If you’ve been among those who had been waiting for the next set of AirPods and getting your hopes up by reading all those rumors, I’m glad to inform you that your prayers had been answered yesterday.
AirPods Pro is a pricey, more sophisticated alternative to the AirPods 2nd Generation sporting additional tech that compliments the overall comfort and the listening experience of the user. They look like a character from Pokemon, but that’s fine.
The two most notable features that the new AirPods boast are “Noise Cancellation” and “Transparency Mode.” Both aren’t new to the game but the way Apple has implemented them in AirPods Pro is quite fascinating.
First, Noise Cancellation mode smartly cancels out all the noise from the background so that you can get an immersive musical experience. That is basic for every noise-canceling earphones out there. What’s interesting, however, is the way Apple has engineered the AirPods to achieve isolation.
“Active Noise Cancellation on AirPods Pro uses two microphones combined with advanced software to continuously adapt to each individual ear and headphone fit. This removes background noise to provide a uniquely customized, superior noise-canceling experience that allows a user to focus on what they’re listening to — whether it’s a favorite song or a phone conversation.”
Then there’s Transparency Mode, which is almost the opposite of what noise cancellation stands for. Instead of blocking noise from the environment, Transparency Mode on the new AirPods allows background noise to filter in while playing music so that you do not miss, for example, announcements at a train station. Again, how this works is quite amusing to learn about.
“Transparency mode provides users with the option to simultaneously listen to music while still hearing the environment around them, whether that’s to hear traffic while out for a run or an important train announcement during the morning commute. Using the pressure-equalizing vent system and advanced software that leaves just the right amount of noise cancellation active, Transparency mode ensures that a user’s own voice sounds natural while audio continues to play perfectly.”
Here’s how to switch between Noise Cancellation and Transparency modes
Note: Make sure your iPhone, iPad or iPod is running iOS 13.2 as per AirPods Pro’s requirement.
There are two ways to go about it. You can either switch between Noise Cancellation and Transparency modes by physically interacting with your AirPods Pro or by simply toggling it via the control center on your iPhone.
On your iPhone
From the Control center:
Swipe up from the bottom of the screen on iPhones up to iPhone 8 to summon the control center. On iPhones with notches, swipe down from the top-right corner beside the notch to slide down the control center.
Long press on the volume toggle while AirPods are connected.
You will find three options beneath the volume platter, namely “Noise Cancellation,” “Off,” and “Transparency.“
Tap on either “Noise Cancellation” or “Transparency” depending on your choice at the moment.
Go to Settings-Bluetooth-“i” icon next to the AirPods Pro listing.
You can switch between the two modes similarly as you can in Control Center.
There are also additional settings below Noise Control toggles that let you choose which AirPod to use for Siri and which for Noise cancellation/transparency. You can choose both AirPods to work noise cancellation/transparency as is the case with Siri.
On the AirPods Pro
AirPods Pro introduces a form of interaction unique to itself–force touch. Now, you can force touch the stems on the Pods to perform actions instead of tapping on the heads.
Press and hold to toggle between Noise Cancellation Mode and Transparency Mode.
You will hear a simple “ding” sound confirming the switch.
Though “Pro” at this point sounds to be a cliche name in the industry, it indicates slick new features for AirPods like noise cancellation, transparency mode, a slight design upgrade, water resistance, and much more.
This is also the first set of AirPods that allow a response from Siri simply using your voice. Yet another intriguing feature which is more of a smart gesture, is that the AirPods’ ear tips can now be adjusted for best results by performing algorithmic adjustment tests.
AirPods Pro will start shipping October 30 for $249 apiece. Will you get them? Let me know in the comments section below.