A bit of background. I’ve been a bit of an Audiophile for about 10 years, ever since I purchased my first set of Tech12’s, and built out a vinyl listening room in my tiny apartment. I’ve owned many different headphones & speakers of all price ranges. I can currently say my favorite set of headphones currently are my Sennheisers 660 S’s, which in my opinion are the best headphone you can get for the money. But I don’t use them the most. Not even close, really. I use my Airpods and Powerbeats Pro’s the most. Reason being, I don’t need extremely high fidelity audio, every minute of the day. For the most part, I do a lot of casual listening. Podcasts, audiobooks, & YouTube dominate my listening 99% of the time. For that last 1%, I’ve spent an exorbitant amount of money trying to squeak out every ounce of frequency, from a file or record, as I can.


Here’s my headphone testing playlist

The first thing I want to jump into is the sound. A lot of other reviewers and Audiophiles have claimed sound is the one lacking aspect of these headphones. I completely disagree. I thought the sound on the original Airpods were great (for what the were), and the new Airpod Pro’s sound tremendously better (relatively).

There is one reason why. The noise cancellation. Audiophiles spend hundreds of thousands of dollars treating their rooms to create the most optimal listening environment. Well, noise cancellation has essentially made this process obsolete (Audiophile nerds hate when people say this). By creating a virtually silent environment, you’re creating a much cleaner canvas for your content to play on. This makes the relatively average sound of the Airpods, sound so much better. Because your surroundings are silent, you can hear the detail in every layer, so much more clearly. You also don’t need to crank the audio up – introducing distortion – to gain that clarity. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Noise cancellation is a game changer in the world of audio, and having them embedded into a completely wireless experience is great.

Next, let’s talk technicals, something a lot of “audiophile” reviewers have failed to show or mention. So…objectively…the Airpod Pro’s measure respectably. credit: The Sound Guys. I understand sound is as subjective as taste, but anyone who says the Airpod Pro’s sound “terrible” are exaggerating claims, biased, or to be frank, full of shit.

To me, the sound is well balanced, though a bit flat. The highs seem to resolve nicely & accurately. Listen to “I’ll See You When…” by American Football or “Alaska” by Maggie Rogers for a good emphasis on the highs. The Airpod Pro’s sound pretty damn good. They just don’t sparkle like with SR80e’s or DT880’s, and could certainly use a bit of extra clarity added.

To me, the most lacking aspect are the lows. They are just a bit too flat, and a bit too boring. The bass is slightly muddy, and they tend to bleed a bit, which ends up being the culprit in some of the detail. A song like “Summer Friends” by Chance the Rapper shows this off perfectly, where the droning bass line on a tighter headphone like the 660 S’s creates a much more detailed and energetic experience. With the Pods, the song sounds very nice, and very accurate, but the lack of depth in the track makes the mids/highs seem less clear. “Faceshopping” by Sophie is the worst offender for this. The track, which I consider a headphone gauntlet, just lacks the same terrifying experience you get with HD800’s or even WH-1000x’s. And with “Feel the Love” by Kids See Ghosts, the skat portion of the track just…sucks. There’s almost no “punch” and the drums start to bleed everywhere. The low end just lacks in response and tightness, which hurts a bit of the entire sound experience. The lows aren’t bad, though. I just wish there was a bit of an extra “energy” added to the low end. Which is funny, since the new Beats all seem to have this characteristic.

The most surprising aspect was the sound stage. Now, no – they’re not 660’s or even K270’s. But they are noticeably more wide than the originals, and even the Powerbeats Pros. Songs like “So What” by Miles Davis, “The Medic” by Foxing, or the epic “Mountains” by Hanz Zimmer, showcase this the best. Listen to these same tracks on M50x’s, and tell me you’re not impressed. I think the combination of the airflow grill and noise cancellation allow for the perception of a wider stage.

Overall, the sound is impressive. The Airpod Pro’s don’t specialize in anything. Rather, they just do everything pretty well. It’s hard to say what genres of music work best on these headphones, because they all do it fine. Just know, you’re not getting an exciting headphone – in terms of sound. You get rather, a rounded off, slightly generic, but slightly impressive sound – with exciting features.

Noise Cancellation:

This is the most lacking feature of the Airpods. First off, the silicon tips are included to help provide passive noise suppression. They don’t do a very good job. I’m very disappointed Apple – with billions of cash in the bank – couldn’t develop or license a type of Comply foam tip, which are just objectively better at passive suppression. Now fortunately, I’m sure we’ll see Comply release these soon, which will help with noise cancellation. The software side of the noise cancellation works well. Obviously, since it’s basically just reading the ambient sound and pushing through an inverted phase wave to cancel out those frequencies. It’s the rest of the package that helps fully seclude the user, that falls short. And to be fair, these have the worst noise cancellation I’ve heard since early versions of Gen 1 ANC.

Everything Else:

Finally, we get to the rest of Airpod Pro’s. The features are what sells them. First off, once you go completely wireless, it’s hard to go back. This alone is the reason for the massively successful Airpod OG’s, and the reason why they’re always in my bag. Being able to just pop them in, know they are always charged, and get going, is invaluable.

What makes this process so pleasing is the Apple ecosystem integration. The H1 chip allows you to very quickly and very seemlessly swap between devices. Going from phone, to watch, to macbook, to ipad, all with only a couple clicks and an extremely short connection time, creates an experience that’s easy to miss. I can’t wait for all wireless headphones to work this well. I love the how you just touch the stem to enter transparency mode. I love how when you pop them off, the audio on the device plays immediately. I love the quality of the microphone for phone calls and Facetime. And I love how you get your battery levels right on your lock screen. This type of integration is obviously worth a lot, since I’m willing to pay the “Apple Tax” to have a seamless experience like this – without hesitation.

Battery life sucks. I’m able to use my WH-1000’s for hours and hours on end, though they take a very long time to fully charge. With Airpods, they’re great for about 4 hours, then you need to pop them in the charger for about 15 minutes before you can squeak out another few hours. If you’re on a long flight, just know you’ll need to take a few listening breaks.

And lastly, the form and fit is excellent. I have smaller ears, so IEM’s are sometimes very uncomfortable. The Powerbeats Pros, Jaybird X2’s, and CA Io’s all with Comply, tend to irritate and make my ears itchy. One of the reasons I loved the originals Airpods was because this never occurred since they didn’t dig into your canal. So I was a bit worried when I saw the silicone tips. But I’m happy to say the Airpod Pro’s are simply the most comfortable IEM’s I’ve used. This makes me wish they created their own type of foam fitting tips, so the ANC worked better but didn’t sacrifice comfort. This is VERY subjective though, and if these don’t fit correctly in your ear, you’ll hate using them. In fact, they won’t even work right. Luckily, you can go to an Apple store and demo them with each of the tips, to ensure they will fit right for you. Something that other headphones don’t have the luxury in having. And to top it all off, they charge in the same type of tiny rounded Qi charging case that fits in any Zippo pocket.


I can safely say these are a must have for Apple fans, a must have for podcast/audiobook/casual listeners, and a must have for wireless ANC headphone fans. Don’t even consider the OG Airpods (unless they come in less than $100). These are just the better option and I’ve been using mine for hours on end since I got them. But I can’t recommend them to people with more “unique” ears. And I especially can’t recommend them for reference audio production, sound professionals, or serious listening. They just aren’t up to those standards, especially at this price… a price that’s HEAVILY contested with amazing headphone options. So do you need to do work, or just kick back? Because these are meant for the latter.