Apple’s AirPods Pro (1st generation) marked a significant upgrade over the original model, with improved sound quality, better fit, and the addition of active noise canceling (ANC). Released on October 30, 2019, at an original price of $249 USD, these earbuds offered a more immersive listening experience for iOS users.

Design and Comfort: The AirPods Pro (1st generation) featured a new design that not only sealed the ear canal for improved sound isolation but also included active noise canceling technology. The earbuds came with three ear tip options for a customizable fit, ensuring both comfort and effective noise isolation. The pressure-sensitive stems provided intuitive controls, and the portable charging case supported both Lightning and wireless charging, including MagSafe compatibility.

Features and Control: The AirPods Pro (1st generation) introduced various features such as active noise canceling, transparency mode, and adaptive equalization (Adaptive EQ). The pressure-sensitive stems allowed users to control playback, skip tracks, adjust volume, and activate Siri. The ear tip fit test ensured optimal performance, and iOS users could customize settings like active noise canceling preferences.

Connectivity Options: Equipped with Bluetooth 5.0, the AirPods Pro (1st generation) supported the SBC and AAC codecs, providing high-quality audio to iPhones. Connecting to iOS devices was seamless, thanks to the H1 chip, while Android users could also pair via Bluetooth. However, certain features like auto-pause detection might not work on Android devices.

Battery Life: The AirPods Pro (1st generation) provided approximately 4 to 5 hours of playback time with ANC on, and the charging case extended the total listening time to 24 hours. The case supported Qi wireless charging but still used a Lightning connector for charging, which was a downside.

Sound Quality: The earbuds delivered a notably more neutral frequency response than the original AirPods, offering detailed sound and improved bass response. The addition of Adaptive EQ and active noise canceling improved the overall listening experience, and spatial audio provided a simulated surround sound effect for compatible content.

Microphone Performance: The AirPods Pro (1st generation) excelled in call quality, making them a popular choice for phone calls and virtual meetings. The built-in microphone system allowed users to designate the default microphone for calls, enhancing call clarity.

Alternatives: For iPhone users seeking alternatives, the AirPods Pro (2nd generation) offered improvements like enhanced noise canceling, a U1 chip for precise location tracking, and a refined design. Other options included the Sony WF-1000XM4, Bose QuietComfort Earbuds, Google Pixel Buds Pro, and Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, each with their unique features and benefits.

Conclusion: The Apple AirPods Pro (1st generation) provided a compelling upgrade for iOS users, offering improved sound quality, active noise canceling, and a customizable fit. While they were pricier than the standard AirPods, their features and integration with the Apple ecosystem made them a worthy investment for iPhone users.

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