Top positive review
5.0 out of 5 starsWhat they do, they do well. Not for everyone though, especially at this price.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on 19 May 2020
For anyone who knows the headphone market they know how good the AirPods Pro are.
True wireless earphones have been very hit and miss, and one of the best thing Apple does with these headphones is to not drop the ball in any area.
Sound quality, fit, comfort, battery life, noise cancellation, microphone and quality, ease of use, water and sweat resistance, portability, and built quality are all good to excellent.
Most true wireless earphones are let down on one of these categories. These are one of the first true great all rounders, particular in the category of true wireless headphones that prioritise noise cancellation, call quality, connection and portability over other areas, noticeably sound quality (and, admittedly, price).
The AirPods Pro won’t blow you away with sound quality, although they will still sound good to most people who aren’t too discerning about audio quality. They aren’t for bass-heads, they prioritise clearer audio, particularly vocals and voices for calls, videos, podcasts and other things such as acoustic music, which they do very well with. If you want big sound and like bass heavy thump thump music, don’t get these.
So their good quality and all-rounded nature is why the have the price tag they do. Whether your prepared to pay for it depends on a) your budget and b) your intended usage.
If you want headphones to wear to make lots of business calls on (and especially if you have an iPhone) then these are fantastic for that.
If you want headPhones you can pop in and out of your ears as you’re travelling across the city, dampening some of those city noises and helping you listen to your podcasts, videos, and music to pass the time (without wanting to have a dedicated music listening session) then these are fantastic for that.
If you’re new to the world of wireless headphones, then these might be perfect for you if budget and the best sound quality aren’t big factors. You’ll enjoy a seamless experience. However if budget is a big factor, or you won’t be using them very often, then they’re probably not great value for money for you.
Again, if you want big bassy thump thump music don’t expect to get these in true wireless earphones. The best you’ll find is the Jabra elite also elite active) 75t. I own those too, and they’re a great alternative to the AirPods if you want to do more listening to music and are less concerned with active noise cancellation to help you block out daily sounds as you listen to your podcasts, audiobooks, videos etc.
Personally, I bought these because of the microphone quality, ease of connection with iPhone, noise cancellation, and comfort, I wanted a pair I could leave in for hours at a time whilst at work, reducing the sounds of the office with active noise cancellation and allowing me to play some soothing background music to help me focus, whilst also giving me the option to make and receive high quality business or personal phone calls with ease.
They’re also great if you just want to quickly put your earphones in to watch a video without distributing those around you - no fiddly wires to untangle, just grab them from your pocket, flip the case lid and pop them in. Boom, connected. Start watching.
It’s worth saying here there are other options beyond true wireless earphones too. One hybrid method for better sound quality, call quality, and also cheaper is to use wired headphones (either in ear or over ear depending on your preference) with a Wireless Bluetooth Receiver. I also own this option, using soundmagic E10s earphones (about £40) which have fantastic sound quality for in-ears with a FiiO Bluetooth headphones amplifier/adaptor (£30-50 depending on model). Simply plug your wired headphones into the Bluetooth receiver and then connect to the receiver with your phone like you would Bluetooth headphones. You don’t go truly wireless, but you cut the cord between your phone and the headphones, which for me is the most important thing because then you just pop the receiver in your pocket (and run the cable under your jumper if you like) and continue using your phone without any wires attached. It’s not the ‘true wireless’ experience but for £50-£100 you’ll have a better sounding, more durable, cheaper option (albeit without active noise cancellation, which is okay on true wireless earphones but not game changing).
Other people will prefer over ear headphones as you can get better sound quality and more effective noise cancelling for less money. Personally I find them too clunky.
I think I’ll do a hybrid approach. I’ll use the AirPods Pro for work, calls, and convenience. But I’ll use my hybrid semi-wireless option when I want better sound quality but still don’t want to disturb others (eg listening to music in my bedroom).
So, as mentioned in the title, what these little amazing pieces of technology do, they do very well. But I thoroughly urge you to consider why you’re buying headphones in the first place so you can identify the option that is best suited to you (as there are many) and that you don’t just get caught up in the AirPods hype. If on the other hand you don’t really care so much (in that case you’re probably not reading this review) and just want good quality wireless earphones and have a decent budget then buy these and forget about everything else.