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    I've Owned Apple's AirPods Pro For Over A Year — Here's Why I'm Still Obsessed

    It's been a year and a half since these babies hit the market, but they're still truly unmatched in terms of noise-cancellation, sound quality, and price.

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    By now you are no stranger to Apple's AirPods Pro, their noise-cancelling "high end" AirPods upgrade that initially started with a $249 price tag back in October 2019. The AirPods Pro are down to $197 now, and if you haven't given them a try yet ... boy howdy, are you in for a ridiculous delight.

    BuzzFeed editor wearing AirPods Pro
    Emma Lord/BuzzFeed

    Not to be dramatic, but Left AirPod Pro and Right AirPod Pro are my children and I would die for them.

    I should start this ode to my AirPods Pro by saying I resisted the idea of them for ages, and was resistant to even getting AirPods at first — I'm a runner, so I get nervous about them slipping out, and I always figured I'd be too lazy to remember to charge them. But these are honestly so well worth the money that I doubt any purchase I've made in my life has given me as much dollar-for-convenience value.

    Apple airpods pro outside their charging case

    Honestly, these feel like an extra limb to me now. I feel naked if they are not on my person at all times.

    Here's the main thing you need to know: the noise cancellation on the AirPods Pro is genuinely, alarmingly effective. The first time I put these on and toggled them into noise cancelling mode it was like the whole world fell away. Like, walking down the street I felt like Anne Hathaway in an early 2010s rom-com because I genuinely could not hear one thing on a busy crowded New York City street except pop music in my ears.

    Pic of AirPods with one of them showing the inner mechanics

    I honestly cannot compare the feeling to anything else, and I've tried a *lot* of noise-cancelling headphones. Like, I'm aware of how creepy this sounds, but it's almost like you're on some other plane of existence? Once you toggle them out of noise-cancelling mode you're like OH wow the world kept happening without me?? The Main Character Energy of it all.

    And while it's a full mood that I appreciate while I'm out walking, it's gone from "wow, neat!" to "oh, cool, I can't exist without these" when it comes to working from home. I spent the first part of quarantine working in a house crowded with family and liked to be close to the living room where the fam was, but not be distracted. These pretty much blocked out *any* noise (including a very indignant Shih Tzu).

    BuzzFeed editor holding the ear bugs in hand
    Emma Lord/BuzzFeed

    I now use them in my apartment where there's a *ton* of construction below me and ambulance sirens from the nearby hospital going off all day, and these have become a genuine necessity to keep me focused. They're also total lifesavers if you're on important Zoom calls or running live virtual events, because the mic on these is adept at just picking up your voice and not scooping up all the background noise along with it.

    They're also super comfy and stay put — and I am saying that as someone who wears them pretty much all through my waking hours. I take them on long, absurdly sweaty runs and they don't budge. I have them in my ears all day at work and they never ache. I use them to go delve into Netflix blackholes at night, and even after a full human day, my ears feel fine.

    BuzzFeed editor in workout gear wearing AirPods Pro in ears
    Emma Lord/BuzzFeed

    To some degree, I'd argue these are actually better for your eardrums than a lot of headphones — because the noise cancellation is *so* effective, I don't ever feel tempted to turn the volume up so much. I used to get warnings from my phone when I had the volume up too loud each week, but not since I got these.

    (Psst — this Under Armour workout-friendly mask is on Amazon for $22, if you were wondering.)

    Now let's talk about the absurd charging capabilities on the AirPods Pro. First of all, the wireless charging case on this is convenient as heck. Even during quarantine I'm on the move a lot — I spend as much time as I can on the weekends outside — so even if the AirPods Pro run out of their 4.5 hour battery life, you can snap them right back into the case and have them fully charged within a half hour (and like, half charged in 10 minutes, if you're impatient like me).

    BuzzFeed editor holding charging case
    Emma Lord/BuzzFeed

    I pretty much just have to remember to charge the case every two days, and otherwise I'm golden. Plus, these give you notice about the charge running out way in advance — it makes a little bleep boop noise and even then you usually have about a half hour left.

    It's also just been really handy to have these during pandemic times. I can talk on the phone easily when I'm walking outside without wires getting tangled in my face mask's elastic, and the mic picks up my voice so well than I can talk through a mask. They've been great as a comfy option to take FaceTime calls, and I love taking long socially-distanced walks listening to podcasts now that I don't actually get to see real live humans as much.

