The new AirPods, which are available from October 30, are described by Apple as “an all-new lightweight, in-ear design”. The biggest addition is active noise cancellation, which uses two microphone to analyse and remove background noise, adapting the sound signal at “200 times per second”.
Another new feature not found on Apple’s earlier AirPods is a transparency mode, which allows users to hear the outside world while listening to music. Switching between this mode and noise cancellation is activated with a new force sensor on the stem that is also used to play, pause and skip tracks, as well as answer calls.
AirPods Pro also have a function Apple calls “Adaptive EQ”, which tunes low and mid-range frequencies to a user’s ear shape. Another feature is the “Ear Tip Fit Test”, which tests whether the silicone ear tip fitted (three sizes are included) is the best size for the user’s ear.
Apple says that AirPods Pro will provide 4.5 hours listening time and up to 3.5 hours talk time on a single charge. This is 30 minutes less than standard AirPods, though the Pro model includes a Lighting and wireless charging case that provides up to 24 hours total battery life. They’re also sweat and water resistant, which means that unlike standard AirPods, they should be safe to use in the gym.
AirPods Pro are available for pre-order now, and launch on October 30 for $249/£249.