David Lewis Talking Tech & Audio

AirPods Pro – my 1st choice – they are THAT good!

Why am I loving my AirPods so much

AirPods Pro

So, if you follow me at all on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/c/DavidLewistalkingtechandaudio, then you’ll know, that I am in to my headphones, rather too much it could be argued. Yet, still, I find myself reaching for my AirPods. These aren’t the AirPods Pro Max, they are not even the AirPods 2nd or 3rd Generation. Nope, these are the bog-standard AirPods that I have owned now for a few years. And I’m a fan. With so many headphones to choose from, why do I still keep using these so much?

Hearing is believing

For my channel, I deep-dive in to EQ, flatness of sound delivery, soundscape and sound staging. But, for consumer level, general, decent, audio delivery, you can’t go far wrong with these AirPods. In essence, they are pretty similar to what we used to get given to us with iPhones years ago, just with a few year-on-year improvements. Given the physical dimensions of these earbuds, there will always be limitations to what then can deliver, but for day to day life, I can’t really find fault. OK, so there is no spectacular bass, the overall sound is pretty bright and the mids are a little punchy. But hey, that is not what this blog is all about. I have another platform for all of that!

Noise-cancelling… I wish…

My main use for these, is, clearly, when I am not in the studio. On those occasions, I reach for the ‘big guns’. When out for a walk, though, these are my earbuds of choice. They are just so damned convenient. No wires, pairing, (more of which later)or phaffing about. Nope. With these, I simply open the case, pop them in and off I trot. These are the only pair of AirPods I have owned. They are now two years old and are still in great shape. The only, and indeed, main reason I am even thinking of change at all, is to get some noise cancellation. The very few times I don’t take these out with me, it’s because I know I want to listen to a podcast without losing any dialogue. Currently, I take some Sony over-the-ear headphones in that user case experience. But they are cabled and bigger than I am used to. So, in time, and possibly sooner than later, I may upgrade to a pair of AirPods Pro. I use these little earbuds every day during walks and workouts. But, I could do with some noise-cancelling, so for that reason alone, I may change up. I actually, secretly, want some AirPods Pro Max. Putting the ludicrous price to one side for just a moment, though, I don’t know if I can be that person who wears these in public. I am just trying to think if I have ever actually seen anyone in AirPods Max out and about? Have you? I have tried on a pair of AirPods Pro with noise cancellation, and they do a fantastic job at cutting through ambient, background frequencies. Consider a pair on my Apple shopping list….

And also…

Of course, the other thing I miss by not taking my AirPods out with me, is the ability to take or make calls. For that, again, they pack a mighty big punch. They also work brilliantly with Siri. Whether you want to ask Siri to make a call, answer an incoming call or set a reminder, the microphone on these earbuds does a sterling job of picking up your voice, accurately in all situations and environments.

Connectivity — too good damned clever

One of the USP of AirPods, upon launch, was the fact that they would transfer from device to device (as long as they were all logged in to the same iCloud account and Apple ID). It sounds great, but in all honesty, it is one of those cases where Apple are trying to be a wee bit too clever even by their boffin-type standards. In my studio, it is not unusual for me to have two or three Macs and possibly even an iPad within Bluetooth range. The AirPods get themselves in a right old state in situations like that, not knowing what device to connect to as their primary source of audio. This feature has now troubled me one too many times, and it’s currently disabled. I’d much rather transfer manually, and if you want to do the same, here is how you do it. On your iPhone, with your AirPods in and connected, open the Bluetooth menu. Find your AirPods in the list and tap the little, blue ‘i’ symbol. About halfway down the list, you’ll see an option to Connect to This iPhone. From there, check the When Last Connected to This iPhone. Just a little ninja tip for you, as a thanks for reading this blog!

Dare we mention battery life?

Yes, we dare! Actually, the battery life is spectacularly good. The case, which is the charger and battery pack for the actual AirPods, needs charging once a week at tops. As for the AirPods themselves, with regular and consistent use, I reckon I probably get a few days use out of them. For me, a day’s use is possibly around a couple of hours. So, from an energy standpoint, no complaints.

On the newer models, the case is now wireless charging enabled and also falls within the Find My network. Being so small, and therefore easy to misplace, being able to find them around the home is a big bonus.

As for maintenance, they pretty much take care of themselves. After two years of use during workouts and even the rain, the only thing I have done is to use a small soft brush to — well, without painting too gross-a-picture, remove some unwanted, debris. But that has been it. And over two years, these earbuds have had 100% reliability as well.

Overall then?

For me, a man who loves audio, it’s a yes! As I mentioned, there are certain audio shortcomings, but given their size, they have shocked me. The convenience wins out. The listening experience is comfortable and never draining. The audio is clear, present, and entertaining. As mentioned, they are so good at what they do, I will almost certainly be trading up. These little fellas are my best friends. In fact, from all the Apple kit I have, these probably get the most use too!

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Originally published at https://www.talkingtechandaudio.com/blog on February 24, 2022.

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