Apple Unveils All-New Airpods with Active Noise Cancellation

Apple made waves in the wireless earbud industry today, announcing AirPods Pro with active noise cancelling and 'immersive audio.'
Trevor English

Apply announced it's all-new redesigned Airpods 28 October with some impressive innovative features.

The new AirPods Pro will feature active noise cancellation, "immersive sound," and a new design meant to better fit into ears. These all-new wireless earbuds can be ordered on starting today and will be available in stores on 30 October.  

As for pricing? The AirPods Pro will cost $249 USD.


The New Design

The new AirPods will feature a new design that signals a departure from Apple's signature earbud aesthetic. For the first time in Apple's history (that we're aware of) their earbuds will have customizable silicone tips in three different sizes to fit different ear shapes.

Apple Unveils All-New Airpods with Active Noise Cancellation
Source: Apple

Apple also claims the new AirPods have an "innovative vent system to equalize pressure, minimizing the discomfort common in other in-ear design." One notable feature is that AirPods Pro are sweat and water-resistant, meaning that they can be used in a variety of activities. 

 Noise Cancellation and Immersive Sound

Active Noise Cancellation in the new AirPods is definitely the highlight of the new tech. Two microphones combined with advanced software will allow each bud to actively noise cancel its surroundings. This ultimately means that conversations and music will be more understandable and crisp than in the previous generation.

One of the microphones is outward-facing and detects external sound to analyze. After this sound is fed through a filter, the AirPod creates an equivalent yet reverse waveform to cancel out the background noise. The other inward-facing microphone listens to the ear and cancels out any noise that might be coming from inside the ear canal. Apple states that the noise cancellation feature "continuously adapts the sound signal 200 times per second."

While you likely have some idea of what active noise canceling is, "Immersive Sound" seems to be a new Apple-coined term for their new tech. "Immersive Sound" means the new AirPods Pro will have adaptive EQ that supposedly bases its settings off of the shape of an individual's ear. There also is a built-in high dynamic range amplifier for clear sound while having the added benefit of extending battery life.

Transparency Mode

Another new feature for the Pro version of AirPods is something Apple calls "Transparency Mode." This mode will allow users to listen to music while also hearing the environment around them, like traffic. Utilizing a pressure-equalizing vent system, this mode leaves just the "right amount of noise cancellation active."

How do you turn on this mode? Well, the new AirPods will feature a new force sensor that makes it even easier to play, pause, skip, hang up calls, and of course, turn on Transparency mode.

Apple Unveils All-New Airpods with Active Noise Cancellation
Source: Apple

What's the Battery Life Like?

Off the cuff, AirPods Pro will feature up to 5 hours of listening time in normal mode and 4.5 hours of listening time in Active Noise Cancellation mode. It will also allow 3.5 hours of talk time on a single charge, but of course, there's also the charging case that will charge the buds in 15 minutes capable of making the entire package (AirPods Pro and Case) have a battery life of 24 hours of listening time. 

Are there any Other New Features?

The new Airpods will have customizable silicone tips as we mentioned, but the earbuds have a built-in sensor that will help you know if you chose the right size. The Airpods can detect if they fit well and will alert you if you need to change tips.

Apple Unveils All-New Airpods with Active Noise Cancellation
Source: Apple

There's also a new feature called Audio Sharing that lets anyone with a second set of AirPods come close and automatically connect. Lastly, the new AirPods Pro will have an Announce Messaging feature that can read messages or calls as soon as they come in. Apple will continue selling the normal non-Pro AirPods for $159 USD with a charging case and $199 with a wireless charging case.

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