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The Ultimate Guide to AirPods Pro
- Apple surprised us with the release of the AirPods a little bit ahead of schedule, if there was a schedule. AirPods Pro should I say, the Pro version. We're gonna have a look at them today on DottoTech. Steve Dotto here, how the heck you doing this fine day? And today as promised we're going to be taking a look at Apple's brand new AirPods Pro. I'm not going to really do the unboxing the way other people do but I'll get into the AirPods themselves and how they work. I made a whole bunch of notes just based on my research on them, not having yet used them so it's going to be kind of a first voyage here today. Now just a little note about how I plan to cover the AirPods Pro. I think understanding just how they work and understanding all the mechanisms et cetera, is what we're going to do in this video. But next week I am flying to Toronto for a speaking gig so I thought bonus, I'm going to test them out and do a field test of them as well because one of the things about the old AirPods amateur is the fact that while I really enjoyed the convenience of them, they were just an okay set of earphones as far as the quality goes. But the convenience of them was exceptional. But they really came up short for me when I was traveling. I never used them on a plane, I always found the volume to be too low and they just weren't acceptable on a plane. So I actually carried around another wired set of earbuds, noise-canceling earbuds as a matter-of-fact which I'll be comparing to the AirPods Pro. I use to carry those on a plane. So you're going to want to watch both this video and the next video if you wanna understand how they work in the field. So make sure that you've subscribed here to DottoTech so that you get access to that video. Now here's my notes, I got good notes. What is a Pro new design? They're water resistant, I don't think you'd wear them swimming or something like that. Lots of notes I have here. But I'm just going to take a second, I'll open the package, get back to you once I've opened the package, and we'll configure them with the iPhone and get going from there, shall we? Okay in the package there are three things. Obviously the AirPods, a Lightning to USB-C Cable, so the charging cable, no longer the old school USB-B, B was it? Now it's USB-C Cable to Lightning for charging the case, although the case does have the wireless charging capabilities. And a set of replacement nubs, ear fittings, larger and smaller ones. They put the mid-size ones in the AirPods. Now the case of course also charges the AirPods, it carries an extra charge. Apple says you get about four hours of use out of each AirPod which is reasonable I think, little bit less if you have noise cancellation turned on. And there's enough of a charge in the case to give you 24 hours of listening time. And there's a fast charge feature that if your AirPods die and the battery dies in the AirPods themselves, five minutes in the charger, five minutes in the case, will give you an hour of more listening time. When you take a look a look at the AirPods for the first time you will notice that they have a rubber nub that goes into your ear and creates passive noise cancellation. It creates a bit of a seal in your ear. Let me stick it in, lets feel it. I haven't done this yet so lets put it in and have a feel. Feels much more secure, I've got the medium size earpiece in there. Now actually, Apple as they do so often, they come up with something completely out of left field as far as we're concerned. There is a test which once we configure them with our iPhone, there's a test that you can run that will determine if you have the right size insert set for your ear canal. There's actually a microphone inside.... So here's part of the noise cancellation idea, Apples built us a lot of smarts into this and part of that is they actually have a microphone in the speaker part that goes in your ear, that listens to what you hear. So listens to what you hear and then it determines whether or not you have the right size, if you have the right size adapter set on to your AirPods, pretty darn sophisticated stuff. One of the things that I'm hoping is when I use my normal noise canceling headphones... Here's my old ones. Let me just show you my old ones which are these Bose noise canceling, which I've loved for years and they've got this massive rubber grommet that sticks into your ear here. When you put these in and you turn them on, and you turn them into noise cancellation mode, one of the things that I always feel like is I've stepped into a closet, into a old cedar closet or something and it deadens the space around me. And I just kinda feel that whomp as I turn them on. And it isolates you to a certain extent from the world around you. One of the things that I hope with the AirPods Pro is that they'll be less, that the noise will be canceled but there'll be less of that isolation, less of that kind of cocooning that happens. But we will figure that out once we actually turn them on and start using them. For now we've just been looking at the ergonomics which are pretty appealing and it feels quite comfortable. Okay, I'm actually kind of excited, time to pair my AirPods with my smartphone, my AirPods Pro. Now this is one thing that Apple has done genius, well they have set up so you just open the case near the device, near your phone, and it connects the AirPods automatically to your iPhone. They have done a spectacular job. They then