Apple AirPods Pro review: Noise cancelling headphones that hit all the right notes

Apple AirPods Pro review (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

AirPods have only been in existence for a couple of years but they have quickly become a monumental smash hit. These fully wireless headphones are now some of the most popular on the planet and, if you own an iPhone, it’s not hard to see why.

With a simple set-up, decent sound quality and no wires to untangle each time you go to pop them in your ears they really do offer a first-class user experience.

However, for all of their greatness, the AirPods have lacked a vital feature that has slowly appeared on rival earbuds.

Noise cancellation is a growing trend with this clever technology able to block out all the background sound that can easily interfere with your music experience.

But now you can finally get this audio-enhancing feature on Apple’s shiny new AirPods Pro.

These latest in-ear headphones are packed with upgrades but are they really any good especially as they now cost almost £100 more than the originals? has been wearing them for the past few weeks and the simple answer is, yes!

Right from the off you get an experience which is almost impossible to match.Take the AirPods out the packaging, hold them close to your iPhone and open the little white charging case to instantly connect with your iPhone or iPad. It really is that simple and beats digging around in the settings menu in a bid to find your headphones from deep inside the Bluetooth menu.

Apple AirPods Pro review

The AirPods Pro come with three silicone tips for the perfect fit (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

Apple AirPods pro

You can check the fit via a unique test on your phone (Image: APPLE)

Once set-up is complete it’s then a question of making sure the AirPods Pro fit properly in your ear. Unlike the standard AirPods – which only have one fit – Apple is giving users more choice with the Pros coming bundled with three different silicone tips (that are incredibly cheap to replace if you happen to lose them).

And instead of leaving you baffled by which is best for your ear there’s a clever function on your phone which can tell you if you’re wearing the right ones.

Accessed via the Bluetooth menu, the test runs a small snippet of audio with a message then displayed revealing how good things are. It’s a really nice addition and makes it very simple to get the best out of these buds.

So, you’ve got them connected and fitting perfectly in your ear but what about the most important part of any headphones – sound quality. Start playing your favourite tracks and you’ll be genuinely blown away by just how good these tiny in-ear headphones sound.

Apple AirPods Pro review

The AirPods Pro feature new noise cancelling technology (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

Audio is packed with detail and there’s plenty of bass thrown in for good measure plus you get that brilliant sound blocking.

As mentioned earlier in this review, these all-new wireless in-ear headphones now come with Active Noise Cancellation and there’s no question it’s very impressive.

Using two microphones combined with advanced software, these AirPods continuously adapt to each individual ear and headphone fit. This removes background noise to provide a uniquely customised, superior noise-cancelling experience.

And it certainly works as, once place inside your ears, you’ll find it’s hard to hear anything else other than your music.

To activate this mode you simply squeeze the new force sensor on the buds’ stem to magically strip-out all annoying background audio. This leaves you able to enjoy your music without hearing any distracting sound from the coffee shop, train, or plane engines.

Apple AirPods Pro review

You can control the Transparency Mode via your phone, watch or a squeeze of the stem (Image: APPLE)

Of course, there are times when having every external noise blocked is not something you want. To solve this, Apple has included something called Transparency Mode. This allows you to hear what’s going on around you.

Again, this mode can be switched on or off via a long press on the force sensor. You can also turn on all of these noise-cancelling features via your iPhone or Apple Watch too, if you’d prefer not to constantly squeeze on the stems of your earbuds, or can’t.

Along with controlling sound blocking, the stems also can be used to pause music, skip tracks and answer calls. These controls all work well although it’s worth noting you can’t pump up the volume via the actual earbuds with this needing to be controlled via your phone or Apple Watch.

Apple AirPods Pro review

Apple AirPods Pro have a wireless charging case (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

With all of these new features tucked inside you might be worried about battery life but things are pretty impressive in this department as well. Even with the noise cancelling switched on you’ll get over four hours of playback and things are boosted the minute they’re tucked back inside the charging case.

From a full charge you should get a total of 24 hours of music without needing to go near a plug or wireless charging pad.

One final thing to note is the new AirPods Pro are both sweat and water resistant (IPX4). This should mean they’ll cope with a workout and the infamous British weather but you can’t wear them for your next trip to the local pool.

Apple AirPods Pro review

Apple AirPods Pro review (Image: APPLE)


PROS – Simple set-up • Great noise cancelling • Comfy fit • Good sound quality • Battery life still holds up well

CONS – Very expensive • Charging case feels a little less premium than before

There’s very little not to like about the new AirPods Pro.

These are the wireless in-ear headphones many have been asking for and they don’t disappoint.

They sound sublime, are ultra-comfortable to wear and that noise cancellation means you are left to enjoy your music without hearing anything else around you. Apple has even made sure everyone gets the best experience with the Ear Fit Test showing if you have opted for the correct silicone tip.

Battery life is good and although they won’t last an entire long-haul flight the clever charging case will make sure you’re not left without music for long.

If we had to find one major criticism of the AirPods Pro it would be their price as, at £249, they are very expensive.

You can pick up Sony’s award-winning WF-1000XM3 in-ear noise cancelling headphones for £30 less and the standard AirPods are also £100 cheaper.

Another tiny annoyance is the case doesn’t feel as sturdy as the standard AirPods with the lid feeling a little loose when you open it.

However, if you own an iPhone and want the very best AirPods in town the Pros are taking things to a whole new level.

And if you think they sound good on paper…wait until you actually try them.

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