AirPods Pro – 1 Week Later

My new AirPods Pro (AirPod Pros? Airpods Pros? Pro AirPods? What a stupid name!) were delivered a week ago. Here’s an update…

I GOT RID OF THEM!

Yep, that’s right. I got rid of them after 24 hours. After jotting down my first impressions, I was on the fence about them, especially since they cost nearly £200.

They seemed okay overall, but for £200, I was expecting more.

Testing the AirPods Pro

After publishing the first impressions post, I took the dogs for a walk, like I always do. And true to form, I listened to some of my favourite podcasts and some music. I’m usually out somewhere in the region of an hour to and hour and a half.

After 10 minutes or so, I noticed that my left ear was getting uncomfortable, but I persisted. After 30 minutes, my ear was really quite sore.

Nearly an hour into the walk, I was pretty much in agony, so I cut it short and headed home. Walking without music or a podcast just isn’t the same for me.

I got my wife to take a look in my ear and it was “red raw and looking really sore.”

After playing with the different size silicone tips, I was no further along in the comfort game. It felt like one of the black grills on the earbud was rubbing against my inner-ear.

Now, maybe this was a faulty model, or maybe I just don’t have the right shaped left ear for AirPods. I dunno, but I didn’t really rate the sound quality anyway. So they were duly returned to Amazon.

What next?

While I was waiting for the delivery driver to come and pickup my AirPods, I decided to do some research into which buds I’d try next.

After much YouTubery and bloggery, I had narrowed the field down to three contenders:

  1. Beats Fit Pro
  2. Jabra Elite 7 Pro
  3. Sony WF-1000XM4

The Beats, as I understand it, as basically AirPods Pro in a different case, so it seemed likely I’d experience the same mediocre sound from them. They were out.

I’ve used Jabra headsets professionally for years and I swear by them. I currently have the Jabra Evolve 75 that I use for work and I love them.

The Sonys had great reviews from everyone, but they’re also the most expensive. Having said that, I also have pair of over-ear Sony headphones and both the sound quality and noise cancelling are brilliant.

I was really torn between the Jabra and the Sonys, but after much deliberation I decided to go with the Sonys.

Sony WF-1000XM4 earbuds

Yes, they’re more expensive, but all the reviewers seem to say that these are the earbuds to have, and I have to agree.

I’ve been using them for a few days now; the battery life is great, the sound quality is superb (as it the noise cancellation) and they’re really comfy.

The only thing I don’t really like about the Sonys is that they’re awkward to get out of the case. This is because it’s tiny in comparison to the earbuds, but overall it’s a small problem.

The Sonys also have foam earbuds which are proving to be very comfortable indeed, but I’m not sure how long these will last. Foam is obviously more absorbent than silicone, so I wonder if they will hold all my ear gunk. 🤢

Looking on Amazon, replacement tips are readily available and relatively cheap. So it’s not the end of the world if they do hang onto my ear gunk.

Wrapping up

The AirPods Pro are the first piece of hardware I’ve bought from Apple that I’ve been disappointed with. I know many people love their AirPods, but I wonder how many people have them for the status symbol, rather than the quality of the devices. Maybe that’s unfair of me?

It’s all worked out well though, as I’ve ended up with what appear to be a really solid pair of earbuds that, in my opinion, are head and shoulders above Apple’s offering.


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