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6 Reasons to Avoid the Apple AirPods Pro at All Costs

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6 Reasons to Avoid the Apple AirPods Pro at All Costs

Key Points

  • The Apple AirPods Pro lack adjustable EQ and require external apps for tweaking settings.
  • The design of the AirPods Pro is very similar to the first-generation model, making it difficult to differentiate between the two.
  • There is no companion app for the AirPods Pro, limiting control options for non-Apple devices.
  • The AirPods Pro are expensive compared to other wireless earbuds with similar features.
  • The AirPods Pro do not support lossless audio codecs, which may be a drawback for audiophiles.

What are some reasons to avoid the Apple AirPods Pro? If you’re on the iPhone, AirPods might seem like a natural choice for listening to music and making calls. However, they aren’t the best choice for every user out there. There are some rather glaring design flaws to call to mind with the AirPods Pro, especially as they have entered the second generation of the hardware.

Today’s review will be taking a closer look at the AirPods Pro, why you should avoid them, and some compelling alternatives for your music and calling needs. While these might be an enticing purchase, you might find the alternatives are a better fit for your needs and budget.

What Are the AirPods Pro?

The AirPods Pro are a set of wireless earbuds manufactured by Apple. These come with active noise cancellation and spatial audio, which helps to differentiate them from the standard line. With a suggested retail price of $249, they are at the upper end of the price spectrum.

The AirPods Pro has been a popular choice, especially for Apple users. With wide compatibility across the iPhone, iPad, and Mac line of products, it is very much a single solution for your audio needs. However, there are some compelling options for Apple users that don’t have first-party prices behind them.

SpecsApple AirPods Pro
Battery Life6 hours of music listening, and 4.5 hours of voice or video calls
Bluetooth VersionBluetooth 5.3
Water ResistanceIP54 rated
Height1.22 inches
Width0.86 inches
Depth0.94 inches
Weight0.19 ounces
MicrophonesDual mics with beamforming

Reasons to Avoid the Apple AirPods Pro

So, why should you avoid the Apple AirPods Pro? Check out these reasons to look at our alternatives instead.

No Adjustable EQ

reasons to avoid the apple airpods pro
You won’t find any EQ settings in Apple’s settings pane for the AirPods Pro.

One of the biggest reasons to avoid the Apple AirPods Pro comes down to the lack of control. The earbuds themselves feature adaptive EQ, but it is designed to target a flat frequency response. On paper, this is a perfectly fine idea. It helps to reduce fatigue for the average listener, especially on bass or treble-rich content.

However, the lack of overall control for specific genres, or even just preset EQ curves, is a glaring omission. You’ll have to go through something like the Spotify or Amazon Music app to tweak settings. Going with those completely does away with the Dolby Atmos support the AirPods Pro heavily advertises.

The Design Is Unchanged

While the design of the AirPods Pro isn’t fundamentally flawed, it leaves something to be desired. Instead, the difference between the AirPods Pro first and second-generation is so slight you could easily mistake the two for each other. Now, this might not be one of the best reasons to avoid the Apple AirPods Pro. However, the uniformity of Apple’s design ethos is a drawback in this case.

For the uninformed user, they could easily be picking up the older first-generation AirPod Pros. The only real fundamental design change is the inclusion of smaller earbud tips, which is great. However, if you’re looking for something to at least tell the AirPods Pro apart from their forebears, you’re out of luck.

There Is No Companion App

All administration of the AirPods Pro is done through Apple’s native settings menu on the iPhone, iPad, or other Apple devices. If you’re a first-party Apple user, this isn’t a drawback. However, since the AirPods Pro are Bluetooth class-compliant, you might find yourself wanting to use them with an Android or Windows device.

You’re out of luck when it comes to the finer adjustments of these earbuds on other devices. There isn’t an official app to control things. It is the same drawback seen with the likes of the Apple Studio Display. You need to be in the Apple ecosystem to get the full functionality out of these earbuds.

The Cost

reasons to avoid the apple airpods pro
The AirPods Pro is one of the most expensive sets of wireless earbuds you can purchase.

With a suggested retail price of $249, the AirPods Pro are anything but budget-friendly. Now, not every user is going to see this as a drawback. However, when looking at the classic AirPods line, you can get most of the functionality for a significantly lower price.

This might not be one of the biggest reasons to avoid the Apple AirPods Pro. However, it is something to keep in mind when shopping for wireless earbuds. There are cost-effective alternatives delivering the same features in a more affordable package.

It really is going to come down to whether you have a particular brand allegiance to the Apple product line as to whether these earbuds are worth it to you.

No New Features

The changes from the first to the second generation of AirPods are minute at best. You’ve got the option for USB-C charging, which is great but not a wholly new feature. Really, not much has changed overall when it comes to the first and second-generation Apple AirPods Pro.

One of the best reasons to avoid the Apple AirPods Pro comes down to the overall lack of change. You’re paying a premium for a new charging cable and some extra ear tips. You already had the option for spatial audio and adaptive EQ with both the third-gen AirPods and first-gen AirPods Pro.

Sound Quality

When you’re paying a premium for a product, you expect the absolute best performance. However, this isn’t the case with the AirPods Pro. Despite having support for Bluetooth 5.3, these earbuds don’t come with support for the lossless audio codecs introduced with the latest standard.

