AirPods Pro - My First Impressions

Hardware & Accessories

Hey, so just got my Airpods Pro and thought I'd let you know what I think of them. This is all personal opinion and someone who hasn't had any Airpods before. I've attempted to go through the features and things I have noticed for us as blind users but I'm sure there will be better reviews on here at some point.


Firstly, the thing that I was most interested in, the transparency mode, is awesome. I've used it before on other devices and it felt very much like what it was, listening to microphones of the real world. Though the rendition of reality isn't perfect on the Airpods Pro it's the best I've encountered. It actually feels, after a little adjustment, that I'm not wearing anything in there at all. There is a slight dip in volume to real world and I think that Apple have cut out some aspects of audio possibly on purpose, possibly simply as a consequence of how they work. The vents mean that you don't get that boxed in feeling in your ears either, rather it feels light and airy to wear them.

Sound Quality

I usually listen to music using a pair of wired over-ear Senhizer Momentum 2's which, in my view, are excellent.

The first thing I noticed was a lack of impact which is always going to be the case when going from over ear to in ear as over ears move a lot more air. After that adjustment I'd have to say that they sound very good indeed. They seem to be balanced toward vocals which come through clear and sparkling. The soundstage is wide and satisfying and, listening to London Grammar's track, Non-Believer, the bass was full and powerful.

Noise Cancelling

Though this isn't really something I'm interested in it might be for some of you. It's not as good as either the Sony XM3s or the Bose QC35s, but that's to be expected. I can't compare the Airpods Pro with the new Sony true wireless offering so this is going to have to be something someone else can comment on. Saying that, it's good, I don't feel the bubble like isolation that the XM3s over ears produce, and I'm glad about that.


The tips come on and off with a very satisfying click making me feel the quality. There are two other pairs in the box beneath the holder for the charging box. Just to avoid confusion, as you open the tip box like you'd open a laptop, the tips are paired on the left and on the right which took me a while to realise. In other words they are arranged in two vertical lines.


Okay, I'm writing this on my MacBook air and the bluetooth issue that has plagued me with other headphones with voiceover dropping out though the sound prompts remain still seems to exist though, i was able to restart voiceover and everything was fine. This is more likely an issue continuing in mac os 15.1 rather than with the Airpods Pro but still, they are designed to be a seamless integration.

Also, as with any bluetooth headphone, there is a little lag. I'm noticing it more on my MacBook air actually as using it with my iPhone 8 seems pretty immediate.


It may be just having some new shiny tech... It might be me trying to justify the price-tag... But, so far I love them. One cool little thing is the click when squeezing the stems to control music etc. They actually click and though there is no haptic feedback and there-is no physical button, they make you believe you've actually clicked something. It's just a little thing but I think it's great.

For reviews of battery and more in depth with sound etc, I'd suggest googling. This was merely a quick check in from the blind perspective.

If anyone has any questions, drop them here. Perhaps any others who have been super impatient like me could also chip in with their impressions.



Submitted by J.P. on Wednesday, October 30, 2019

I cant see myself justifying this purchase. With that said, it’s nice to have a blind perspective. I hear that they fit better than older generation. That was a huge issue before getting rid of mine.
Slightly OT... London Grammar. Nice choice!!

Submitted by Isak Sand on Wednesday, October 30, 2019


Good to hear that you like the AirPods Pro from a VoiceOver point of view.
I got mine just a couple of hours ago. Unfortunately, they don't stay connected to my iPhone XS neither to my old iphone SE that I also tested with. The sound does not switch over to the AirPods when I put them into my ears. I can force the sounds to them from the control center or by connecting to them in the Bluetooth section, but it will stay connected for just a while before they disconnect and the sound goes back to the speakers of the phone. This while has been everything from five seconds to maybe even thirty.
I have iOS 13.2 on both devices, I have rebooted the phone and I have also tested the re-set (holding the back button for around 15 seconds).
The most ironic thing of them all is that I once saw the "this external device is not compatible with your device" (or whatever it is in English) window.

Has anyone else seen similar behaviour?

This problem seems to have been resolved more or less by itself. I unpaired and paired the AirPod Pro's many times, and all of a sudden they just started working. Since I suspected some kind of Bluetooth problem I also used them with a Samsung tablet with which they worked for a longer time.
Anyway, now I have also been using the AirPods Pro for a couple of hours, and I like them too. The transparency mode is great and noice-canceling seems to work well, although I haven't tested it too much yet. I put some aircraft sounds from a flight simulator could Eurofly through a pair of rather big speakers with quite much bass, and especially the low frequencies really was very quiet when activating the noice-canceling mode.

Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Well, that's worrying. I've had a couple of fudges when using Siri where there is a delay in the chime from one ear to the other though, touch wood, nothing as bad as them not connecting...

Submitted by Adrian Wyka on Wednesday, October 30, 2019

So noise reduction works rather average good?
ANC in Sony xm3 is better?
As with the reaction to the command hey Siri?
If we activate transparency mode by holding the button, how to activate Siri?

Submitted by techluver on Wednesday, October 30, 2019

I think i'm going to still wait a little longer, but this is a very promising review. thanks for putting it together.

Submitted by Chris on Thursday, October 31, 2019

How is the microphone quality, particularly on the iPhone 8 or other devices which support Bluetooth 5.0? My major complaint with Bluetooth headphones over the years has been the lag and the low quality mono audio used when switching to microphone mode. I believe Bluetooth 5.0 has fixed the lag, but what about horrible audio quality when using them as a microphone? If possible, can you record a demo in Voice Memos or something so I can hear the quality? Are you still able to use stereo audio while in microphone mode as well?

Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Thursday, October 31, 2019

I've not tested the noise cancellation in the wild but tests around my home suggest that it's a less perfect zone of silence than the over ear headphones though that may change when I try them whilst travelling.

Regarding summoning Siri, you can use hey Siri as long as that is on on your phone. Alternatively, in bluetooth settings you can change what each stem does with a long press. I have set my left to change between transparency and noise cancellation and the right to bring up Siri.

As for the microphones, I'm not sure. From my understanding there is a better microphone arrangement with two on the outside, one for the sound processing and one for voice capture, whilst there is another one inside to monitor the sound heard by your ear. From the reviews I've read, it would suggest that this is an improvement over the standard Airpods. I have had a telephone conversation and the person on the other end didn't flag any issues but I was in a quiet place. Possibly another thing to note, there doesn't seem to be any wind noise when in transparent mode which I've had on the Senhizer Ambeos, which is promising for telephone conversations.

Whether these are worth actually upgrading to from the standards, I couldn't say. If you were in the market for Airpods and were wondering whether to spend the extra £50/$50, I'd say absolutely. Better fit, better sound, better functionality... Though this is only on paper as I've not tried the standards before.

Hope this helps.

Submitted by Adrian Wyka on Thursday, October 31, 2019

Thanks for your reply.
VoiceOver works in transparency mode?
Is the external sound in transparent mode stereo (well placed in the panorama) or in mono?

Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Thursday, October 31, 2019

All audio works in transparency mode including voiceover and transparency mode is in stereo mode which makes wearing them whilst navigating around no problem. I've not tried them in the outside world yet but imagine they would be fine and a useful feature when getting Ubers and so on.

Hope this helps.

Submitted by Diogo Melo on Saturday, November 2, 2019

I think that most of what I think has been already said, I'll add some extra points:
I have mine since Wednesday. Weather has been absolutely awful this week in Portugal, but I tried mine outside yesterday in a short walk. I usually use only one AirPod while walking to ear the world around me and I didn't feel more disconnected with the AirPods Pro than what I am used with 1st gen AirPods, and I was using them with the noise cancelling/transparency off. When I needed to be more careful I turned the transparency mode on and it was like taking off the AirPods. It was a very windy day and I was listening to a book with Voiceover, and I didn't lose a word, something that would not happen with the 1st gen AirPods (with transparency mode off).
I was really afraid that the more intrusive design would make me lose some spacial awareness, with a single AirPod, but I rarely had to turn on Transparency mode while walking outdoor and at home.
The transparency mode also picks up your voice, so it could be a little strange in the beginning.
Now the Noise Cancelling... I never tried another noise cancelling earbuds, but I think the AirPods' is good. I tried them while running in the treadmill (that is very noisy) and I could hear the music perfectly, volume at 45% in the Apple Watch. It felt like the running was not part of me, a very transcendental experience. Also, they feel much quicker in the watch (series 4) then the 1st gen AirPods, that had almost a second of lag.
I also tried them while the air extraction system was turned on in the kitchen and I hear the noise very far away. Not complete silence, but the noise became very far away.
If you are in a silent room and turn on noise cancelling it makes a small static noise that looks like very light rain.
I am looking forward to test them on the underground, where I can't sometimes hear music with the 1st gen AirPods almost at maximum volume, and I hear heavy metal...

