AirPods Pro: Apple’s first ANC in-ear headphones, priced at RM1,099

The iPhone isn’t the only new product to get the Pro moniker, as Apple has just announced its new AirPods Pro. It’s shorter than the standard AirPods and it packs active noise cancellation along with some form of water resistance.

The first thing you’ll notice is that the AirPods Pro uses in-ear design that uses silicon tips, which are available in three sizes. The earbuds stems are about 1cm shorter than the normal AirPods but overall, it’s a gram heavier and it looks wider due to its angled shape.

The new headphones use a combination of outward-facing and inward-facing mics to cancel out noise at a rate of 200 times per second. If you need to hear your surroundings especially when someone is talking to you, you can pinch on the stem to switch between active noise cancellation and transparency mode.

This pressure-sensitive button can be used to control your music or to answer calls. You can press twice to play the next track and press three times to skip back. If you look closely, the outward-facing microphone comes with a mesh design which helps to improve call clarity during windy situations.

Similar to the current 2nd gen AirPods, it also gets an Apple H1 chip which allows hands-free control with “Hey Siri”. For the first time, the AirPods Pro also features sweat and water resistance with a rating of IPX4 for the earbuds only. You can’t submerge the AirPods Pro but it should be able to survive accidental splashes.

The AirPods Pro also offers seamless pairing with a compatible iOS device. The charing case is shorter but it’s now wider like Sony’s WF-1000XM3. The case supports Qi wireless charging and you can also charge it via its lightning port. Interestingly, Apple is bundling a USB-C to lightning cable for the device.

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On a full charge, the new AirPods Pro can last up to 4.5 hours of music playback with ANC enabled or up to 5 hours with ANC and transparency mode turned off. With the charging case, you can get more than 24 hours of music playback. A quick 5-minutes charge in the case can provide 1 hour of music playback or talk time.

In Malaysia, the AirPods Pro is officially priced at RM1,099 but it isn’t available just yet. The new headphones will be going on sale in the US starting 30th October. As a comparison, the 2nd gen AirPods with wireless charging case is currently priced at RM879 while the PowerBeats Pro is currently going for RM999. It will be interesting to find out how well the AirPods Pro perform against the RM949 Sony WF-1000XM3.

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Alexander Wong