The noise cancellation feature is awesome. The first time putting them on is a bit trippy.
The world’s sounds imploded into nothingness once you place both AirPod Pros in your ears. It’s a bit startling since you have nothing covering your ears.
The gesture will make you smile, especially if you are not used to noise cancellation. It’s like bye-bye car horns, crowded areas, barking dogs, etcetera, and hello peace.
The noise cancellation feature works exceptionally well when conversing on a call, FaceTime, or while listening to audiobooks and podcasts.
I like to ride the metro a lot, the subway in Washington D.C. The trains can be extremely loud with the passage of the wheel on rails or just the announcements blaring across the speakers.
The noise cancellation brings these irritants to a minimum. So I can still detect them, however, just ever so faintly.
Another cool feature is the noise control transparency setting. This setting allows noise to pass through as if nothing was in your ear.
It sounds like having a microphone to the outside world connected to a speaker in your ear.
So the sound is a bit artificial but it does the trick. This is better than having the AirPod Pros block sounds coming from the world like earplugs.
This is a convenient feature. As you can keep your AirPod Pros in your ear, comfortably, and hear notifications when they arrive.
Not to mention being always connected to Siri. I will talk more about why you would want to keep your AirPod Pros in your ear later.
Siri Reads Message
Siri reading messages is one of the best features. When I say messages I mean text and SMS messages.
When you are, let’s say, working on a project, reading an article on your laptop away from your phone, at work, cooking a pizza, or at the gym with your phone in the locker, Siri will read out loud your text message in your ear. Discreetly.
This only works when you are not on an active call or FaceTime. This will work if you listen to music, audiobooks, or podcasts.
When you receive a message you will first hear a chime alerting you of the incoming message from Siri. Then Siri will begin to speak. Siri will include who it’s from and read the content. If the number is not a contact, Siri will read the phone number out loud.
This is when you can take a moment, briefly mentally disengage from your conversation, and quickly focus on the sudden message.
Take a mental note. And then re-engage with the conversation.
Not only will Siri read those but you can also reply by just speaking. Siri will repeat your message just to be clear. You will realize this when Siri repeats what you, or another person loud enough, said after Siri reads to you your message.
After Siri repeats your reply it will ask if you’re ready to send it. If you reply “yes” Siri will send it. If you reply “no” it will not.
Moreover, it will notify you of various app notifications. From Snapchat and Instagram to your Calendar and reminders. I love when I receive a message from my banking app.
I have found this feature to be the best separator from previous versions. While I’m at work conversing with a coworker, client, or customer – or when studying in the computer lab or at home – I appreciate how I can be alerted of an incoming call or text message but also hear information about the caller or hear the text message read aloud.
This saves a considerable amount of time and focus. If it’s a frivolous message like, “ ok,” I can keep at what I’m doing without stopping.
It not only informs me of the message but the party in front of me is unaware and uninterrupted in thought and conversation. This conveys a better experience for both of us.
I can receive the presentation, questions, or comments and make my party still feel as if I’m giving them my undivided attention. This keeps the level of trust and professionalism established and also allows me to ignore or respond to messages in real time based on their urgency.
This is the game-changer. Not only do I not have to wonder in my mind who texted me or what was the text about, but I can get both of those in a discreet way that doesn’t make me look like an idiot and I don’t break my party’s focus.
It’s the best thing since caller ID.
Answering FaceTime Calls
This feature has grown on me. At first, I thought this was a great feature. You know, not having to swipe right to answer a FaceTime call.
But then I noticed I would still swipe right out of habit when my phone was in my hand.
Furthermore, I wouldn’t say “yes” out loud to not appear like a lunatic in public.
Furthermore, I would still not say “yes” for fear of what my camera was facing when my phone was laying somewhere. Once FaceTime is answered the camera is activated, which can show my ceiling (most times) or my unkempt room (again, most times).
But as I used the feature more and more I found it to not work in loud environments, not to work all that well when I had my mask on, and just not answer in time.
However, with all that being said, knowing this – it works as expected and does a great job at it, as well.
I found that I can carry on when receiving a FaceTime call and not have to stop whatever it is that I’m doing. This is huge especially since my phone is in my pocket for most of my day.
Always Connected to Siri
My second favorite thing about having Airpod Pros always in my ear is that I’m always connected to the internet or my phone or both.
I can ask Siri the time and weather, set a reminder, schedule an event on my calendar, a math question, text or call someone, read me my notes, or google something.
Having access to Apple-connected devices is another good thing. I can ask Siri to turn off the light in the living room, for example. Using Shortcuts I set Siri to open Waze and direct me to my favorite location by saying, “Hey Siri, drive to the Casino.”
And just like that, I am taken on a journey without even picking up my phone, albeit my phone needs to be unlocked.
Another popular feature of the Airpod Pros is that you can sync a second pair of Airpods (Pros, 2nd generation, and 3rd generation) to your own, say owned by a friend. You and your friend can now listen to whatever you’re playing on your phone (podcast, audiobook, music, etc.).
Neat trick for plane rides, studying by listening to a lecture in a library, or listening to the same playlist during a workout or hike.
Tips and Tricks
When I bought my first pair I wore both at the same time, all the time. I wanted to wear them as intended and get the full experience. I noticed quickly that the noise cancellation would make walking around a bit…funny.
What I mean is I am used to hearing danger approaching. With the noise being canceled and walking around in the city might not be the best idea.
So you would assume the transparency feature is the answer. I must say it is a close contender. But, for me, the best trick is to keep only one in at a time.
Not only does this help with hearing the world better as you travel through it, but also gives you an alternative airpod when that one dies.
Also also, the AirPods charge fully pretty quickly.
And, as a bonus, you give one of your earholes a break to breathe.