Submitted by J.P. on Saturday, November 2, 2019

It’s good to hear good accessibility feedback.
I’ve been reading a lot of reviews. All have been mostly positive.
One thing that should be mentioned, I Fix It gave this product a 0 out of 10 for repair ability. Apple will charge $179 for replacements. AppleCare might really be something to consider with this purchase.

Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Saturday, November 2, 2019

I believe that is only damage, it doesn't cover cost and if the AirPods fail, you're already good for a year. It seems expensive for gaining little. I'd probably say that it's cheaper to get them covered on insurance.

Submitted by Maranatà on Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Hello! Finally yesterday they arrived for me too and I immediately tried them. They have a wonderful sound, the transparency mode is fantastic, in short, it is an excellent product. The only problem however is the fact that nothing happens when pressing on the earphones! Maybe I press on the wrong point?

Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Wednesday, November 6, 2019

On the stem there is a slightly recessed flat part. You squeeze it and it will click. A click will play and pause, a double click will skip forward, a triple click will go back and a long hold, as default, will switch between transparency and ANC. You can change the behaviour if you go into settings and bluetooth on your iOS device and then more. A long hold on my right one now brings up Siri. You can also include transparency and ANC off to extend battery life when cycling through the noise cancelling modes.

Submitted by Adrian Wyka on Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Could you check how "Hey Siri" works in noisy environments?
Is it so fantastic or rather when it is loud is unreliable.

Submitted by Maranatà on Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Ok I tried them but I have to say that the bass seem to have gotten worse, in fact it seems to me that with normal airpods they feel better and are deeper. Maybe I'm the one who wears them? Yet I did the device test and the result was positive. Also shouldn't I feel air? Why don't I hear anything?

Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Wednesday, November 6, 2019

sounds like the fit isn't quite right, you have to screw them into your ears somewhat, at least I do. You won't feel air, the vents simply stop that pressure feeling from other in ear headphones.

Submitted by Will on Thursday, November 7, 2019

Hi How good are these new airpods pro with radio dramas like graphic audio content and podcast and audible narration? Wish I could "hear" a demo of noise canceling although it may be different in my use case, as i hear it not really that good. Also, i have never really understood airpods. With my 2nd generation that i did not keep as kept falling out of ears when lying down at night to read before sleep, i only got like 2 hours max out of say, the left pod, i thought it meant 5 hours per pod, or does that mean in total? Also, what is the recommended use? toggle between noise canceling, and off? or noise canceling and ambient aware? Wish they had a gesture to turn off either mode when not in use. On the demos i have heard of other headsets, like the sony wf-1000 xm3, someone managed to record the effects of noise canceling and in crowds i have to say wow, very impressive. Finally, with hey siri. When that worked on my 2nd gen airpods it might have said, ding sound message from person x how are you? but speaking wasn’t resulting in anything. So, i couldn't just say i am fine how are you? and it reads and lets me send.

Submitted by Wony on Thursday, November 7, 2019

Mine arrived in the nick of time, a flight beckoned. Normally the Trusty quiet Comfort headphones rack up the airmiles with me, but this time they stayed home to guard the house.

Results were impressive, I’m sure though that the fit is important, so well worth running the test to ensure the Airpods are fitted correctly.

As much as I love the Bose headphones, they’ll be staying home from now on.

I believe a question was asked re Hey Siri, and another means to activate it.

Just like the non-pro variant, what happens when squeezing the stem can be configured, say: Right Airpod cycles through options to do with noise cancellation and transparency, whereas the left will cause Siri to be activated.

I’m very happy with them, as I’m sure Apple will be, to my mind, a winner.

Submitted by Maranatà on Thursday, November 7, 2019

Then I'll try the other bearings too, maybe these aren't good for my ears! But I have a problem. Once I get the other bearings out of the packaging, how will I recognize them? I am afraid of mixing them and then failing to understand which are the great, the medium and the small. Unfortunately they all look the same to the touch, there is no way to recognize them.

Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Friday, November 8, 2019

They are stacked vertically in the box if you open it like a laptop. You can tell the difference in the size of skirt when you put them against one another.

Submitted by Maranatà on Friday, November 8, 2019

The thing I like is the fact that these earpieces are free of cracks, so it is practically impossible for any kind of dirt to enter, so in order to clean them just a handkerchief can pass over them.

