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Apple launches AirPods Pro earbuds

Without a shred of warning, Apple has just dropped an AirPods-sized bombshell on its poor, unsuspecting fans

Apple today announced the AirPods Pro, a successor to the AirPods 2 that was until mere hours ago a closely guarded secret. The new AirPods are more expensive and more feature-filled than their predecessors, and they are available for purchase right now.

Headlining this surprise announcement is active noise cancellation technology; the AirPods Pro will block out the outside world using two microphones and “advanced software”. This places the new Apple headphones in the company of Huawei’s FreeBuds 3 and the Sony WF-1000XM3, as some of the first true wireless earbuds to adopt the popular feature.

That’s not all: the AirPods Pro earbuds also feature a Transparency Mode so users can hear the outside world whilst listening to music, mitigating the effects of the ANC at the touch of a button.

You’ll also notice Apple’s earbuds have had a bit of a makeover. The AirPods Pro are the first of their ilk to use silicon tips, which should make them a fair bit more comfortable than their predecessors; the earbuds are otherwise just a little sleeker, a little smaller and a little lighter than the last generation. Mercifully, the stems of the AirPods Pro are significantly shorter, which means the case is squatter than previously.

Apple explains that the AirPods Pro are sweat- and water-resistant, with hands-free Siri support and stems that register varying touch intensities – like Force Touch. They are powered by the H1 chip, and will last four-and-a-half hours of listening time on a single charge. That number increases to a more respectable 24 hours with the extra juice afforded by the new charging case. The case supports wireless charging but does also have a lightning port.

In terms of price, you can expect these new earbuds to set you back £250, which for reference is £50 more than the current AirPods 2 (with Wireless Charging Case). They are available to preorder right now, and will ship in the UK from 30 October. 

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