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Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) Truly Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.5
Reviewed Nov 23, 2022 at 12:08 pm
Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) Truly Wireless Picture
7.4
Neutral Sound
8.2
Commute/Travel
8.3
Sports/Fitness
7.3
Office
5.7
Wireless Gaming
5.6
Wired Gaming
6.4
Phone Calls
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Type In-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Truly Wireless
Transducer Dynamic
Noise Cancelling Yes
Mic Yes

The Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) Truly Wireless are the next generation of the Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless. They look remarkably similar to their predecessor, but there have been some notable changes. The Gen 2 have an upgraded H2 chip, which the manufacturer advertises to improve their audio performance and lets you seamlessly pair them with other devices in your Apple ecosystem. Their carrying case also has its own U1 chip, allowing you to easily track it if you misplace the case. Their ANC has improved, and their sound profile has been tweaked for a better all-around experience.

Our Verdict

7.4 Neutral Sound

The Apple AirPods Pro 2 are decent for neutral sound. Compared to their predecessor, their bass is more extended, which helps improve their overall bass. That said, their sound profile is a little warmer rather than rumbly this time around, making vocals and instruments sound cozy and soft. The treble is a bit more recessed, which takes the edge off of sibilants and instruments. They're still in-ears, though, and their passive soundstage doesn't feel as natural or spacious as dedicated audiophile headphones. Luckily, their Spatial Audio feature allows audio to follow your head movements when using compatible content, which can feel more immersive.

Pros
  • Spatial Audio available.
Cons
  • Bad passive soundstage.
8.2 Commute/Travel

The Apple AirPods Pro 2 are great for commute and travel. Thanks to their lightweight and portable design, you can easily store these comfortable and well-built earbuds in your pocket or bag on the go. Their ANC can also block out a lot of the low rumble of bus and plane engines, and with their ANC on, they last about six hours continuously. They don't leak very much audio at high volumes either, meaning you won't annoy others around you.

Pros
  • Excellent ANC performance.
  • Comfortable and premium design.
  • 6-hour continuous battery life and four extra charges in the case.
Cons
  • Bad passive soundstage.
8.3 Sports/Fitness

The Apple AirPods Pro 2 are great for sports and fitness. Although some users find that the buds can wiggle out of their ears, once you get a good fit, they're comfortable and stable enough for moderate exercise. These lightweight buds are also certified IPX4 for resistance against water splashes and have a durable build quality.

Pros
  • Comfortable and premium design.
  • Certified IPX4 for resistance against water splashes.
  • 6-hour continuous battery life and four extra charges in the case.
Cons
  • Bad passive soundstage.
7.3 Office

The Apple AirPods Pro 2 are decent for office use. These in-ears have a comfortable and well-built design that's suitable for long days at the office. While their six-hour continuous battery life may not completely last through your day, their carrying case supplies an additional four charges, which is handy in a pinch. They're also equipped with an excellent ANC system and can block out office noise like chatty coworkers or the high-pitched hum of AC units very well.

Pros
  • Excellent ANC performance.
  • Comfortable and premium design.
  • 6-hour continuous battery life and four extra charges in the case.
Cons
  • Sub-par overall microphone performance.
  • Bad passive soundstage.
5.7 Wireless Gaming

The Apple AirPods Pro 2 are Bluetooth headphones. They aren't designed with wireless gaming in mind, and their latency is likely too high.

5.6 Wired Gaming

The Apple AirPods Pro 2 are Bluetooth headphones, and you can't use them for wired gaming.

6.4 Phone Calls

The Apple AirPods Pro 2 are mediocre for phone calls. These buds have an integrated mic, but since it sits far away from your mouth, the mic struggles to capture your voice clearly. As a result, speech sounds muffled and thin. It can also be drowned out if you're taking a call from a noisy environment like a busy street. On the upside, their ANC system can help block out background noise so that you can better focus on your calls.