This could potentially be addressed with a future firmware update. However, this seems a curious omission since Apple often prides itself on being the cream of the crop when it comes to tech. If high-resolution audio is important to you, this is one of the best reasons to avoid the Apple AirPods Pro.

Alternatives to the Apple AirPods Pro

Here are three of our favorite alternatives to the Apple AirPods Pro.

Sony WF-1000XM5

A Premium Alternative
Sony WF-1000XM5 Noise Canceling Earbuds
$298.00
  • High-resolution audio and AI-based noise reduction
  • Hands-free calling with intuitive touch controls
  • Up to 8 hours battery life and 24 hours with case
  • IPX4 water-resistance rating
  • Built-in Alexa
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/23/2024 06:56 pm GMT

The Sony WF-1000XM5 is a premium alternative to the Apple AirPods Pro. You’ll find these wireless earbuds come with better overall battery life, with up to eight hours of playback on a single charge. The call quality is also improved over previous Sony earbuds, with bone conduction sensors and AI noise reduction making the audio crystal clear.

The Sony WF-1000XM5 is in the same price range as the Apple AirPods Pro. However, they are platform-agnostic, meaning you can enjoy using these with your iPhone or Android device. These are highly flexible earbuds, and one of the best buys on the market for a premium set.

Beats Powerbeats Pro

Best for Fitness
Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earbuds
$199.95
  • Listening time: 9hrs (earbuds), 24hrs (case)
  • Features adjustable earhooks for a secure fit no matter what you're doing
  • Earbuds are sweat resistant
  • Supports auto pause/play
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02/23/2024 06:56 pm GMT

The Powerbeats Pro is a set of wireless earbuds built for users on the go. It might not come with the same stellar support for spatial audio as the AirPods line of earbuds. However, these are built for the active user and come with stellar battery life.

You’ve got up to nine hours of audio playback, which is quite a bit more when compared to the AirPods Pro. The Beats Powerbeats Pro also can be found for less on sale, with prices going as low as $150. If you’re a gym enthusiast, this is a stellar option that will keep up with your active lifestyle with ease.

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II

Personalized
Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II
$199.00
  • Bluetooth 5.3 capability
  • Come with a Bose Fit Kit (includes 3 pairs of ear tips and 3 pairs of stability bands)
  • Up to 6 hours of battery life
  • IPX4 water-resistance rating
  • 2 hours of listening time with just 20 minutes of charging
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/23/2024 12:39 am GMT

The final set of premium earbuds is a fantastic choice for its call quality. What sets the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II apart from the competition is the personalized noise reduction settings. When you enter the Bose app, you can set a profile that fits your needs and voice, rather than the manufacturer-suggested settings.

The QuietComfort Earbuds II are priced at a premium, much like the AirPods Pro. However, this fantastic set of earbuds is suitable for Apple and Android users alike. You aren’t tied to one particular platform to get the most out of their overall performance. The QuietComfort Earbuds II have up to six hours of battery life for audio playback, putting them in line with the AirPods Pro.

Closing Thoughts

So, should you avoid the Apple AirPods Pro? If you aren’t tied into the Apple ecosystem, there are some highly suitable alternatives with great performance and better overall feature sets. That said, there is plenty to like about the AirPods Pro line. If Apple addresses some of the more glaring drawbacks with the third generation of the hardware, they could be a fantastic choice.

Best Alternatives to the Apple AirPods Pro

1. Sony WF1000-5XM
2. Beats Powerbeats Pro
3. Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II
  1. Sony WF-1000XM5 Noise Canceling Earbuds
    $298.00
    • High-resolution audio and AI-based noise reduction
    • Hands-free calling with intuitive touch controls
    • Up to 8 hours battery life and 24 hours with case
    • IPX4 water-resistance rating
    • Built-in Alexa
    Buy Now

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    02/23/2024 06:56 pm GMT
  2. Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earbuds
    $199.95
    • Listening time: 9hrs (earbuds), 24hrs (case)
    • Features adjustable earhooks for a secure fit no matter what you're doing
    • Earbuds are sweat resistant
    • Supports auto pause/play
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    02/23/2024 06:56 pm GMT
  3. Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II
    $199.00
    • Bluetooth 5.3 capability
    • Come with a Bose Fit Kit (includes 3 pairs of ear tips and 3 pairs of stability bands)
    • Up to 6 hours of battery life
    • IPX4 water-resistance rating
    • 2 hours of listening time with just 20 minutes of charging
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    02/23/2024 12:39 am GMT

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use the AirPods Pro with an Android phone?

You can, but they won’t perform to the best of their ability thanks to the lack of control over the device settings.

What hardware do the AirPods Pro support?

You can use the AirPods Pro with most Apple devices from the last decade that have Bluetooth support.

What version of Bluetooth do the Apple AirPods Pro use?

The AirPods Pro has support for Bluetooth 5.3.

Can you adjust the EQ settings on the AirPods Pro?

No, it automatically adjusts the EQ based on incoming audio sources.

Can I use the AirPods Pro with my MacBook?

You absolutely can use your AirPods with a MacBook.

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