5 Key Things to Know About the New AirPods Pro
The new product means a lot to Apple’s business—and our planet
Apple just announced a substantial addition to its popular AirPods lineup: a $249 noise-canceling set called the AirPods Pro. Unlike the previous versions, which cost $159 and didn’t quite dip into your ear canal, these feature an “in-ear” design that should isolate your music and phone calls.
There are, of course, unanswered questions. How will they sound? Will the wider charging case stretch denim pockets to an unreasonable degree? Will the soft earbud tips get lodged in your ear, forcing you to run panicked into a Walgreens to purchase a set of emergency tweezers, praying to some power above that you will be able to yank the tip out without suffering Cronenberg-level bodily trauma? (It happened to me after I replaced the tip of a Jabra 65t earbud with an unauthorized option—whoops.)
While the AirPods Pro aren’t out yet, OneZero has done plenty of reporting about previous AirPods. These stories will help you understand what the AirPods Pro represent to one of the world’s most important tech companies.
We can’t say if you should buy the AirPods Pro when they come out on Wednesday — but all of this may help you decide.
As former OneZero columnist Lance Ulanoff explained earlier this year, they help people stay locked into Apple’s iOS ecosystem, and they represent a meaningful portion of a multi-billion dollar “wearables” segment of Apple’s business. The AirPods Pro, while expensive compared to previous models and Amazon’s upcoming Echo Buds which offer similar functionality, will generate significant revenue for Apple. Not only will new customers buy them, many existing ones will pony up the extra $90 for an upgrade when their current AirPods die (sooner, rather than later).
OneZero’s Will Oremus wrote the definitive piece on AirPods’ lifecycle in May. In short, most people couldn’t pry these open, and if they could, “the components inside are tangled and glued together.” Some recyclers who officially partner with Apple…