AirPods Pro: a disappointment…

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By Matthew Fan, Co-Opinion-Editor

In any Apple-Android debate with my friends, I will always take Apple’s side. After all, I do own an iPhone, MacBook Pro, Apple Watch, Apple TV and more recently, AirPods. I have to say, even with the early memes about how they looked, I really enjoyed my first generation AirPods. They had good sound quality and fit comfortably in my ears, enabling me to sleep, run and do homework without much discomfort.

In February, I knew exactly what I wanted for my birthday—the new AirPods Pro. In fact, I was so eager to get them that my parents drove over an hour to the store to pick up one of the few remaining pairs in the area.
The package did not disappoint. The plastic wrap would please any ASMR-enthusiast and the Russian-doll-like structure of the box was aesthetically pleasing, with the charging cable and extra silicone tips stacked neatly into each other.

I tried on my AirPods, and immediately I was shocked by how well the earbuds shut out external noise, so much so that I had to double-check that noise-cancellation wasn’t on. Additionally, the sound was much more centered than that of my old AirPods. This was a good start, but unfortunately, it went downhill from there.

Both the noise-cancellation and transparency modes, the most touted features of this new generation of AirPods, hurt my ears immensely. The former created so much pressure that it hurt to keep the buds in. The latter created a constant static sound that gave me an insufferable headache. Even though I switched to the smallest silicone tips, I still felt too much internal ear pressure. Moreover, the battery lifetime was not terribly impressive. It died after only a few hours of use. This probably has to do with the noise-cancellation and transparency settings, but as someone who doesn’t enjoy them, this was another major drawback.

Part of me wants to return my birthday present. And certainly all of me does not want to wear my AirPods Pro nearly as much as I hoped I would.


Matthew Fan can be reached at [email protected]