AirPods Pro 2022 review: I can’t hear anything and it left me obsessed

LISTEN: Apple’s new AirPods Pro should be at the top of your Christmas list this year.

I’ve spent a few weeks with the Apple wireless earbuds and can’t get enough. The loud noise cancellation is particularly great.

The new AirPods Pro are better than ever


The new AirPods Pro are better than everCredit: The Sun
You can personalize your new AirPods Pro with a free emoji engraving


You can personalize your new AirPods Pro with a free emoji engravingCredit: apple

The new AirPods Pro were easy to miss at this month’s Far Out event amid the glitz and glamor of the iPhone 14 Pro and Apple Watch Ultra.

They’re a revamped version of 2019’s eponymous earbuds, with the same price (£249/$249) and lots of added tricks.

The AirPods Pro are Apple’s most expensive wireless earbuds (but still cheaper than the over-ear AirPods Max).

They look about the same, with the smaller contoured body that sets them apart from the cheaper AirPods models.

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Really, it’s the AirPods we know and love.

They pair and work with an iPhone so seamlessly that it puts other earbuds to shame.

Even after years, it’s still amazing to pull out an AirPod and pause your music.

And they’re now as much a fashion statement as an iPhone accessory.

They sound great too: the bass is boosted, which is great if you’re into metal or hip-hop (like me).

The noise-cancellation (more on that later) also really helps you focus on the sound.

And the fit is flexible, with four silicone tip sizes in the box to choose from.

The new volume controls are brilliant, if a little fiddly at first.

You grab a stick and then swipe up or down to adjust the volume accordingly.

There’s a trick to pinching and wiping it that will probably take a dozen or so to really master.

But once you have it, it’s great — and really the only way I change the volume on my AirPods right now.

I even prefer to use the Apple Watch face, which used to be my preferred method of adjusting the volume.

You can still use the Stems to pause and play music and switch between listening modes.

And “Hey Siri” is a quick way to issue commands: I use this all the time to call specific contacts when I’m walking around.

sound of silence

Noise cancellation has been significantly improved.

If you’re new to the concept, active noise cancellation blocks out ambient noise around you.

Put simply, the AirPods hear sounds around you, reverse them, and create “anti-noise” — attenuating any nearby noise.

The idea is that you could then be free to listen to music, podcasts, or maybe nothing at all.

It’s rarely 100% perfect, but the new AirPods Pro do exceptionally well.

Apple says the amount of noise canceling has doubled compared to the old AirPods Pro, and that probably feels right.

I’ve worn them at busy London junctions, around construction sites and on the Tube. To be honest, you hardly hear anything – except of course the music you play.

Perhaps even more striking is the improvement in transparency mode.

You turn on transparency mode by squeezing the earhook.

You can hear what’s going on around you, so you can pay attention to important language.

With the new version, you can easily hear spoken words (like a train announcement) but minimize the din of loud noises like power tools or sirens.

The quality of the transparency mode is much better and voices sound much more natural.

This is partly thanks to the new H2 chip, which adjusts the noise 48,000 times per second.

You can now tailor spatial audio to the exact shape and size of your head.

All you need is an iPhone to scan your face and ears from different angles.

Setup is easy and the spatial audio effect is very cool – but it’s not a must-buy feature.

Instead, it’s a clever trick that will definitely immerse you in a movie or great music.

Apple juiced

Battery life is a bit more difficult to measure in practice, as I never really ran out of old AirPods Pro.

I usually charge them every few days and it works fine.

My normal usage is probably 45 minutes of guaranteed listening in the morning and the same in the evening – plus intermittent usage for music, podcasts and calls throughout the day, an additional two or three hours total.

Apple says you’ll get six hours of listening per charge this time, with a total of 30 hours with the charging case.

The case itself has also received a few upgrades.

There’s now a small cutout for a strap and the option to add a free case engraving (including your own Memoji) with purchase.

And it’s now possible to charge the case with an Apple Watch Pad as well as a MagSafe charger.

The good news is that Apple is flogging the new AirPods Pro at the same old price of £249/$249.

Not everyone will be willing to pay that: these are still luxury headphones.

But the noise cancellation, rich features, and overall quality are second to none at this price point.

Buying the cheapest pair of AirPods will only cost you just over £100/$100, so they’re still extremely tempting.

There are also limits to the sound of in-ear headphones, simply because of their physical size. For more powerful audio, the AirPods Max deliver (though for around double the price).

However, if you really love your music or are surrounded by noise that you want to shut out, the AirPods Pro are a great purchase.

They’re really masterfully designed, too, so self-respecting gadget geeks with some spare change will want to pick up a pair too – just to see what all the fuss is about.

The sun says: The AirPods Pro are a feat of in-ear audio and at this price point you can’t beat them. 5/5

All prices in this article were correct at the time of writing but may have changed since then.

Always do your own research before making a purchase.

The AirPods Pro 2022 look similar to the 2019 version but with some clever tweaks


The AirPods Pro 2022 look similar to the 2019 version but with some clever tweaksCredit: The Sun
These earbuds offer powerful noise cancellation and immersive sound


These earbuds offer powerful noise cancellation and immersive soundCredit: apple
There are four tip sizes to choose from, so there should be a good fit for every ear


There are four tip sizes to choose from, so there should be a good fit for every earCredit: apple

The new AirPods Pro will be available from September 24, 2022 for £249/$249.

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