take you on a little bit of a tutorial taking you through the media controls which is something that we'll spend time on in a few moments here because the old AirPods had a force control where you touched and tapped on the AirPod itself, but now there's a little flat part of the AirPod that you actually press and hold, and it's a series of squeezes that you do that allow you to control the different media controls. They've got something called announce messages now which will allow you to use Siri to read your messages to you without unlocking your smart phone. So this is kind of one of those safety features so that you don't have to constantly fumble with your phone but you can actually get feedback from any incoming messages without actually... if your phone's still in your pocket or in your purse, you've got the earbuds in, you can still receive messages. So I'm going to ask Siri to announce the messages and then it's done. My AirPods Pro have a 76% charge. They're sitting in my ears now and they are done so I'm ready to start configuring them, or lets say customizing them for myself 'cause now I have to figure out... to make sure that they're fitting me properly and then I have to learn how to control all my different media types with it, so let's get on with that next. Okay now that I have set up the AirPods and configured them, to modify the controls in anyway, you go into your settings and you go into your bluetooth settings and there you'll see that they're connected, make sure that they're connected obviously and in order to manage them, you have to tap on the little I symbol next to it. I don't think it's the most intuitive thing. I wish they had a kind of top level way of getting to the controls but that's how you go in and you manage your settings and you manage the options you have for setting your right and left clicks, and that sort of stuff. But the first thing that you'll see right off the top is you'll see this noise cancellation grid which allows you to turn noise cancellation on, turn it off. And I notice a huge difference immediately as soon as I turn it off because when it's turned on, it was deadening everything around me. And then something called transparency mode. Now transparency mode is interesting, it creates a little bit of an environment and this is awkward isn't it, me telling you what I'm hearing doesn't make for the world's best demo. But transparency mode allows some aspect of noise cancellation but it allows the microphone to then feed whatever your environmental sound is through. So if somebody's talking to you for example, if you're carrying on an conversation, you can still be using some of the passive noise cancellation and I guess a little bit of the active noise cancellation as well. But to make sure that the environmental sounds that you need, not the low hum of an air conditioner or something like that, it should suppress some of that but allow things like voices and car horns and other things to come through comfortably so that you're more into the environment that you're around. But I'm just going to quickly turn on the noise cancellation again and it's less oppressive than noise cancellation on other headsets that I've used but it still creates a muffled environment around, like as I hear my voice, so obviously it's being muffled because it's in the environment but it's not quite as oppressive as I've experienced say from my Bose noise canceling headphones. But enough of that because ultimately no matter what I say, no matter what anybody says, it's going to be up to each individual whether or not they like the sound. But there are a few things that we need to configure. And the first is something called the Ear Fit Test, as I said they've got removable rubber grommets with removable rubber tips here that go in and they hold it quite nicely and securely. They've got a nice comfortable fit but I'm not sure it's an optimal fit and also Apple wants to make sure you have a good seal around it so that the active noise cancellation is going to work. So down here in the bottom of the screen we've got something called the Ear Tip Fit Test. I've never done an Ear Tip Fit Test, neither have you I imagine. So here we go, it's going to now play some sounds into my ears and what it's doing is actually using the microphone that's builtin to the AirPods in order to measure the effect of that sound and the same. There's a good seal here. Now I think a lot of people are going to think at that point there that these tips that they've put in are the right tips for them. But I think that's wrong. I think Apple's kinda leading us down the garden path here because multiple tips might seal well but some might be more comfortable than others. So I highly recommend that you test the other size tips out for your ears, test the seal but also test it for personal comfort. Now this is a little bit nerve-wracking. You grab onto the end of the rubber part here and you pry these off and I felt the first time I did it like I was gonna break it, like oh no I'm going to tear it. So it takes a little bit of a firm disconnect in order to pull it off and then from the package here we can pull off another one. We've got three different sizes here, ooh I've got them flying all over the place, this is my large one. I'm going to pull the smaller one on and it just pops in. So I have now tested out the second set and they also have a good seal but I put in the smaller ones and I have to say that I find the smaller ones a little bit more comfortable so I'm going