Apple AirPods Pro

AirPods Pro

I don’t usually wax poetic about Apple products. In fact, I don’t actually remember the last time I said something nice about an Apple product. Today will be different. If you have an iPhone, go to and order a pair of AirPods Pro earbuds now. You will find all kinds of reviews online, read them, don’t read them. Here’s my take.

First, AirPods Pro are noise canceling. This is a big deal. They are not comparable to over-the-ear noise canceling headphones. If that’s what you want, you have many other choices. That said, if have an iPhone and you are comparing AirPods Pro to any in-ear noise canceling earbuds, AirPods Pro win.

I am a diehard Etymotic Research fan. Their model ER4SR (street price $249) or the slightly more expensive ER4XR in-ear earbuds offer a more than acceptable trade-off between sonic quality, noise-canceling and price — but they are wired. And, like all other in-ear earbuds, when you are using the full squishy in-ear configuration – you don’t hear the outside world, but you hear the cord touching your shirt, your breath, your heartbeat, every step you take and you can’t even consider eating with your earbuds in.

Apple AirPods Pro are wireless, AND they have a vent that equalizes the pressure between the outside world and your inner ear. This feature dramatically minimizes the problems with in-ear noise canceling earbuds — AirPods Pro are a pleasure to wear! And they sound subjectively better than the previous Q-tip model AirPods.

Audio is personal. What works for me may not work for you. What I hear as crisp upper midrange, you may hear as tinny sounding or thinness. Sonic quality is one of the most subjective of all attributes. I will not enter into a sonic quality debate with anyone. It’s pointless. AirPods Pro sound better than I expected them to sound.

The bottom line: If you have an iPhone, and you want wireless noise canceling earbuds, and you have $249, run (do not walk) to the Apple store, try them on (they may not fit you properly even with the three different silicone tip sizes included in the package), then buy them. AirPods Pro are delightful and work exactly as designed.

Well done Apple. AirPods Pro are awesome! (Wow, I guess I can say something nice about Apple.)


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Author’s note: This is not a sponsored post. I am the author of this article and it expresses my own opinions. I am not, nor is my company, receiving compensation for it.

About Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the Professor of Advanced Media in Residence at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and CEO of The Palmer Group, a consulting practice that helps Fortune 500 companies with technology, media and marketing. Named LinkedIn’s “Top Voice in Technology,” he covers tech and business for Good Day New York, is a regular commentator on CNN and writes a popular daily business blog. He's a bestselling author, and the creator of the popular, free online course, Generative AI for Execs. Follow @shellypalmer or visit


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