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    13 AirPod Pro Hacks That Really Justify Why I Just Spent $200 On These Things

    Come for the noise cancellation, stay for the "spatial audio" feature.

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    Congrats! You're officially down with APP.

    These headphones aren't like all those other headphones, and once you experience all the features, you'll start to see why.

    As a proud new owner of AirPod Pros (my previous pair was the first gen AirPods), these newfangled things have taken some time to get used to. The medium-sized ear tips were giving me a headache until I finally decided to swap them out for the smallest size. I felt like I was hearing faraway sounds, like, IN my eardrum in noise cancellation mode. But honestly, now that I've had them for a couple of weeks, nothing beats the immersive feeling of listening to music while wearing them, and the battery life is a huge quality of life gamechanger over my old pair. Just try vacuuming while listening to a podcast with the noise cancellation on — all of your $200 regrets will quickly wash away.

    Before we get started, a few of these tips work with other versions of AirPods as well, so you might still get something out of this post even if you own a different model.

    1. If the tips feel uncomfortable in your ears or you're feeling somewhat in between sizes, get some memory foam replacements that are squishier and ensure a snug fit.

    Comply Earphone Tips from Amazon
    amazon.com

    You want to ensure a snug fit for the ultimate noise cancelling experience. The Comply tips are among the most popular and cost $24.99 from Amazon. If you're experiencing a slight squeaky sound when touching your Airpods in your ear, you might find that these ear tips help with that, too.

    2. You can customize your audio preferences by going to Settings > Accessibility > Audio/Visual and turning on Headphone Accommodations.

    Peggy Wang / BuzzFeed

    From here, you can play around with tuning your audio settings to see what you like best. No one asked, but I'm a "moderate balanced tone" kinda gal.

    You can also play around with "Custom Audio Setup," where you can hear a sample test to determine the right audio tunings for your preferences, as well as adjust the level of background noise in the transparency setting.

    3. Use a clean, dry electric toothbrush to clean out the mesh grills on each AirPod.

    Dirty AirPod earbuds with earwax
    youtube.com

    You'll be surprised at how much this might make a difference with any crackling or static you hear (but also — if you're experiencing this, you should just get them replaced for free through Apple if they were manufactured before October 2020).

    4. There's a whole custom AirPods Pro menu that you can access from Settings > Bluetooth > AirPods Pro.

    Screenshot of iPhone showing Settings > Bluetooth > AirPods Pro menu.
    Peggy Wang / BuzzFeed

    Here is where I discovered the "Ear Tip Fit Test" as well as the Spatial Audio setting, which I'll get to in a minute.

    As someone who is new to noise cancelling headphones, I wasn't sure if I was "doing it right," as in whether I had the AirPods in deep enough or if the tips were the correct size for my ear. The "Ear Tip Fit Test" helped to ensure that everything was all good.

    5. This menu is also where you can turn on "Spatial Audio."

    Peggy Wang / BuzzFeed

    According to Apple, "Spatial audio with dynamic head tracking brings theater-like sound that surrounds you from the movie or video you're watching, so that it seems as if the sound is coming from all around you." It works on content from iTunes, Apple TV+, Disney+, HBO Max, and Netflix, and you must be using your iPhone or iPad on iOS 14.

    6. Want to know if "Spatial Audio" is on while you're watching something? Go to your control panel, long press on the volume, and it'll tell you.

    Peggy Wang / BuzzFeed

    You can also tell if it's on by moving your head while watching a scene with lots of dialogue; the sound will feel like it's coming from the screen.

    7. You can share your audio with anyone near you who is also wearing a set of AirPods, AirPod Pros, or Beats.

    Peggy Wang / BuzzFeed

    Go to Control Panel, press on the blue sound icon, and select "Share Audio..."

    So great for travel when you want to watch something on your phone or iPad with a travel companion.

    8. Use a feature called "Live Listening," which allows you to pick up sounds near your phone while wearing your AirPods.

    Peggy Wang / BuzzFeed

    OK, I honestly have no clue what you would actually use this for (a makeshift baby monitor, maybe??), but I tested it out and it makes me feel like I'm doing some clandestine spy shit. You could put your phone in one room and hear what's happening while wearing your AirPods in another.

    Go to Settings > Control Center > and press the green + sign next to Hearing.

    Once you've made it accessible, you can access Live Listening via the Control Panel. It's this little icon with the ear on it.

    Peggy Wang / BuzzFeed

    9. Use icloud.com/find to locate a lost pair of AirPods.

    Peggy Wang / BuzzFeed

    This works with any AirPods. It's a great feature if you, say, dropped your AirPod in a crevice somewhere — you can play a sound to locate it.

    10. Be safe and remember to put them on transparency mode (or turn noise cancellation completely off) while walking or jogging in public.

    Transparency mode is the sort of "in between" mode that uses some noise cancellation but still lets some outside sound in. You can adjust the level of transparency by going to Settings > Accessibility > Audio/Visual > Headphone Accommodations > Transparency Mode (all the way at the bottom of the menu).

    You can quickly switch between noise cancellation mode, transparency mode, and off by long pressing on your right AirPod stem.

    11. Turn on "Announce Messages" so that Siri will read you your text messages while your phone is locked but your AirPods are in.

    Peggy Wang / BuzzFeed

    This actually works with all AirPods except the first gen ones. Go to Settings > Notifications > and turn on "Announce Messages with Siri." This is so incredibly niche, but I use this feature so I can keep abreast of my texts while I'm throwing pottery and my hands are dirty, lol.

    12. Wanna use your AirPods seamlessly with your Apple TV? Go to Settings > Remotes and Devices > Bluetooth and choose your AirPods from your Apple TV.

    Screenshots of my Apple TV
    Peggy Wang / BuzzFeed

    13. Don't learn this lesson the hard way. Dogs are known for chewing up earbuds, so keep them in a safe place while unsupervised and buy a protective case.

    Dog just ate my AirPod pro from Wellthatsucks

    Even if you have AppleCare+, you'll still have to pay a replacement fee for any damaged parts.

    AirPod Pros are available for $199 from Amazon.

    Here are some other fun AirPod tips and tricks that work with all of the generations of AirPods, not just the Pros.

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