AirPods Pro are the newest, hottest Apple accessory right now and for good reason. Despite the fact they cost nearly $100 more than standard AirPods, they’re the first Apple earbuds to feature active noise cancellation (ANC), an absolute necessity for office dwellers and urban commuters.
So how do you get them set up? How do figure out which tip is best? How do you change out the tips? I’m here to lay out some facts and bust one myth.
Fact 1 — Setup is as Easy as Opening the Case
In typical Apple fashion, they save the best tricks for their own hardware. With third-party Bluetooth headphones, you go into the Settings app and choose your new hardware from a list. With AirPods Pro, as soon as you open the case near your iPhone (upgraded to at least iOS 13.2), you’ll see an animated graphic of the case opening. After confirming you want to pair with your current device, it gives you a quick animated tutorial of the new features. All in all it takes about 60 seconds and you only have to press a single button.
Fact 2 — They’re Compatible with Announce Messages with Siri
If you haven’t set up Announce Messages with Siri yet (which you haven’t if these are your first AirPods or you hadn’t upgraded to iOS 13.2 yet), the setup animation will let you do so with a single press during setup. Just be warned, the implementation is finicky. If you have Messages open on your Mac or you’re looking at an iPhone or iPad when a message comes in, the feature doesn’t activate. It’s really only for those times when you’re not looking at a screen.
Fact 3 — You Don’t Have to Have Both AirPods Pro in for ANC to Work
If you only have one AirPod Pro in your ear, the noise cancellation feature won’t activate. When you take one out, your current media will pause and the other AirPod will switch to Transparency mode (which filters in outside noise). But it doesn’t have to be that way. Go to Settings > Accessibility > Airpods and select Noise Cancellation with One AirPod to enable single AirPod ANC.
Fact 4 — Transparency Mode is Vital to All Day Wear
Apple wants you to wear your new AirPods Pro all day long…or at least for four hours at a time at which point you’ll have to drop them into the wireless charging case for a battery boost. The problem is that their ANC makes having a conversation practically impossible unless the other person is shouting. Transparency mode (activated with a press and hold of the AirPod stem) lets you hold a conversation at a normal volume without having to take out your AirPods.