visited a problematic area more often when I was using a certain headphone. I don’t know enough about Bluetooth to really understand what external factors cause interference.

    I wouldn’t be worried. If you feel there is a problem I purchased the WF from Best Buy on September 23rd. Plenty of warranty time left.
     
  14. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    @james444 talked about BT reliability with the BT20 earhooks (and in general) in the iem-general-discussion-thread and it probably applies to these as well.
    https://www.superbestaudiofriends.o...ral-discussion-thread.424/page-69#post-270266
    I believe reliability of bluetooth streaming with TWS can very much depend on your individual physique. For instance, with the BT20 (the older non-"S" version), I can repeatably make the right side drop out by just turning my head to the right. However, nothing happens if I turn my head to the left. Since the left side is master and the right side is slave, I suspect this may have something to do with reflections / interference caused by my left shoulder, whenever I turn my head to the right.

    Funny enough, this only happens outdoors, because indoors, BT can rely on reflections off walls. Many people don't know that and wonder why they experience connection problems when they step out the door, virtually only seconds after everything just worked like a charm at home.

    And to make things even more complicated, the mentioned dropouts on my BT20 only happen when the ear hooks rest against the sides of my head. After pulling them only millimeters away from my head, so that they rest against the backside of my ears, the streaming connection becomes stable (likely due to more favorable radiation pattern) and I can no more provoke dropouts by turning my head.

    Bottom line, thankfully bluetooth streaming has become a lot more reliable recently, because troubleshooting these issues can be a huge PITA.
     
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  15. Walderstorn

    Walderstorn Friend

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    So i tested these, very briefly, yesterday with a iPhone 8, both from my friend, and i am going to be short and simple, the sound of these is low quality and i mean really low, if i didn't know i had them in i would say they were some cheap chi-fi iem's. I was not expecting stellar sound but they are 250€, will probably last 2y battery-wise, sound like crap and i can't go over that. The ANC works well, it does, although not as well as the usual, over-ear, suspects but to be fair i wasn't inside a train or a plane, like i usually like to test ANC (that's where i need it the most).

    - i could not test battery
    - i did not test commands because i was short on time
    - they are comfortable
    - i am not a fan of the aesthetics

    These are just impressions from a brief walk. The most positive thing about these is that the clones will probably take the best out of them and do their own twists.
     
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  16. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    Was briefly considering these, but based on recent impressions and other reviews, I think I’ll pass.

    If Guttenberg pans them, you know you’ve got big issues:


    Bottom line: Buy them for the other features, not sound quality (or just buy something else).
     
  17. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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  18. Erikdayo

    Erikdayo Friend

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    Hmmm. I haven’t heard that sub bass boost. Could be due to my listening levels as well. I only noticed today that the iOS health app provides some useful information about listening levels.

    I definitely do notice the mids,treble roll off, and a general lack of refinement and clarity.

    BBA91FD2-D3F9-4183-B0AA-F85803B41771.png
     
  19. Ksaurav402

    Ksaurav402 Friend

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    Wow thats nice statistics.
    I feel one of the plus point of Apple product is seamless integration and user experience and based on all above reviews, this airpod doesn't disappoint in those. Can't comment on sound as I haven't heard them yet.
     
  20. paranoidroid

    paranoidroid Friend

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    Same, especially the treble roll off. But I find them quite incredible for the noise cancelling abilities, integration and the ability to have it all with you all the time in the jeans coin pocket. They are expensive but for those that might commute or ride the trains a lot it might be worth the expense for the form factor and features IMO..

    Much easier and more convenient than popping my Andromedas in and out and dealing with the wires..
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2019
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