to go with the smaller ones, saying that they've improved comfort. I don't think the bigger ones would be more comfortable. I would think that it's just not worth it for me. But don't just rely on Apple saying you have a good seal, try the different tips out to make sure that they're comfortable for you. Now let's take a look at a few more of the controls. First thing is, if we go into the control center you have a volume control for your AirPods Pro right here so you can turn up and down the volume there should you choose to. And lets go back into the bluetooth settings now and let us go and select the AirPods Pro one more time and oh, you can change the name, cool. You can change the name of them if you want, maybe change that professional designation. But down here we've got automatic ear detection which means they know when they're being put in so when you take them out it'll pause whatever you're playing. That's the same it used to be with the old AirPods. And now instead of the tap controls we now have the left and right squeeze controls that allow us to choose if we want to turn on and off the noise cancellation with a long squeeze and a hold on the new pressure sensitive step. Now as I've said, they've replaced the tapping now with the squeeze and hold. A single press is to pause or play or answer a call. If you press twice it'll skip forward in whatever you're listening to. And three times would skip backwards in whatever you are listening to at that time. Now the controls we have and the options we have are for the press and hold options and they're both set for noise control at this time. So when we press and hold, what it'll do is it will cycle through these three main noise control settings, either noise cancellation, or turn it off completely, or set it into transparency mode. By pressing and holding it'll cycle through each of those. However, having said that, you can also choose to change one of the AirPods settings for the press and hold to change and instead to invoke Siri. Now of course Siri will also work for us, darn we have to be careful when we say that. But it'll also invoke Siri so if you want to have that physical Siri interaction, you've got that ability as well. So the setup is pretty straightforward as far as getting the AirPods Pro put in your ears. I think they're a little bit more comfortable. Apple would like you to be wearing them all the time which is one of the reasons they set up the transparency mode. So we'll see, I'll see if I wear them more. I'm just checking my notes that I made as I went through. Now one of the things that I thought about when I was looking at them, was I wondering whether or not they would be an effective replacement for my existing noise canceling headphones. And obviously with the cost, one would hope that they are. Now I've got this Bose noise canceling headphones and the main reason that I bought these originally is for on airplanes, for the comfort level when I'm on airplanes. But I also use these earbuds an awful lot when I'm doing work. To increase my productivity I use a tool, and we've got a video on the tool called Focus at Will, which is music that's scientifically designed to enhance your focus as you're working. And it helps to kind of cocoon you and to help eliminate outside distractions and allow you to work a little bit better. Speaking of outside distractions, Farley is distracting me right now. Now my hope is that the AirPods Pro will replace the Bose noise canceling headphones for me in that application. And one of the reasons that I'm kind of excited about that is the wireless nature of them, the fact that it's a little bit more comfortable. I'm not tethered to the notebook or tethered to the computer as I'm using Focus at Will. So that's going to be interesting to check out, just checking through... Oh, one other tip, you should make sure that you purchase Apple Care with these because the cost, depending on what country you're in and what the currency is, but the cost of replacing or repairing these, these are completely unrepairable, I think that they're not going to be repaired. So the cost of replacing these can be fairly high if you lose one or damage one, and the Apple Care significantly reduces the cost of replacing one of your AirPod Pros. So I would encourage you if you are going to purchase them, spend the extra and get the apple care when you do that. Now just a reminder, this is the first of two parts on the AirPods Pro because next week I am actually flying to Toronto so I get to test the AirPods out in their natural environment on an airplane to see if they work because that was one of my frustrations with the old AirPods amateur, is they were terrible when I was on airplanes. But hopefully these are going to perform on an airplane, fingers crossed. So make sure that you've subscribed to this channel if you've not yet subscribed so that you get the field test of the AirPods Pros next week here on DottoTech. I love to hear your comments and feedback on this especially interested to here if you think $250 U.S., $329 Canadian is a fair price for a set of wireless earbuds, even ones with the technological advancements that the folks at Apple have put into these. Is it money your worth spending or do you think it's just a ridiculous amount of money to spend on something that you can get the same kind of functionality for far less. Love to hear your comments below. Till next time, I am Steve Dotto. Have fun storming the castle.
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