    AirPods pro and case
    Emma Lord/BuzzFeed

    I loved these before the pandemic and will always love them, but I will always appreciate them for making small things a little easier and a little less lonely feeling in these ~unprecedented times~.

    Plus if you don't want to be in noise-cancelling mode, you can toggle to two other modes: one is "Off," where the headphones aren't doing anything in your ears, and one is "Transparency," when you can still hear the world around you and your music at the same time.

    Screenshot showing the controls on the AirPods Pro
    Emma Lord/BuzzFeed

    Weirdly, if you just leave the headphones in Transparency and you don't play any music, you can hear stuff around you *better* than when you're not wearing the headphones? It filters noise in this specific way so you can hear things closer to you more clearly.

    These come with other convenient, intuitive features, too — if your phone or the device you're listening on is out of reach, you can tap one of the AirPods Pro to pause your music. You can say "Hey Siri" and talk to her the way you normally would. You can also force the AirPods Pro into transparency mode without your phone by squeezing one of them.

    Model putting white AIrPods Pro earbud into ear

    This is especially handy in the winter or during exercise, when my phone's often buried deep in a pocket or in my arm strap case — if I need to turn them off quickly I can just tweak my ear.

    And while these are Bluetooth and absolutely work on non-Apple devices, can I just say, the *immediate* syncing to your phone from the moment the AirPods Pro are charged is such a relief. I am very bad at technology. These were absurdly easy to set up.

    Screenshot showing the charge of the AirPods pro on a phone screen
    Emma Lord/BuzzFeed

    Plus, when you put them on for the first time, it runs a little diagnostic on your ear to tell you if you're wearing the correct size — it has three different silicone tips so you'll get the perfect fit. It also gives you a quick tutorial so you know how to use all the features.

    And I am not alone in my aggressive stanning of AirPods Pro — on Amazon alone, they've amassed over 160,000 5-star reviews from people who love them for everything from the stay-put, personalized fit to their noise cancellation to the ever-hand Transparency Mode.

    Reviewer holding AirPods Pro in their charging case

    "I wish I could give more than 5 stars. I’m a very picky person when it comes to what sounds are flooding my ears and I tell you, I’ve owned Bose and thought those were the game changers. I was more than pleasantly surprised at how these sound and fit. I’ve never used any Apple products in my ears, especially with the price of Apple nowadays. These are hands-down the best earbuds I’ve ever owned! They stay perfectly in place through some rigorous working out as well!" —Renee N. Fregy

    "So I will say I'm never wearing my Bose 700s out in public (other than planes and other modes of transport that are too loud for the small in ear noise cancelation the AirPods Pro have), they're just too bulky, but these new AirPods Pro are just so sleek and convenient. I'm an audio nerd, if you want convenience these are probably the best buds to buy right now. Obviously sound could be better but for what you get I'd say it's worth every penny." —Bader

    "Transparency mode is a game-changer. Apple AirPods Pro are one of the best noise-cancelling in-ear headphones available in market. Price is on the upper end but the quality is also on the upper side compared to other models. I have QC35 and the noise canceling is comparatively good but being in-ear, the listening experience is much better. The transparency mode is awesome. It is like you NEVER wore the headphones. You have to try to experience it. I use it all the time in car and it is true 'your gasoline car sounds like an electric car.' Fit is snug and with extra tips, most of the people can get accurate fit. Make sure to run sound seal test from Bluetooth setting of AirPods. Overall these are pretty decent noice cancelling headphones. Price is on the upper end, but I think quality is also on the upper side and I do think these are worth it. Would definitely recommend." —giskindra

    All this said, primary reason I have come here today to yell about these perfect headphones is that they were a rare case for me where a product delivered on its price tag and then some — especially considering that they've performed at this level of quality for a year and a half. The noise cancellation and durability are just that good — and considering they're now only $48 dollars more than the original AirPods, it's more than worth it to take the extra leap.

    AirPods are great, but they have *nothing* on the noise cancellation and convenience of the AirPods Pro.

    You can get the AirPods Pro from Amazon for $197 — just remember to poke your head out to say hi to the real world every now and then after you take the leap.

    The AirPods Pro

    (But TBH, would not blame you one bit for joining me in the blissful soundproof AirPods Pro abyss.)

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