AirPods Go Pro With Better Fit, Advanced Audio Features

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Apple has expanded upon its hit AirPods with new AirPods Pro models. They fit and sound better, courtesy of silicone ear tips, and add audio features like noise cancellation and a “transparency” mode. The previous generation AirPods aren’t going anywhere, though.

minor typo: “transparency modee”

Thanks, fixed! Must have been a last-minute typo as I was tweaking something else, since all our normal spell checks would have caught that.

I have a knack for spotting typos in articles written by anyone other than me. The other day I saw one from a fairly popular article from 2016 but decided not to report it because I figured no one cares that much about something that old.

I really like my new AirPods Pro.

Actually, I’m a liar. I haven’t gotten them yet!.

I was going to buy them when my wife put my old AirPods through the laundry back in the beginning of November. No AirPods until mid-December, so I bought another pair of regular ol’ AirPods. In the beginning of December, I started a new job in a noisy environment. What an excuse to get a pair of sound canceling earphones! I ordered a pair of AirPods Pros, but they won’t get here until the middle of January.

What can I say? They’re apparently very popular.

I love my new Airpods Pro… the ability to click the stem to pause/play or (in my case) have the left one switch audio modes (noise cancelling, do nothing, transparency mode) is my favourite feature.

I also notice their response time when answering a call or invoking Siri is much faster, which is much appreciated.

As a side effect I also found the option to enable Siri to announce incoming messages:

One less thing for Siri and I to misunderstand each other about. She’s good at not quite getting what I ask. Nothing quite like asking her to ‘Call my wife’ and her answering, ‘Which one?’ to make your day.




p.s. it only happened once… but it was hilarious.

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As you probably know, you can have Siri refer to you by a nickname. You simply say “Siri, call me …” and from then on, Siri will refer to you as that name. Every once in a while, Siri will use that name when it interacts with you:

SIri, from now on, call me Daviderno
Siri, Set my alarm to 8:00am tomorrow
Okay, Daviderino, Alarm is set to 8:00am on Monday

This is a long introduction, but now we get to the meat of the story.

I had a friend who left their iPhone on their desk. I pressed the Home button and said "Siri, from now on, call me Studly Hunk of Man Meat.

I’d imagine my friend doing something and getting called that:

Siri, Set my alarm to 8:00am tomorrow
Okay, Studly Hunk of Man Meat, Alarm is set to 8:00am on Monday

However, my friend doesn’t use Siri. His wife does, and they share their contacts.

One day, my friend’s wife was at work and her boss told her to work late, so she used Siri to call her husband:

Siri, call my husband at work
Calling Studly Hunk of Man Meat at work.

This happened in front of several work colleagues. She is seriously thinking about changing jobs, where she lives, her name, and maybe her husband. She is definitely going to charge her husband’s friends.

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Thanks for the useful review Julio. I’d like though to raise an issue with earbuds that fit tightly inside the ear canal—called IEMs, or In-Ear Monitors. Few observers, and no manufacturers, ever seem to raise the problem of occlusion. This is caused by external sounds, or ones generated by the body, travelling through the body and head internally, and not being able to escape through the ear canal in the usual way. If you put your fingers in your ears (gently!) and talk or hum you’ll understand the phenomenon.

I’ve always used standard AirPods, fitted with over-ear clips to hold them in place. The geometry of my ears prevent AirPods staying in place even momentarily. They just fall straight out. I’ve always wanted to try a wireless solution, and figured that if I used IEMs they might stay in place, plugged tightly into the ear canal. I recently bought a pair of Jabra Elite 65t buds to test out my hypothesis.

And I was very happy with them. The sound was good, and sure enough they stayed in place in my ear, once I’d found the correct size tips. They didn’t offer sound cancellation—which seems slightly redundant with IEMs—but they did have ‘transparency’ mode. And they looked smart, sitting snuggly inside the ear.

Then I went for a walk.

The only time I wear earphones is when I’m walking. I try and do about 12 miles a week, and it’s my quality time with my podcasts. I don’t know how I’d listen to them if I didn’t walk. So last week I went out with my new Jabras tucked in my ears, and the mellifluous tones of Malcolm Bradbury to entertain and enlighten me. I took about ten paces before realising that something was horribly wrong. I could hardly hear the reading over the percussive banging of my heels hitting the ground. We’re talking seriously loud impacts here. I tried changing the transparency setting—made no difference. I tried walking on grass—barely a change. By the time I’d walked two miles I had the sort of headache I’d expect if someone had actually been banging the side of my head for 45 minutes.

I then researched the issue, and found plenty of people who suffer from it. Yet I’d never heard about it before. When you were testing the AirPod Pros (or AirPods Pro if you prefer) did you not experience the problem? Do some people have a more conductive body causing louder sounds to be trapped inside the ear canal? I am very surprised that no reviewer to my knowledge has ever mentioned the issue.

I do think that anyone considering buying this type of earbud should be aware of the potential problem. There’s no way I could carry on wearing them, so they’ve gone back to Jabra. And I have absolutely no reason to think that the issue has anything to do with the specific model. Yes. they created an effective seal in my ear canal—but then they’re supposed to, otherwise they’d just fall out!

Maybe the only solution for me is wireless earbuds that are not IEMs, with over-ear clips. Any ideas?

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I did not experience this problem. Have you investigated bone-conduction earphones? I don’t have direct experience with such products, but it might be something useful for you.