Submitted by Maranatà on Friday, November 8, 2019

Instead the normal Airpods have two holes, one large and one small; in this way the dirt easily enters, the sound is ruined and we are forced to always clean them by putting toothpicks and various sticks into it, even risking to break them ..

Submitted by J.P. on Friday, November 8, 2019

There’s an easier way to clean devices with open holes and crevices. Use blue tack putty. Greatest invention ever. Easily removes the crud.

Submitted by Maranatà on Friday, November 8, 2019

Guys, I don't know whether to change the bearings or not. At first, when I wear earphones, the test says they are fine, but after a while, about half an hour later I am told to fix one or both. But if they were too small or too large the test would be negative even at the beginning. Am I right?

Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Sunday, November 10, 2019

Something to bare in mind before purchasing...

I've just been on to apple for the last hour trying to replace an ear tip that I damaged due to misadventure. There is only one way of doing this at the moment and it is by setting up an appointment through and then going into an apple store to collect it.

I did point out that this is not the easiest for those of us where mobility is a factor and, for such an expensive product, there really should be a better after sale service. There is no way of simply ordering a tip online, you are made to jump through hoops.

I'm kind of furious about this. Great product but apple, yet again, have not thought things through.

When I pointed out this problem to the advisor he had the cheek to send me a link to provide feedback. I have no inclination to do Apple's job for it for free.

Anyway, something to bare in mind before purchase.

There will be 3rd party tips coming out at some point which I actually look forward to as they will most likely have a greater variety of fits that will hold the AirPods better.

Great product, crappy service.

Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Monday, November 11, 2019

Yes, this was indeed the article I followed. Interesting to note that the ordering and delivery is not an option in the UK. Of course, this may be reasoned by most apple stores being closer to people due to a denser population, but that seems a little ropey.

Thanks for clarifying that JP... So, in conclusion, great product, crappy service if you live outside the US.

Submitted by Vash Rein on Tuesday, November 12, 2019

I really wanted to like these. I either get no fit at all or the fit is too snug and painful. Unfortunately, I’ve decided to not keep these for now. Going to be returning the AirPod pros and going back to the second generation AirPods Perhaps when comply foam tips come out, I might end up re-purchasing and trying them. For now, it’s just not something that I can use with any comfort. All the features on the AirPod pros are wonderful. Everything works the way it should and the connection is solid. As I said, it’s just really uncomfortable as a whole for me

Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Know if there is any news on Comply releasing foam tips? I'm kinda new to that brand. Are they the go to?

Submitted by Vash Rein on Tuesday, November 12, 2019

They usually do for many products. It just depends on when they are ready to release something. Sometimes it’s with launch, sometimes it’s a month or two later, sometimes it could be up to a year.

Submitted by Cory K on Tuesday, November 12, 2019

These things are awesome. I use them all day and sometimes forget I have them in my ears. Is the sound the best? No, but better than the first 2.

Submitted by Holger Fiallo on Tuesday, November 12, 2019

I wander how this will affect hearing on the long run.

Submitted by Justin Philips on Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Can the taps be customized to mute and unmute calls while in zoom?

Submitted by Maranatà on Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Guys, I'd like to use them by connecting them to my Acer computer. Can I still use noise reduction and audio transparency even if the computer is not a Mac?

Submitted by Maranatà on Wednesday, November 13, 2019

However I had problems with the cable in the package, it was unusable because it was not compatible with the power adapter of the iphone charger, so I had to buy an alternative cable. Has anyone had the same problem? I suspect, indeed the almost certainty, that they were wrong to put the cable in the package.

I don’t know about wrong. It’s almost 2020. And technology must advance. It will with or without you.
You can get an mfi usb type C adapter for $10-$15 That could be an unwanted expense. But it’s a worthwhile expense as your device could charge much much faster.

I’m sure you have your reasons. And I wouldn’t take away from your specific experiences. And in truth, it can be frustrating to have to invest more money after already making such a major investment.

Although I confess, I’m confused as to why you would stick with the same technology you’ve had when you might have just spent the same money to buy the USB see adapter.

Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Saturday, November 16, 2019

It's simply a lightning connector. You can use either an iPhone charger or you can use a wireless charging mat.

Yes, it's frustrating that they don't include a plug with the package, rather tight if you ask me.

