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Apple AirPods

Apple AirPods

Apple is a household name when it comes to consumer communication devices. From computers to phones, and now headphones (Apple AirPods) and other media accessories, many users have come to trust the brand to deliver on quality every time.

The company was founded in April 1, 1976 by the trio of Steve Jobs, Ronald Wayne and Steve Wozniak to sell the new personal computer – Apple-1 – designed by Steve Wozniak. From its headquarters in Cupertino, California, Apple Computer Inc. has expanded on its product offerings and grown to become one of the top 5 companies in the world.

Why does this brand enjoy such huge patronage that almost borders on cult following? We will quickly review two of its products as we try to find out what they really offer. We shall be looking at the AirPods Max and the AirPods Pro (2nd Generation).

Apple AirPods Max

Apple AirPods

Impedance and Amplification7.5Noise Cancellation9
Frequency Response7Design8.5
Sensitivity and Volume7Material8.5
Total Harmonic Distortion8Battery Life8
Isolation7.5IP RatingNA

This is Apple’s 1st foray into the over-ear headphone arena. As with most Apple products, it’s designed and built to promise perfection. The quality of the materials used and craftsmanship all shine through. However, it is a headphone that appears to demand careful use as it does not look like it was built to withstand a lot of knocks.

Aside from the fact that it is comfortable to wear, it also delivers amazing audio. This is especially so when used with an Apple device with the latest iOS. You get to enjoy some features that are available only in the Apple ecosystem. Some of these features include spatial audio, proximity sensor functions and auto device switching.

Interestingly, this headphone has great isolation but you may not be able to really test it because the Active Noise Cancelation kicks in once you put them on, basically cutting you off from surrounding noise. As you enjoy the immersive sound it provides, you can turn on the transparency mode to get a feel of what’s happening around you.

No doubt, this is a great headphone built for the true Apple user. Despite all its great features, we will however not recommend it for use as a workout headphone because it is not waterproof and may not handle drops well. It will also not do well in a professional setup where uncolored sound reproduction is required.

Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation)

Apple AirPods Pro 2nd Generation

Impedance and Amplification7.5Noise Cancellation9
Frequency Response7Design8
Sensitivity and Volume7Material8
Total Harmonic Distortion8Battery Life6.5
Isolation7IP Rating5

The AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) is Apple’s upgrade from the AirPods Pro (1st Generation). Looking at the two pods, they appear identical. However, there are few important differences between the two.

Unlike its predecessor, the AirPod Pro (2nd Generation has an IP rating of 4. This makes it better suited for workouts and other uses where one can be exposed to some splashes of moisture. Given the increased demand for headphones suited for workouts, this is a big plus.

The pod also comes with four ear tips sized extra small (XS) small (S), medium (M), and large (L). It’s important to note that the quality of sound you will enjoy is hugely impacted by the fit of the pods. It’s therefore critical that you test the tips to find the one that fits you the best.

If you use the AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) with an Apple device, as you should to get the best outcome, you can confirm the right fit with the iOS’ ear tip fit test. In addition to improving your listening experience, a correct fit will also ensure that the pods do not fall during rigorous workout sessions.

A good fit also improves the isolation that you can achieve with these pods. Though it may not be all you want or expect from an isolation device, if you add the Active Noise Canceling feature, you can get much better isolation. Of course, you can also activate the transparency mode to increase your awareness of your surroundings.

In terms of audio quality, there’s a minimum quality you can always expect from any Apple product. You can expect to enjoy your music and movies with a good amount of bass and good enough highs. While the highs are not as pronounced as the lows, the shelve from 10kHz and above won’t be much of an issue to the average listener. More so, you can try out different presets on your iOS to find one that offers you the sound you want.

 The AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) promises a 6 hour use time with ANC switched on. With the charge provided by the charging case, usage can be extended to 24 hours listening time or a little over 19 hours of talk time. 5 minutes in the charging case will yield about 60 minutes of use time, which is not too bad.

In general, this is a good ear pod that has been specifically designed for Apple users. While it will connect to other devices, you won’t be able to access its full functions.

Scott Armstrong
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