I’m gonna go ahead and say right up front that I am not an audiophile at all. If you’re looking for a deep dive into the sonic properties of the new AirPods Pro, I am not your dude. Lack of expertise, however, has never stopped me before, so here are my thoughts.
Compared to the AirPod Amateurs, the Pros come in a case that’s wider, but not as tall. It’s almost like an elongated AirPod case turned sideways. Unless you have a pocket that JUST fits the regular airpods, the new Pros will likely fit about the same, they’re still very pocketable.
The earbuds themselves have traded the hard plastic of the originals for a rubber tip that fits snugly inside your ear holes and helps provide noise isolation. As an added benefit, they’re definitely more comfortable to me. The “stalks” are also shorter, so if you hated the look of the originals due to the stalks coming out of your ears, you may find these a bit more tolerable. I think they’re fine, and I do like that the shorter stalks are less likely to get caught on stuff like messenger bag straps, but I didn’t hate the originals either.
Noise cancellation is pretty solid. It doesn’t block out EVERYTHING but it does do a good job of blocking out the kind of noises that are super distracting, the humming from my old refrigerator’s compressor, the sound of my car at idle, my garage door opener, etc. It’s almost subtle after you’ve had them in your ears for a minute, but switching over to Transparency mode makes you very quickly realize just how much work the Noise Cancellation was doing.
I haven’t had them long enough to do any battery testing, but apple claims 4.5 hours per charge and enough charges in the case for 24 hours total. They are generally pretty accurate with their battery estimates, so I have no reason to doubt them this time. Everyone seems up in arms about the price, but it’s right in the ballpark for other wireless noise cancelling earbuds. Sony’s 1000-XM3’s are $229. I don’t find $249 to be out of range, especially given their integration in the apple ecosystem with automatic pairing to all iCloud devices and all.
The sound quality is good, at least in my opinion. It’s honestly hard to say how much of that is “better headphone” and how much of that is “noise reduction/less ambient noise” but everything sounds clearer. The one obvious improvement is higher perceived volume at the same volume setting, which is probably a very good thing for your ears. Bass seemed markedly improved over the old Airpods as well.
Overall I’m pretty impressed with the AirPods Pro, even though their name is terrible to write about.
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So naturally I ordered a pair. I don't really need them to be completely honest, but I do use my AirPods a lot. I'll post my impressions tomorrow. Anyone want to buy a pair of Gen 2 AirPods with wireless charging case to subsidize my poor decisions?
In a word, pretty preeeetty good. I will have a lot more word thoughts about this after a couple of weeks, but there’s a video up there and here are some photos.
Now I just need to find something fun to do next weekend to test out this camera. Anything in particular you want to see?
So the other day Project Fi had the Pixel 3 for half off. I could no longer resist my urge to own all the phones, and I ordered a white 64GB in the small size. My personal phone is an iPhone XS, also the non-giant model. I plan to use the Pixel for my work phone and the iPhone for personal stuff in order to keep my data a little bit segregated and prevent my personal camera roll from filling up with pictures of cars I'm buying and selling.
Here's a quick and dirty comparison based on a couple days of use.
Physically the two phones are pretty similar, almost identical in overall size, the iPhone sports a slightly larger screen with significantly smaller bezels. The Pixel is noticeably lighter. On the software side, Android and iOS are on their way to convergence IMO. Not literally of course, but Android keeps getting more and more like iOS and iOS keeps getting more and more features that used to be Android exclusives. I have no problem using either operating system and the Pixel's new gesture based nav is super easy to get used to, coming from a gesture based iPhone, though I do keep opening the app drawer when I'm trying to go to the home screen.
Overall, I'm impressed with the Pixel and if I weren't already so locked into the Apple Ecosystem with my iMac and iPad Pro, it would be kinda tempting to switch, seeing how I could have bought both me and Daisy new Pixels for less than the price of one iPhone. Android still has it's jank though, I can't get Assistant to work when connected to an Android Auto headunit, and scrolling on websites is sometimes kinda laggy where it's perfectly smooth on an iPhone.
For less than 1/2 the cost of the iPhone, I could probably overlook that though.
The cameras are both good. I can take ten pictures with both and be about 50/50 on which picture I prefer the most. Here are some examples:
See what I mean? I'm not a huge pixel peeper, so to me it really depends on the shot as to what picture I end up liking better, I would say for certain they're both very good. There is one thing where the Pixel totally blows the iPhone out of the water, and that's it's Night Sight feature. You can take a photo in near zero light and still get something that's at least usable. The images are noisy, but still, what you would otherwise get, you wouldn't be able to see anything at all. Here's a regular photo from the iPhone and an identical photo taken at the same time with the Pixel 3 using Night Sight.
Like I said, it's pretty noise, but shit you can actually see things. The way the iPhone photo looks is the way the garage looked to my eyes, you basically couldn't see anything. That Night Sight stuff is magic.