Pros
  • Excellent ANC performance.
Cons
  • Sub-par overall microphone performance.
  • 7.4 Neutral Sound
  • 8.2 Commute/Travel
  • 8.3 Sports/Fitness
  • 7.3 Office
  • 5.7 Wireless Gaming
  • 5.6 Wired Gaming
  • 6.4 Phone Calls
  1. Updated Nov 23, 2022: Review published.
  2. Updated Nov 15, 2022: Early access published.

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White AirPods Pro (2nd generation)
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Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Apple AirPods Pro 2 come only in 'White', and you can see our model's label here. If you come across another variant of these headphones, please let us know in the discussions, and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Headphones

The Apple AirPods Pro 2 are the next generation of the Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless. As we've come to expect from Apple, they have the same premium build quality as their other products. However, their ANC has been improved to rival competitors also vying for the title of the best noise cancelling earbuds, like the Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro True Wireless and the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II Truly Wireless. In addition, Apple has updated the chip technology inside their buds from H1 to H2, making it easy to pair your headphones with other iOS devices. Their carrying case also has a U1 chip, which allows you to precisely track down your carrying case. While they may not be as customizable as other buds out there, like the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3, they offer a robust performance, especially if you don't want to play around with settings.

Check out our recommendations for the best wireless Bluetooth earbuds and the best wireless earbuds for iPhone.

Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless

The Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) Truly Wireless are the next version of the Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless. While not a lot has changed in terms of comfort, and premium build quality, there have been slight changes to their sound profile and noise isolation performance. The second-gen sound a little warmer than the first-gen and can reproduce better low bass. Their ANC also does a significantly better job of blocking out background noise across the spectrum. Additionally, they have a longer continuous battery life, though they're one extra charge short of their predecessor. Their carrying case has a U1 chip too, so you can easily locate your case if you lose it. Overall, the changes are somewhat minor, but the second generation make good strides in the right places.

Sony WF-1000XM4 Truly Wireless

The Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) Truly Wireless are better in-ears than the Sony WF-1000XM4 Truly Wireless. The Apple are more comfortable, have a more neutral overall sound profile, which some users may prefer, and their ANC can block out more background noise across the range. They also have an H2 chip for seamless pairing with your Apple devices. However, the Sony headphones have a better overall battery performance, and their companion app offers customization features like a graphic EQ and presets to help you adjust their sound to your liking.

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II Truly Wireless

The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II Truly Wireless and the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) Truly Wireless are both great in-ears with different strengths. The Bose are more comfortable in-ears, have a slightly more neutral sound profile, which some users may prefer, and their ANC system is significantly better. Their companion app also offers graphic EQ and presets to help you customize their sound to your liking. However, the Apple headphones are well-designed for Apple users. They have a more premium feel, have an H2 chip for seamless pairing with other iOS devices, and support Spatial Audio.

Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3

Depending on your preferences, you may enjoy either the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3 or the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) Truly Wireless. While both headphones are well-built and have similarly excellent levels of noise isolation thanks to their ANC systems, the Sennheiser have a significantly better battery performance, and you can customize them using their companion software's graphic EQ and presets. In comparison, the Apple are more comfortable and have a more neutral sound profile, which some users may prefer.

Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro True Wireless

The Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) Truly Wireless have a slight edge over the Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro True Wireless. While both in-ears are comfortable and have similarly excellent levels of noise isolation, the Apple have a more premium build, and their battery performance is better. They also have an H2 chip for seamless pairing with your Apple devices. However, the Samsung headphones sound more neutral out of the box, and have EQ presets, which some users may prefer to adjust their sound to their liking.

Apple AirPods Max Wireless

The Apple AirPods Max Wireless and the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) Truly Wireless have different strengths, so depending on your usage, you may prefer either one. The Max are over-ears with better overall battery performance and have flatter, more even mids, so vocals and instruments sound accurate. However, the second generation of the Pro have a more comfortable fit and their ANC performance is significantly better too.

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
Type In-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Truly Wireless
Transducer Dynamic

The Apple AirPods Pro 2 have nearly the same design as their predecessor, the Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless. They have a sleek white design with a stem design and white silicone tips. They only come in one color variant, which is to be expected from Apple products.

