The problem with Airpods Pro

Stick to tradition


Akhila Johny/Talon

The newest installment of the Airpods product line, the Airpods Pro, pictured with the charging case in the open position.

Hunter Keaster, Opinion Editor

Sliding the original Airpods into my ears for the first time was a magical experience. The weightless, effortless feeling while using them made you forget they were there. The battery life? Impeccable. The case? Sleek. The fit? Snug. 

Having used the original Airpods for two years I can safely say it was the best investment I ever made. The steep $160 price point was well worth it. I used the original Airpods every single day for hours — long hours. Going for a run, running errands or doing homework were all perfect opportunities to utilize my little ear orchestras. 

I had no complaints about the original Airpods, but when Apple announced the Airpods Pros, which would come with active noise cancellation, it seemed like a no-brainer. So, I sold my archaic originals for a pair of the new Pros. It was the worst investment I ever made. 

The new $250 price point is supposed to come with better battery life, redesigned earbuds and, most importantly, active noise cancellation. After using them for six months, the new style of earbud is certainly less comfortable, the battery life seems average and the active noise cancellation, while effective, is rarely necessary. 

Let me explain:

The earbud style of the original Airpods was an improved version of the old-school wireless Apple earbuds that we have all come to know and love. This style fit in the ear perfectly, it was very comfortable and certainly wasn’t going anywhere. However, in order to make noise cancelling technology possible, Apple had to redesign this style for the Airpods Pros. The result? A less comfortable, less aesthetic, earbud that constantly falls out of my ear. 

I would consider myself to have normal-sized ears, and even so, after trying all three of the adjustable ear tip sizes I was unable to find a size that would stay in my ear. The small size would easily flop out of my ear and the large size would barely fit in the first place. Overall, this new design was much less comfortable. 

Next, there is the active noise cancellation. This is where I will give Apple credit. The technology that they utilized to achieve this amazing cancellation is substantially better than the original Airpods and it works wonderfully. When you hold the stem of the earbud to turn the feature on, you feel like you are in your own world. It’s even hard to hear yourself speak. Despite how good the feature is, I rarely find myself using it. There are very few situations where this feature actually comes in handy. A lot of the time, I actually want to hear a little bit of my surroundings in case someone wants to talk to me, or if there is an emergency that I have to hear about. Would I trade this feature for the more comfortable earbud design of the original Airpods? No, definitely not. 

So, my conclusion is simple: stick to tradition. Opt in for the original Airpods — they’re amazing. Or, if you’re even more old-school, grab some wires.