After waiting for three years, Apple released the new second generation AirPods Pro (hereafter referred to as AirPods Pro 2) at their Far Out event. Before the event, there was a lot of news and rumours, saying that Apple has been sharpening its sword for many years, what will happen to the new active noise canceling headphones in the ear, and as a result, the new products that will come out really as if to surprise everyone. This time, the AirPods Pro 2 uses stronger noise cancellation as the main axis of the upgrade, and it adds a series of changes to improve the ability to operate, but the long-awaited high-resolution sound was not heard. Is such an upgrade a failure? Or is this Apple’s smartest move? Let me share my thoughts with you here.
The evolution of the headset itself
With the debut of AirPods Pro 2, everyone’s attention is naturally focused on the person of the earphone. From the outside, AirPods Pro 2 is no different from the previous generation. If the first generation of the editor had replaced the ear sponge, it would be really confusing when taking pictures. However, a sliding gesture has been added to the operation, so that the AirPods Pro 2 can adjust the volume directly by swiping the iconic handle of the earphone, so that the independence of the earphone is more complete, and the operation on the mobile phone and watch is reduced. So everyone keeps talking about taking this little pole away from the AirPods Pro 2? No, Apple has entrusted the task.
In places you can’t see, it has the biggest upgrade from AirPods Pro 2. Apple has given the earphones a new H2 chip, claiming that by doubling the number of transistors to more than 1 billion, there will be stronger computing power and energy efficiency. The most immediate reason for improving the computing power of active noise canceling headphones, we have also mentioned when we talked about other brand products in the past, that is, to allow headphones to process more and more complex audio data faster, thereby improving accuracy noise.
Here’s a quick review of the principle of active noise canceling headphones, which cancel out external noise by letting the headphones play an audio signal that is out of phase with the outside environment. At this time, there is a big challenge to the processing performance of the noise reduction chip of the earphone, because it must be powerful enough to calculate the inverse signal in a timely and accurate manner, because the performance improvement of H2 is almost equal to the performance improvement of AirPods Pro 2 in noise reduction. The improvement, in Apple’s statement, is double the upgrade, which can process 48,000 times per second.
Although I usually use ear cotton to improve the sound insulation of the original AirPods Pro for treble and vocals, when listening to the AirPods Pro 2, after choosing the appropriate original ear gel, it has a very good noise reduction effect on the same when time, the sound of the outside world is barely heard. Going back to the urban legend that the ANC function of AirPods Pro gradually weakens, the editor himself has not encountered this problem. There is an assumption here that the eargel becomes old after long-term use. You might try replacing it with a new one. The ear gel can also bring a different sense of hearing.
On the other hand, Apple has also added a feature called “Adaptive Transparency Mode”, which allows users to turn down the loud noise and reduce the sudden The loud noise can be scary, and to some extent , it is more protective of the hearing. If you have the opportunity to connect AirPods Pro 2 to Apple Watch to listen to songs, you can enter the “Hearing” app to see the lower noise level in real time. The difference can be as much as 20 decibels. However, for the light rail LRT sound that I hear most often, it seems that the sound is not loud enough to offset it. I will try to find the construction site to test it later .
New settings page / ear ID?
In the past, the AirPods setup pages were all hidden in the Bluetooth page, but when iOS 16 comes, there is finally a separate page. After connecting the iPhone to the headset, it is easier to adjust the relevant settings. In addition, if you hold an iPhone with a TrueDepth camera to connect to AirPods Pro 2 (AirPods Pro 1, AirPods 3, and AirPods Max are also available), you can add more personalized spatial audio files.
When set up, just like Face ID to record faces, the personal spatial audio is Ear ID. It needs to scan the size and shape of the head and ears. Once completed, it will apply to all headphones supported in Apple ID. Yes, the whole setup process is similar to Sony’s Personal Audio feature, so this will also be a standard feature of the new generation of headphones, right?
Take the music of Apple Music as an example, Although the spatial sound effects in the past can highlight the sense of location, they always have a sense of distance that is too far away and feels very empty. However, once it becomes a personal spatial sound, the sense of space will become more accurate, and you will have a three-dimensional spatial sound experience at a more comfortable distance. This is the most obvious and most effective upgrade in terms of improving the sound effect of the entire AirPods Pro 2.
Has the charging box been upgraded yet?
Along the way, the AirPods product series has been upgraded more intensively than headphones. First, wireless charging was added, and then MagSafe charging support was added. This time, the MagSafe charging box new that came with AirPods Pro 2 even more surprising. Apple Watch magnetic charger support! This reduces the appearance of cables on the table, and the all-in-one charging stand can also charge different products more flexibly.
In addition to making charging easier, it seems that Apple also wants to solve the problem of AirPods Pro that are often lost. In addition to the fact that the headphone body already supports the Find My network earlier, the new charging box this time has a built-in U1 chip for accurate search, and there are speakers on the body to emit prompt sounds. After testing it, I found that it is quite high. I believe it can increase the chance of everyone finding the charging box.
Of course, Find My is a way of treating the symptoms but not the root cause. It is better if the headphone box does not fall from the body. So, Apple simply added a strap hole to the side of the new MagSafe charging case, allowing you to hang the AirPods Pro 2 on your bag. But in this way, isn’t a third-party defense case useless? Or will it open up a new way of making money for hanging ropes? Let’s see.
Finally, the charging box itself has also followed up on the waterproofness of the earphones It has an IPX4 certification and can withstand splashing water on the device from any angle for 10 minutes.
After fully testing the various functions of the second generation of the new AirPods Pro, are you satisfied with this upgrade? Hi-Res support hasn’t been added, but other parts have been improved to varying degrees inside and out. That is, the editor also agrees with Apple’s approach. After all, not everyone can enjoy and experience the sound quality improvement (many people still use Spotify), and subjective opinion also has a strong influence on it. In contrast, stronger noise reduction, swipe gestures, and the new MagSafe charging case are all real upgrades.
Of course, the editor personally still hopes that Apple, one day, can transfer a wireless codec that can match high-resolution music, so that the iPhone can listen to songs on the same level as the Android camp. However, the current high-rate Bluetooth encoding has stability problems, and can greatly reduce the user experience. Even if it can be obtained, it will be an endless investment to face other challenges in terms of sound quality. So Apple is wiser to wait give.
In the end, it also echoes the feeling of the earlier evaluation of AirPods Max. For Apple, AirPods Pro 2 is not a product that pursues the best sound quality. It is more like a complete part of the Apple ecosystem, allowing Siri , Apple Watch , iPhone , Apple TV has a voice channel. So it doesn’t matter if you don’t respond directly to the most immediate demands of music lovers, because the improved implementation of AirPods Pro 2 is more direct and attractive to a wider audience.