Off the bat you should know that I have tried in-ear canal headphones a few times over the last couple decades and they’ve never been comfortable or offered such great sound quality that the uncomfortableness was worth it. Instead, headphones that go into and down your ears have always felt like medical equipment to me, and putting them in feels like enduring a doctor’s procedure.
I didn’t think I’d want or like the new Airpod Pro ear buds because they feature a portion that extends into your ears. But when I heard they had noise canceling and better bass, I ordered a set that showed up today and after listening to a couple podcasts and a few rock albums, here are my first impressions.
- Putting in the small sized ear thingys made them feel less gross to insert and the sound quality is pretty good (better than the airpod amateurs).
- Taking them out of the new wideboy case is WAY harder than the old kind! I’m actually kinda surprised they shipped this, I feel like I have to pinch the ear rubber bits to yank them out, where the old kinds just slid out like cigarettes from a pack.
- The bass sounds don’t seem amazingly better, just slightly deeper. Eventually I found the R&B EQ setting gave me much better great sound for rock music.
- The noise canceling is pretty minimal in my quiet home office. I have those amazing Sony WH-1000XM3 over ears but they’re so scarily good at noise canceling you feel like you’re in a deprivation tank. My house is quiet so it’s a bad place to test this out but I assume they’re a lot better than old airpods on a plane or in a train with regular humming sounds.
- I love the squeeze controls over the swipe controls on the old airpods. The clicks are definitive, you feel it and the music stops, where the old way would work about half the time for me and I’d have to remember what functions I customized them to.
- The case has wireless charging, which is great!
- If you ever worried about losing an old airpod while running, these will definitely stay in your ears more firmly. Me, I had no issues in a couple years of running and occasionally riding a bike with airpods in, but these feel more secure.
- I haven’t tried out the “voice transparency” feature yet, but I hear from coworkers that it does a pretty good job of boosting voice sounds outside the headphones so you can hear people speaking to you.
Oh, and if you’ve already got a set of airpods and don’t want to have a second set, I will say there’s no shame in keeping an old pair by your bedside with an iPad for watching movies, knowing you’ll never take them out of the room and they’ll always be there for late night TV and movie use, while your “main” airpods can be taken to work, out for exercise, and used for travel.