Great Audiophile Gift Ideas For The
2020 Holiday Season
Apple AirPod Pro Bluetooth In-Ear Monitors
They say the third time's the charm, and with the new Apple AirPod Pro Bluetooth IEMs (in-ear monitors, $200 at Amazon) you can enjoy many musical pleasures with your Apple iPhone. Windows 3.0, Goldfinger, Godfather III (not!). Well on its third iteration of the Airpod, Apple has finally nailed it!
• Poor sound quality – now much improved
But it's not these new features that distinguish the AirPod Pro – it's how brilliantly each change has been made, and how well they have clung to the features that made them so popular in the first place. They are still very lightweight, they are super comfortable, and the buds and their magnetically closing charging case are small and elegant. You still get 24 hours of charge with the case (six hours on the buds and three recharges in the case.
Apple's integration with the iPhone is superb, making them so easy to setup and control. For example, open the charging case and a pop up shows you the charge left in the case and the buds.
I've been comparing them with the latest Sony true wireless noise cancelling earbuds, the WF1000-XM3. The Sony has marginally better noise cancelling, and has a good edge in definition and dynamics, but they are uncomfortable for me, and I feel the pressure in my ears, which makes me want to pull them out every so often. The Sony buds are much bigger, a little cheaper and last longer on a single charge, but fall well short in most other areas, especially stability of connection.
Apple puts a vent in the seal to prevent air pressure build up and has devised a new squeeze mechanism for finger control of the buds. Some have reported difficulty getting used to this mechanism, but it worked first time form me. Apple also includes software to tell you which of the three tips sizes is right for you, and then adjusts the frequency response in real time to compensate for the shape of your ear canal. Sounds odd but it works seamlessly.
The killer new feature here is the noise cancelling. It is so important a feature that within a few years, no one will accept earbuds without it. You can listen successfully at low volume when you are out walking, flying or in the gym. That is such a major plus for the safety of your hearing. But today there are very few options competitors to the AirPod Pro. These things are just so easy to use and to get the best out of, they are a no brainer if you can meet these two conditions – you can afford the $200, and the intended recipient has an iPhone. You buy the Apple AirPod Pro from Amazon at this link.
Recommended by Enjoy the Music.com's Phil Gold.