29 October 2019 00:37

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Apple has just launched the rumored noise-canceling AirPods Pro — not with an October product event, but via a press release. Apple has built microphones into the AirPods Pro that detect external sound, and the earbuds then cancel it out. The system used here sounds very similar to the noise cancellation in the new Beats Solo Pro headphones, just miniaturized to a much smaller form factor. Apple even says there's a software audio test that can tell you if you've chosen the right-sized tip by "measuring the sound level in the ear and comparing it to what is coming from the speaker driver." This should reduce any guesswork or confusion for customers. Like the second-gen AirPods, the AirPods Pro support wireless charging and hands-free "Hey Siri" voice commands.

(You can see that the active noise cancellation takes a bit of a toll there.) But as usual with AirPods, the case has enough extra battery for around 24 hours of total listening time, including those recharges. The AirPods Pro are sweat and water resistant — get ready to start seeing these in gyms everywhere — and they include "an expanded mesh microphone port that improves call clarity in windy situations." Apple's new AirPods come just as noise cancellation — long a convenience offered by over-ear headphones from Bose, Sony, and others — has begun making its way to truly wireless earbuds. (CNN) When Apple first unveiled AirPods in 2016, the wireless earbuds were mocked by some who suggested they looked like electronic toothbrushes dangling from ears. The new headphones have a new design, new features--including noise cancellation technology--and a higher price tag. The company was widely expected to host a media event this at its annual October event and unveil the new AirPods alongside other hardware products such as the iPad and MacBook Pro. Instead, it announced the product in a press release on Monday.

The official Apple product website now lists the AirPods Pro alongside the 2019 AirPods model, along with a slick new video introducing the true wireless earbuds and the various new features for the range. The AirPods Pro have even got their own tab on the Apple website, alongside AirPods, iPad, iPhone and otherwise – meaning they seem to be treated very much as their own product and not a replacement for the still-new 2019 AirPods. New features include active noise-canceling, IPX4 water resistance, and even customizable silicon tips – a first for the AirPods range. Still, they aren't quite the all-out AirPods 3 reimagining we were hoping for, and they don't beat rivals like the Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Earbuds and the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1s in terms of noise-cancelation and audio quality. The AirPods Pro will look to scratch the itch for those after more premium features then, and we'll be able to give a final verdict on the earbuds when we've put them through the testing process.

We'd heard various rumors about the AirPods Pro for months now, though an incoming AirPods Pro release was cited in a report by China Economic Daily, which said the new AirPods were expected to launch before the end of October, which has now been proven right. One of the best sources of Apple AirPods rumors came from a 2018 report from TF International Securities' analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. He said that we could be getting two more headphones before 2020 – an updated version of the original Apple AirPods (check) and the brand new AirPods 3, now officially named the AirPods Pro. Again, very on the money. So what are the AirPods Pro, how much do they cost, and what brand new features will be included? The long-awaited AirPods 3 – now named the AirPods Pro – acting as a premium sibling to the 2019 AirPods (not to be confused with the recently updated AirPods (2019) true-wireless earbuds.) When are they out? We've been hearing rumors about the Apple AirPods 3 all year, and until recently, it looked as though the new true wireless earbuds wouldn't be coming out until at least 2020. However, a spate of leaks over the last couple of months seemed to make a late-2019 release more likely – and the official product page has now vindicated this with the AirPods Pro getting an October 30 launch date. A new transparency mode also allows uses built-in microphones to record and playback outside sounds, meaning you can listen to your surroundings without taking your pesky earbuds out. Apple AirPods 3 into AirPods Pro: all the rumors we heard Rumors around the new Apple AirPods 3 have been circling since the originals were released in 2016, but the release of the iOS 13.2 beta may have revealed what the buds will look and sound like. The new Apple AirPods 3 will reportedly come with noise cancelation and a comfier fit, with silicone or rubber tips giving listeners more choice when it comes to their Apple earbuds. The design of the so-called AirPods Pro might have just been leaked by phone accessories manufacturer ESR; a listing on the site for an 'AirPods Pro Cover' shows a wider carrying case than we've seen for previous AirPod models. Apple's recent iPhone 11 launch event left us bereft of the long-rumored Apple AirPods 3, but a new leaked image could give us a glimpse of the new Apple earbuds. If this leaked image is genuine, we could be in for an even more compact Apple AirPods charging case – and potentially smaller earbuds. Back in July 2018 Apple filed a patent for biometric sensors, which would allow the AirPods 3 to take on fitness tracking capabilities like those seen in the Jabra Elite Wireless. We also heard separately that the AirPods 3 would come in black and white, be both waterproof and offer active noise-cancellation, features that have similarly been predicted by Bloomberg. One rumor that did prove to be accurate however was wireless charging and Bluetooth 5.0 - but instead of being an improved thanks to an updated W2 chip, Apple has designed a brand new H1 chip, which is made for headphones specifically.

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  •  29 Oct 2019