Patience is a virtue. So is road construction. This week I’m traveling– in Minnesota and it feels like winter already. I asked a friend if Minnesota has four seasons. He replied, “Yes. Snow, snowing, still snowing, and road construction.” It’s sunny, but freezing and today I froze off what was left of my Texas Tushy by standing in line to get a pair of Apple’s new AirPods Pro.
The plane ride back home will be a good one. Why?
After one hour of using AirPods Pro, I figured out something that I had not expected to be the best feature. Yes, these AirPods are a big step up from both first and second-generation AirPods models. Yes, they are more expensive. Yes, they require ongoing AppleCare+ support; Apple’s new subscription-based Apple Tax.
And, yes, they sound great. Tips that fig snuggly into the ears, great sound, good integration with Siri, and, of course, built-in active noise cancellation.
Now, I’m not exactly a music or sound quality aficionado; I’m not an expert on headphones, earbuds, or audio frequencies; controls are simple and straightforward– typical Apple; the little white handles that stick out of the ear are a bit smaller; but I know one thing as well as anyone.
Silence is golden.
AirPods Pro has active noise cancellation and it is so good it surprised me.
What you get is also expected. Squeeze the handle (does not actually squeeze anything) and you get Transparency mode where you can hear some outside audio pass through to the speakers, or Active Noise Cancellation mode where, well, noise gets cancelled and about all you hear is whatever music or Podcasts are playing at the moment.
Big whoop, right?
What happens if you are not playing any music or listening to a Podcast?
Silence. Silence is golden.
I just finished wandering around Mall of America. My Watch tells me the ambient noise is about 70-decibels. My ears hear almost nothing. Nothing. Silence. Any sounds are distant; the way good silence should be.
I don’t know how long the battery will last in silent mode– no music or audio– but I will find out by the end of the day. Apple’s AirPods Pro’s best feature is not sound. It’s silence.