Popular Mechanics reviews Apple AirPods Pro 2: Noticeably better sound
Friday September 23, 2022. 11:24 PM , from Mac Daily News
AirPods Pro (2nd generation)
Hunter Fenollol for Popular Mechanics:
Though the fit was much the same, the audio coming from the AirPods sure wasn’t. Sound isn’t so much fuller in these as it is noticeably fuller with background detail. The H2 chip pairs with a new amplifier that produces richer bass and clearer sound. It pains me to admit that I love Nu Shooz’s ’80s hit I Can’t Wait and often use it as an audio benchmark. But the song has many different vocals, layers of instruments, and shifts for getting a sound system firing on all cores. I’ve heard the song many a time while testing sound bars, but it has never sounded this good on wireless earbuds at this price. The bass line along the opening high-pitched synth is much more perceptible, as are punchier accents on the percussion. This also better captures the lead singer’s vocal subtleties, but in the backing lyrics really pop, whereas they fall by the wayside coming from the original Air Pods. Is it different from the original AirPods? Absolutely. With an original in my right ear and a new AirPod Pro in my left playing simultaneously, I could hear the depth and enhanced vibration behind strings and drums of each song I threw at it.
Noise cancellation is drastically stronger. I played bits of this clip of construction work at my MacBook’s full volume (averaging 81 decibels ands peaking at 93) to simulate a work zone while sitting 16 inches away from the speakers. With both headphones’ volume set at halfway, the new AirPods Pro virtually eliminated almost all sound, save for a hammer strike breaking through. Meanwhile, I could clearly hear moving gravel and power saws over the music coming from the original AirPods Pro. They did at least remove the constant clanking decently well. Still, despite the richer sound and more effective noise cancellation, the new Adaptive Transparency mode is the real standout on the audio front.
MacDailyNews Take: Yet another excellent review for Apple’s new second generation AirPods Pro! Hopefully, Apple’s assemblers can make enough of them.
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