7.5
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.02 lbs
Clamping Force
0 lbs

These in-ears are comfortable and lightweight. Unlike their predecessor, Apple has included an extra small pair of ear tips, raising the total number of pairs of included ear tips to four. Their fit doesn't apply pressure to your ear and won't be pushed further into your ear if you're trying to register commands. However, like the previous generation, the earbuds can wiggle out of your ear over time. While this doesn't affect all users, some people have solved this issue by purchasing foam ear tips, which mold to your ear.

7.9
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Good
Feedback Great
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
No
Noise Cancelling Control On/Off
Talk-Through
On/Off
Additional Controls Voice Assistant

These buds have very good controls. Compared to the first gen, the manufacturer has improved the 'Force Sensor' controls, and there's click feedback for the amount of clicks you make on the stem. There are different chimes when cycling between ANC modes, as well as touch volume chimes when adjusting the volume and reaching min/max volume. Overall, the controls are easy to use and responsive.

On either stems' force sensor:

  • Single press: Plays or pauses audio. Also answers and ends a call.
  • Double press: Skips the track forward.
  • Triple press: Skips the track backward.
  • Press and hold: Cycles between ANC on, off, and transparency mode, which allows you to hear your surroundings without turning off your audio.
  • Say 'Hey Siri': Activates Siri voice assistant. This command only works on iOS devices, though.

9.6
Design
Portability
L 1.2" (3.0 cm)
W 0.9" (2.3 cm)
H 0.9" (2.3 cm)
Volume 0.99 inยณ (16.20 cmยณ)
Transmitter Required No

These earbuds have a lightweight design that's very portable. You can easily put them into most bags or pockets without an issue, even if they're inside their carrying case.

9.0
Design
Case
Type Hard case
L 1.8" (4.5 cm)
W 2.4" (6.1 cm)
H 0.9" (2.2 cm)
Volume 3.67 inยณ (60.10 cmยณ)

The carrying case is great. It has the same plastic design and finish as the previous generation. It supports MagSafe charging and has a lanyard loop if you want to attach it to something. It's also certified IPX4 for resistance against water splashes and has a U1 chip that allows you to easily find the case if you lose it using the 'Find My' app.

8.0
Design
Build Quality

The Apple AirPods Pro 2 have a great build quality, like other products from this manufacturer. They're mostly made of plastic with silicone ear tips. They're also certified IPX4 for resistance against water splashes, which is good if you want to wear them to the gym.

7.5
Design
Stability

These in-ears have a stable in-ear fit. Some users may find that the buds wiggle out of their ears over time, but once you achieve a good fit, they'll stay in place with moderate head movements. If you want to use them while running, they may fall out of your ears.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Design
In The Box

  • Apple AirPods Pro 2 headphones
  • Charging case
  • USB-C to Lightning cable
  • 4x tip size options
  • Manuals

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
-1.65 dB
Treble Amount
-2.74 dB

The Apple AirPods Pro 2 have an adaptive EQ, and when on, they have a slightly warm sound profile, which is great if you like genres with a bit more bass or if you like your vocals and instruments to sound cozier in your mixes. Compared to their Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless, they also have better bass extension, which helps improve the depth of bass in your audio. Overall, their sound is quite versatile and is well-suited for a variety of audio content. However, there are no built-in EQs or presets to help you tweak their sound. If you're an iOS user, you can access sound customization features in your settings via the 'Accessibility' tab.

Thanks to their H2 chip, these headphones can adjust their bass and treble response, depending on the listening volume. However, this is only noticeable when connected to an iOS device. This change is to mitigate the effects of equal-loudness contours (and more specifically, the Fletcher-Munson curve). To simplify, this research explores the perception of constant sound pressure based on listening volume. At high volumes, the listener perceives more bass and treble than mid. However, at low volumes, the listener perceives less bass and treble than mid. These headphones counter this issue in their frequency response by increasing bass and treble at lower volumes to encourage people to listen to audio at lower volumes. You can see the change in frequency response when using an iOS device with ANC on and ANC off. This effect isn't applicable to PCs or Android devices.

