Pods...

Several of you wanted a post about my AirPods Pro that I got last Christmas. After playing with them for a month and a half, I feel like I can talk about them intelligently enough. Here goes!

Sound Quality

The sound is so much better than any EarPods that I’ve ever gotten with any iDevice I’ve owned. And they sound better and more consistent than my TaoTronics TT-BH07 Bluetooth pods. I can rock out to Spotify or Bandcamp or listen to Audible or calls at work through Zoom or Slack and it’s amazing. Bear in mind, I’m no audiophile so, if you are, you need to test on your own and not take what I say as gospel. Dear god, don’t do that. This is just my two Lincolns. 

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I love transparency mode where the AirPods use the built-in microphone to pick up surrounding sound and feed it into the speakers along with whatever I’m listening to with really nice balance. It’s a great little trick and now I know why so many people still wear them when they’re in stores or drive thrus or whatever. They can hear and interact without removing them at all.

Noise cancelling mode is great, too. It’s more of a noise reduction, though, not true cancellation. When you put in both AirPods Pro and the reduction kicks in, it’s like being sealed in a vacuum. The noise just cuts out with a whoosh like those scenes in baseball movies where a pitcher goes “in the zone” and the crowd and noise mostly disappear. It’s way cool. But, like I said, it’s not 100% and I’m glad for that. I can still get a feel that something is happening around me and choose to turn off reduction or pull out a bud entirely. 

Connectivity

My iPhone is the primary connection point for my AirPods Pro and, when it’s unlocked, the Pods connect automatically and do a good job of overriding any other connection it may have.

I have these connected to my MacBook Pro as well, which, being a work computer, is on a different Apple ID. So, while I cannot take advantage of the dynamic connection shifting, I’ve heard it doesn’t work that great. Shifting from one to the other really isn’t that tough since the profile for the Pods exists in both devices. I just go into Bluetooth settings and select and it will automatically disconnect from one and shift to the other. And if my phone is on lock and my laptop is not, when I pop open the case, they’ll connect to my laptop without a problem.

Also, the distance I get between the Pods and the source is great! I used to get a spotty connection with my TaoTronics when my phone was in my pants pocket or in the breast pocket of a Thinsulate-lined winter coat. That was less than 1.5 feet of distance. Now, not only can I keep the phone in my pocket without concern, I can walk into the next room with no dropout at all.

One thing that drives me nuts is that I’ll be on a Zoom call on my laptop, disconnect the call, take my AirPods out of my ears, and put them in the case and iTunes will fire up and start playing through my laptop speakers. I don’t even use iTunes on my laptop and never have it open. I have no idea why this happens.

I’m also not a fan of how they autoconnect to everything on my Apple ID. This means that, early on, I was connecting to Nathan’s iPad up stairs behind closed doors as a primary source that overrode my iPhone right next to them. I had to turn off Bluetooth on his iPad to get past this. I know I need to get him his own Apple ID but I don’t want to go through losing all his stuff. It would help with Cloud Sharing of photos, too, though. Ugh.

Battery & Charging

I absolutely love how the case maintains a separate charge from the buds. As the buds lose charge, they syphon off the case meaning that the overall charging from an external source is not needed nearly as often as my old TaoTronics buds. 

I really dig on the on-screen display on my iPhone showing the charge level for the Pods and the case. 

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Lastly, I love how I can either charge via a lightning port or by placing the case on a charging mat. So cool!

I do need to learn more about this, though...

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I’m considering getting a silicone protective case for this case but I need to research how that affects charging on a Qi mat.

Comfort

My biggest concern with AirPods was whether they’d stay in my ears. With early iterations of AirPods that were just cordless EarPods, the concern seemed justified. Not so with these. The rubber caps hold firmly in my ears. I never have to worry about them falling out. Not even during a workout. They’re great! And the caps come in three sizes.

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[image courtesy of 9to5Mac.com]

I also like that the stems are shorter than the previous models. I swear the old ones look they could tickle my chin. These are a bit more subtle.

Value

I hate how much these things cost and there was no way I’d have ever bought them at full price with no previous experience. However, we found them at a Walmart online only Black Friday sale for $60 off retail. Still expensive but so much better overall. And, given my love of them now, I think I’d actually pay full price if I need to get a new pair down the line.

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Overall? Huge win. I’m in love. Even given the cost.

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Comments

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Ren

For Nathan’s iPad, if you leave BT on and go into the options for the AirPods Pro, you can disable auto-connect.

For Nathan’s iCloud, iCloud Family Sharing should prevent much loss, though things like GameCenter achievements would be lost.

Glad you’re enjoying them!

kapgar

And disabling the autoconnect on the iPad will only disable on the iPad and not apply to all devices on that Apple ID? If yes, cool! Thanks! --

Kevin Apgar | @kapgar | kapgar.com

Suzanne Apgar

I thought about investing in a pair, but anatomically I cannot use them. They just do not stay in my ears. I seem to need the extra security an over ear (like a pair of glasses) hook-up offers.

kapgar

Even with the rubber caps that grip the inside of your ear canal?--

Kevin Apgar | @kapgar | kapgar.com

Suzanne Apgar

Didn't seem to help.

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