Submitted by Will on Saturday, November 16, 2019

hi all, so for airpods, do need a charging block with a USB c end? how can apple assume people are going to have the correct adaptor if not using wireless? which one, from apple do we have to use? why it not included is crazy for the price. ,

Submitted by Vash Rein on Saturday, November 16, 2019

In reply to by Will

You can get a USB type C wall charger for like five dollars. I don’t think it’s that serious. you have the option of charging wirelessly or through lightning. I went to my sisters wedding in Cuba and there were USB type C to lightning cables everywhere. One of the restaurants even had a wireless charging table. Do you have such a problem using a USB-C to lightning cable? is it really that big and issue for you or anybody? it’s 2019. Cables and interfaces change. What are you gonna do when the next iPhone probably uses USB type C?

Submitted by Greg Wocher on Sunday, November 17, 2019

Hello all,
I went to the apple store today and got me a pair of these. So far they are working well. The only issue I have is that they are a real pain to change the silicon tips. I had to switch to the smaller tips. Other than that small issue they are working well. You can use the exact same cable that came with your iPhone to charge the case with. Since I don't have any USBC devices yet that's what I did and it worked okay.

Submitted by Will on Sunday, November 17, 2019

hi all, when i looked at wifes pods got her a pair, can't hear the dfference when noise canceling on and transparency. is that due to the fit? very disappointing, not raving like everyone else.

Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Sunday, November 17, 2019

Apple should have included a plug. Look at it this way, yes, we can go and buy one for a fiver, but apple is saving millions by not including it. Rather mean when considering a product that is £250.

Regarding the previous poster, yes, this does sound like a fit issue. Have you tried the fit test in the iPhone bluetooth settings? This might help you.

Submitted by mority on Monday, November 18, 2019


I really don't know why people have that many problems with USB type C adapters.
It's not like that this came out of the blue and USB type C is the hot shit in 2019, my 2016 gaming rig has a type C plug and if I look at the chaos which calls itself my tech corner, I have a multitude of type c hubs, sticks and cables flying around.

I still have to think if I wll get the AP pro or not, it's quite a huge investment and the AP 2 made me wary about apple and how good their headphones fit my ears.

Greetings Moritz.

Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Monday, November 18, 2019

I think that for the majority of iPhone users without the more recent USB C MacBooks, it's probably their first experience of the port. Apple are being tight, that is the problem. Asking users to spend more just after spending so much to begin with is rather typical and money grabbing of them. Furthermore, they have kept their own proprietary connecter rather than simply upgrading to USBC, yet another income stream. Should have made it full USBC in my opinion.

More a comment on apple as a whole rather than the product. Remember, not everyone are nerds like us. Some people will think USBC is nothing but a fat lightening cable. Technology is already confusing and I fear that big brands may be taking advantage of 'lighter' users with less experience, to drive sales... Anyway, this is completely off subject.

Yes, I'd say the fit is the key point. It's still not perfect for me as I want something deeper in ear, but it will do until there is a 3rd party solution.

Submitted by Brian Giles on Monday, November 18, 2019

The Internet needs to stop whining about included chargers. Companies know that by now you likely have a spare USB wall charger around from an old cell phone, or you can just plug your device into another UUSB port, be it on a computer, TV or car. When the original MacBook Air came out, it didn't have a DVD drive. Now laptops rarely come with optical drives and no one cares. I'm asking Santa for one of those dual wireless chargers so I can charge my AirPods Pro and my phone at the same time, and either put my lightning cable out in the living room, or just keep it in my backpack for travelling.

As for fit, yes, a proper one makes all the difference in the world. The fit test is awesome, but it doesn't replace experimenting to find what works for you. Here's what I found works for me: I switched to the larger ear tips as that's what I found worked best for me with my Beats X. If I'm putting the right pod in, I'll reach over the top of my head with my left hand and gently pull the top of my ear up and away from my head. This opens my ear up a little more to be able to get the pod in better. Then I do the same thing with the other pod. Once they're both in, I gently twist them so the stem is pointing slightly forward. I've found that this creates a better seal and makes the ANC more effective.

Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Monday, November 18, 2019

The internet will do as it will, sadly neither you or I can change it. :)

I'm hoping 3rd party foam tips will improve the fit more. I'm new to ear buds and think that the prospect of one tumbling out of my ear whilst traversing city streets still gives me the willies.

Submitted by Maranatà on Sunday, December 29, 2019

Guys I tried to extract the rubbers to clean them but they don't come off, even by pulling them they don't come off! How can I do?