Note: There's a slight discrepancy between the left and right driver in the raw frequency response graphs. It's due to how the files were processed and level-matched. However, all other graphs are correct, and this difference isn't audible. We also don't expect users to encounter this issue with their own units.

9.3
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.15 dB

The frequency response consistency is outstanding. As long as you achieve a proper fit, you'll get consistent bass and treble delivery each time you use them.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
8.3
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.37 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
10 Hz
Low-Bass
-3.72 dB
Mid-Bass
-1.69 dB
High-Bass
1.89 dB

These in-ears have great bass accuracy. They have an extended low-bass, which helps the bass have more depth in your mixes. There's also a bump of extra warmth to help balance their underemphasized low-bass. While the bassline in songs like Lavender Haze by Taylor Swift feels a little lacking compared to other in-ears, like the Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro True Wireless, the bass still feels satisfying and present without overwhelming vocals and instruments.

8.6
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.89 dB
Low-Mid
2.86 dB
Mid-Mid
-0.17 dB
High-Mid
-0.44 dB

The mid accuracy is excellent. There's some warmth coming from the bass range into the mid. This overemphasis clutters vocals and instruments a bit, but the rest of the range is flat, so these sounds are still present and detailed in mixes. In vocal-centric songs like Vegas by Doja Cat, Doja's voice sounds cozy and warm but a little muddy.

8.4
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.44 dB
Low-Treble
-2.51 dB
Mid-Treble
-1.33 dB
High-Treble
-6.31 dB

The Apple AirPods Pro 2 have great treble accuracy. The response is slightly underemphasized across the range, which takes the edge off of vocals and instruments. The upper harmonics of these sounds are slightly veiled, while sibilants like hi-hats lose a bit of their sharpness.

8.1
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.33 dB
Dips
0.71 dB

The peaks and dips performance is great. There's a peak across the high-bass to low-mid, which muddies mixes a bit, while a dip in the mid-mid affects the left driver more prominently and nudges vocals and instruments to the back of the mix. Another bump in the mid-treble makes sibilants like cymbals piercing.

9.3
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.08
Weighted Phase Mismatch
1.65
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.44
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
1.03

The imaging performance is outstanding. Apple works hard to ensure good quality control over their products. As a result, our unit's L/R drivers are well-matched in group delay, phase, amplitude, and frequency response, which is important for the accurate placement of objects like voices in the stereo image. Imaging can vary between units due to quality control and ergonomics, though.

0.8
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
N/A
PRTF Size (Avg.)
N/A
PRTF Distance
N/A
Openness
1.2
Acoustic Space Excitation
1.9

These in-ears have a bad passive soundstage, but that's normal from in-ear headphones. Since they bypass the pinna by design, their soundstage feels closed-off and as if sound is coming from inside your head rather than from speakers placed in the room around you.

5.0
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
On/Off
Speaker Modeling
On/Off
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
On/Off
Virtual Surround
Personalized Spatial Audio

These in-ears are compatible with Apple's Spatial Audio in the iOS interface. It scans your face from the front as you rotate it to capture all the angles of your face. Once complete, sound will follow your head movements, making for a more immersive audio experience.

8.1
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.224
WHD @ 100
0.086

The weighted harmonic distortion performance is great. All frequencies fall within good limits, resulting in clear and pure audio reproduction.

Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
5B58
Power
On
Connection
Bluetooth 5.0
Codec
SBC, 16-bit, 44.1kHz
EQ
Adaptive EQ
ANC
On
Tip/Pad
Silicone (small)
Microphone
Integrated

These are the settings used to test these headphones. Our results are only valid when used in this configuration.

Isolation
8.8
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-23.44 dB
Noise Cancelling Yes
Bass
-22.01 dB
Mid
-26.43 dB
Treble
-22.45 dB

The Apple AirPods Pro 2's noise isolation performance is excellent. They can block out a wide array of noise very well. This includes the low rumble of buses to ambient chatter to the high-pitched hums of an AC unit. As a result, these buds are a solid choice if you're looking for something to use during busy commutes or noisy days at the office. If you're looking for an even better noise isolation performance from in-ears, it's worth considering the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II Truly Wireless.

