Rumors of new, noise-canceling AirPods have been swirling for months, and now we know it was for good reason. Out of the blue, Apple has just announced the new AirPods Pro, a set of $250, noise-canceling, sweat- and water-resistant buds with tapered tips. They’re available for preorder right this second and are releasing on Thursday, October 30th.
In order to form a noise-reducing seal, the AirPods Pro will come with the conventional silicon tips that typical AirPods lack, in small, medium and large sizes. But they’ll also sport active noise-canceling technology owing to an outward-facing microphone, and they’ll also have a “transparency mode” that will allow you to pause your music and hear noises from the outside world by using each ‘Pod’s built-in “force sensor.”
At $250, the AirPods Pro are pricey, but true wireless headphones that are also noise canceling are only just starting to become available, so the price tag should come as no surprise. For comparison, Sony’s WF-1000XM3, the first true wireless noise-canceling buds to hit the market, are just $230. Amazon’s Echo Buds, meanwhile, are just $130, but sport noise reduction tech that can’t quite hold a candle to more expensive competitors.
We still don’t know actually how good the AirPods Pro will sound, but considering Apple’s commitment to quality at a somewhat premium price, odds are they will more than good enough for most listeners’ ears. And besides, the iOS friendly-features of the AirPods line make them plenty appealing on more than just sound quality.