Apple’s fan-favourite AirPods Pro received a major upgrade in September.
These earbuds are now more travel-friendly than ever, and I couldn’t wait to put them to the test ever since they launched. With Amazon currently offering its lowest-ever price on the second-generation AirPods Pro as part of a Cyber Monday sale, it’s definitely worth checking them out now.
Buy today for $200 (originally $249).
Ever since the first generation AirPods Pro launched in 2019, they quickly became my go-to for long-haul flights. With impressive noise cancellation in an incredibly portable package, it was a combination that was hard to beat, especially considering how well integrated they are in the Apple ecosystem.
Noise cancellation that’s better than ever
The first generation AirPods Pro packed an impressive sound experience in an incredibly portable package, and the new model takes that to the next level.
As a long-time user of Apple’s pro-level earbuds, I’ve grown accustomed to the sound experience they deliver, and I imagined the next-generation buds would be an iterative update in terms of the audio quality.
But when I put them on for the first time, I was especially impressed by the upgrades to the active noise cancellation.
Battery boosts for the long haul
Throughout my travels, I tried to put the battery life improvements that Apple made with the second-generation AirPods Pro to the test.
Nowhere was I more impressed than during my two transcontinental flights. With the first-generation buds, I’ve always needed to recharge my AirPods roughly three-quarters of the way through a transcon flight.
But with the new AirPods Pro, the music kept playing until just after we landed. When I flew from New York to Seattle, I put on my AirPods Pro during boarding to help me focus on some last-minute work.
Small speakers make a big difference
The new AirPods Pro are also a great upgrade for travellers who are prone to losing things.
For one, you can always keep them connected to your bag thanks to the new lanyard loop on the charging case.
And if you misplace your second-generation AirPods Pro, the new U1 chip in the charging case enables precision finding within the Find My network, which gives you an accurate look at exactly where they are.
As you get closer, a new speaker in the case can play a sound to help you quickly locate your AirPods, regardless of whether they’re tucked into your couch or lodged between seats on an airplane.
Volume within reach
Controlling your sound experience while you’re on the go is getting easier with the second-generation AirPods Pro.
Apple redesigned the touch area on the stem of each AirPod to give users more flexibility when playing music or talking on the phone.
With the addition of a new capacitive sensing layer, you can now swipe up and down on the stem to adjust the volume. Pressing the stem controls your audio while holding the stem switches between noise cancellation and transparency modes. (You can always customize these options from the settings menu on your paired iOS device.)
Transparency Mode gets a big upgrade
Sometimes, you want to be aware of your surroundings when you’re listening to audio on your headphones. Maybe you want to hear what’s going on around you as you navigate a new city or as you’re waiting to board a flight.
In those cases, be sure to turn on transparency mode on your AirPods Pro. This feature will essentially play what’s going on around you without stopping your music.
While some travellers continue to swear by over-ear headphones, the new AirPods Pro offers a compelling reason to ditch those bulky headphones during your travels.
With an even better sound experience in a package that easily fits in your pocket or purse, the second-generation AirPods Pro are especially great for travellers. They’re also better than the entry-level AirPods, which don’t offer active noise cancellation — a must-have feature for people who want to zone out when in transit.