Note: Due to user feedback, we've tested these headphones using firmware 5A377 and 5B58 to see if the noise isolation changed. You can see a comparison of both firmware here. However, there isn't much of a difference between firmware updates.

8.3
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
31.85 dB

The leakage performance is great. Leakage is mostly concentrated in the mid to treble range and sounds pretty thin. If you like to listen to your favorite tracks at high volume, then others around you won't hear it.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
Yes
In-Line
No
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
No
Mic Yes
5.3
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
216.68 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
4.98 dB
HFE
3,466.89 Hz
Weighted THD
57.033
Gain
-4.91 dB

The integrated mic has disappointing recording quality. Your voice sounds thin and somewhat muffled, making it harder to be understood well.

6.4
Microphone
Noise Handling
SpNR
10.15 dB
Noise Gate
No
Speech + Pink Noise Handling
7.0
Speech + Pink Noise Audio Sample
Speech + Subway Noise Handling
5.5
Speech + Subway Noise Audio Sample

The mic's noise handling performance is okay. The mic has trouble separating your voice from background noise, and speech can be drowned out altogether if you're taking a call from a noisy environment. However, this won't be much of a problem if you're calling from a quiet space, like home.

Active Features
7.0
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
5.9 hrs
Additional Charges
4.0
Total Battery Life
29.5 hrs
Charge Time
0.9 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
Standby mode
Audio While Charging
Yes
Passive Playback
No
Charging Port Lightning

The Apple AirPods Pro 2's battery performance is decent. The manufacturer advertises them to last six hours continuously, and we measured a similar amount. Battery life can vary depending on use, though. Luckily, there are roughly four additional charges in the case if you need it, and the buds go into standby mode, which is good for conserving battery life.

6.5
Active Features
App Support
App Name iOS Interface
iOS Yes
Android No
macOS Yes
Windows No
Equalizer
No
ANC Control
On/Off
Mic Control No
Room Effects
No
Playback Control
No
Button Mapping Yes
Surround Support
Yes

You can access the headphones' interface if you're connected via iOS; check out a video of how the interface works here. You can check the battery life of the headphones as well as the case, switch between ANC modes, and remap the press and hold control. You can also use the 'Find My' feature to track the case if you misplace it, and do a fit check to ensure the best possible fit. While there isn't any EQ in this app, you can access sound customization features via your iOS device's 'Accessibility' tab.

Connectivity
7.1
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
5.3+H2 chip
Multi-Device Pairing
No
NFC Pairing
No
Line Of Sight Range
334.65 ft (102.00 m)
PC Latency (SBC)
213 ms
PC Latency (aptX)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX HD)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
83 ms
Android Latency
115 ms

The Apple AirPods Pro 2 have decent Bluetooth connectivity. You can connect them simultaneously to two different Apple devices, though this won't work if you're using Android devices. They also have high latency when connected to PCs, but luckily, their latency is lower on iOS and Android devices. Latency can vary depending on the app and device, though.

0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line Of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A
0
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
No
USB Audio
No
Detachable No
Length N/A
Connection
No Wired Option
Analog/USB Audio Latency
N/A

These headphones come with a lightning to USB-C cable for recharging the carrying case. You can't use this cable for audio.

Connectivity
PC Compatibility
Analog
No
Wired USB
No
Non-BT Wireless
No

These headphones can connect to Bluetooth-enabled PCs with full audio and mic compatibility. However, you can't connect them to your PC in any other way.

Connectivity
PlayStation Compatibility
PS4 Analog
No
PS4 Wired USB
No
PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No
PS5 Analog
No
PS5 Wired USB
No
PS5 Non-BT Wireless
No
Connectivity
Xbox Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
No
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Non-BT Wireless
No
Xbox Series X|S Analog
No
Xbox Series X|S Wired USB
No
Xbox Series X|S Non-BT Wireless
No
2.2
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
Charging Case
USB Input
No
Line In
No
Line Out
No
Optical Input
No
RCA Input
No
Dock Charging
Yes
Power Supply
Lightning

The carrying case has a lightning point for recharging it. It also supports wireless charging.

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