Stepping onto the plane, wearing my new AirPods Pro, I was ready to try a pair of noise cancelling headphones that didn’t require me to take off my hat.
To be clear, I wasn’t taking any chances. I had, in my backpack, my standard Sony WH1000xM3 Over the Ear Noise Cancelling headphones. Those are my all time favorites. I was also carrying their sister, the Sony WF1000xM3 - which were released before these AirPods Pro, as a direct competitor.
The first test started even before I got on the plane. I put them in as we waited in line and the noise cancellation killed the normal airport noise. Would the same thing happen when the plane took off?
The short answer is YES. They did a great, though not perfect, job killing the normal plane sounds as we flew from St. Louis to San Diego. For most people, these AirPods Pro would work in every situation and context.
Why don’t I call them perfect? Two reasons and both may be personal to me. First, the loud couple behind me were completely blocked when I was watching a movie on my phone. But the action movie was playing at full volume. Later, when I was resting and listening to music at half volume, they occasionally broke thru. It’s personal because I know folks that rest listening to volume ten. So if I had done that, I might have been fine.
The second thing was weird and I don’t know if it will happen again. At different times while watching a movie, I would lean my head back. When doing that, it felt like I was shifting the position and seal of the headphones. I don’t know that this is true. It was a feeling. But then the low shot of the plane would come thru. If I tilted back or touched the headphones, everything went back to perfect. It only happened twice. I couldn’t replicate it and so I can’t know for sure that it was a seal problem.
Battery life and recharging have been perfect. They’re pricey, but the fact that these are headphones that I can use in normal settings around the house, in my office, in bed while my wife is sleeping, in an airport lounge, and even on a plane - makes them a great option for people who don’t own 10-20 pairs of headphones.
So do I recommend them more than their Sony competitors? Yes. But I’ll keep my Sony over-the-ear headphones because I really like them.