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I learned seven things after my first day with AirPods Pro

The original AirPods on the left, the new AirPods Pro on the right.

Sarah Tew / CNET

In case you haven't heard, Apple releases a new set of AirPods on Wednesday. Called the AirPods Pro costs $ 249 and delivers two new features to Apple's handset line. They are the first AirPods to offer soundproofing design ̵

1; with silicone earbuds that plug into your ear canal – and the first to offer active noise cancellation that electronically blocks external noise. I took a sample for an early review and picked up the new AirPods to rotate in the bustling streets of New York, then returned them to the office for further listening. Here are my early impressions.

They fit in comfortably and securely

I'm one of those ears who aren't the perfect fit for the original AirPods, now in their second generation . I can wear them, but they don't fit me so well. I feel like they start to fall off if I do something too intense in them, like clogging the street to make light or catch a bus, which you sometimes have to do in New York.

With AirPods Pro, I have no such problem. They put my ears safely. I can run with them – and they are pot resistant, Apple says. It is also worth noting that they come with small, medium and large ear tips. I was worried that I would need an extra large nozzle to get a tight seal, but the big AirPods Pro earplugs fit in my ears. The long and short of it is that the new design will fit more ears than the original AirPods. I hesitate to call it universal fit because there are always exceptions, but they are close. The only problem is that some people just don't like the silicone buds sticking in their ears, even if they are as soft and flexible as Apple says these tips are. This is why so many people like the original AirPods. They just cluster in your ear – and when fitted properly, they are really comfortable. A few people in the office I spoke to said that while the pros of the AirPod sound better, they still prefer the fit of ordinary AirPods.

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They sound better

The first thing you notice about AirPods Pro is that they just sound better than standard AirPods . Thanks to their soundproofing design and the new drivers tuned to that design, they obviously have much more bass and richer sound. In addition, thanks to the noise cancellation that is effective, they sound much better in noisier environments such as city streets. Standard AirPods sound decent in quiet places, but because of their open design, they just don't perform well when confronted with outside noise. It can literally muffle your music.

The Fit Fit Ear Test helps determine which size is right for your ears.

Sarah Teu / CNET

They are even better for making calls.

Standard AirPods are pretty good for making calls. With the launch of the second-generation model this year – some call it AirPods 2 – Apple has improved its noise reduction capabilities, in particular wind noise. AirPods Pro has three microphones on each navel, one of which is a beam format microphone that is designed to pick up your voice. They also have similar noise reduction capabilities, plus a ventilation system that not only has to relieve some of the pressure that can build up in your ear from a soundproofing coupled with soundproofing, but can help reduce wind noise , an Apple representative told me. More importantly, you can just hear the callers better because of the soundproof design of the professionals.

They don't sound better than the Sony WF-1000XM3 – but they're smaller

I compared the AirPods Pro to its closest current competitor – the Sony WF-1000XM3 [19459127] which also has adaptive noise reduction. The AirPods Pro sound is great for true wireless headsets, but the WF-1000XM3 may sound a little better – bigger and smoother overall, with a slightly warmer sound, they're more enjoyable to listen to for longer sessions for listening. The noise elimination of the Sony WF-1000XM3 is as effective as the noise reduction of the AirPods Pro. And the battery life of Sonys is rated slightly higher. In Active Noise Canceling mode, Apple says AirPods Pro will deliver up to four and a half hours of listening time.

All told, AirPods and their charging case are significantly smaller than those of Sonys. The charging case is wider than the standard AirPods case and slightly thicker, but still a very small package. And size matters when it comes to these types of headsets. The case and AirPods are literally half the size of Sonys. There is something very attractive about this.

Professionals have shorter stems.

Sarah Teu / CNET

Stems are shorter and I like the new controls better – but there is still no volume control of the buds

Standard AirPods have touch controls. Touch or hold and touch the area on the side of the navel. AirPods Pro has a force sensor in the stem of each bud – and the stalks are shorter, which is fine. You pinch the stem to activate the controls. Double-click to move forward. Press and hold to toggle between on or off noise or a transparency mode that allows the sound to leak out (so you can hear train messages, for example). You can also program the push and hold function to call Siri manually if you do not want the Permanent Power (hands-free) function to be active. Like AirPods, the pros have an Apple H1 chip that allows Siri to be turned on at all times, so you can call up Apple's voice assistant simply by saying "Hey, Siri."

Apple says you open the air inwards the buds help release some pressure.

Sarah Teu / CNET

It's worth spending the extra $ 50 on AirPods Pro instead of buying AirPods with wireless charging

If you like your current AirPods and they fit well in your ears, no need to run out and buy pluses (I'll wait for your AirPods they will die sooner rather than later if you use them a lot). But if you were looking at $ 199 wireless charging AirPods, I'd pass them by and go straight to the pros. The pros also have a wireless charging case, and their superb sound and added features are worth the extra dough.

The big question will be how low the standard AirPods will be (without wireless charging). They list for $ 160 but often cost less and we've seen them for $ 130. As their price goes down, I'd say these are the AirPods you should get if you don't want to spend too much money on AirPods. Forget about wireless charging. This is an overrated feature and should cost less.

Beats Powerbeats Pro is in trouble

Many people have been looking for better sound and safer fit than AirPods and both in Beats Powerbeats Pro . Apple, of course, owns Beats, and Powerbeats Pro has great bass and dynamic sound as well as long battery life in sports design. They also cost $ 250, but lately sell for $ 200 (this should probably be a tip that AirPods pros come with). The Powerbeats pros are still very good real wireless headsets, but the big strike against them is their bulky charging case. With their sweat-resistant design, bolder sound and safer fit, AirPods Pro is clearly a direct competitor. The smaller size and more discreet profile of the AirPods Pro make them a more attractive choice than the Beats.

Of course, there are many more things to consider when it comes to AirPods Pro, and I will post my full review after further tests and comparisons. But suffice it to say for now that they will be at the top of many wish lists this holiday season.

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