AirPods Pro are a line of premium wireless earbuds from Apple. They offer advanced features not available in non-Pro AirPods, most notably active noise cancellation (ANC).
The second-generation from 2022 look almost exactly like the original model released in 2019, but they’re upgraded in every way that matters most, thanks mainly to a new H2 processor.
In 2023, Apple released a tweaked version that put a USB-C port in the wireless earbud’s charging case, in place of the old Lightning port. Otherwise, they are nearly identical to their predecessors, aside from lossless audio when paired with an Apple Vision Pro. These are still called AirPods Pro 2.
The latest models use built-in microphones and advanced algorithms to continuously adapt to the user’s ear and the environment, actively canceling out external noise for a quieter listening experience. But they also have transparency mode to enable users to hear their surroundings while still listening to music or taking calls.
AirPods Pro come with silicone ear tips in three different sizes (small, medium, large) to provide a customizable and comfortable fit for a wide range of ear shapes.
First off: There’s no direct way to update AirPods firmware. When Apple updates AirPods software — as it just did for AirPods Max — the update happens automatically, in the background.
However, there is a way to speed up the update process. Plus, it’s a good idea to manually check you’re running the latest version, which brings bug fixes and sometimes great new features.
As noted, Apple most recently released fresh firmware for AirPods Max, taking the over-the-ears headphones to 6A324. Last week came version 6A321 for AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro 1. Earlier in January, AirPods 3 got 6A321.
Here’s how to check if your AirPods are running the latest firmware on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Plus what to do if they aren’t, and how to force AirPods firmware to update.
Apple devices are known for their beautiful designs and user-friendly functionality — not their battery power. Apple Watch is no exception, needing daily charging. So sometimes the battery runs low when you’re not near a charger. But a brand-new gadget fixes that problem.
qCharge 2.0 Portable Apple Watch Battery, now available in the Cult of Mac Store, goes wherever you go and charges up your Apple Watch (and AirPods Pro 2) anywhere, no cable required.
Sure, you can buy a computer monitor and set it up on the stand that came in the box. But what if you want to easily move the external display around? And what if you want to have multiple screens and move them around?
Keeping monitors up off the desk and mobile can really improve your setup. And the best way to do that is to mount your screens on arms. It takes some effort, but as today’s user points out below, it’s worth it.
Happy New Year — and it will no doubt be happier if you can nab AirPods Pro 2 with a USB-C charging case, which has returned to its lowest price yet. Maybe that’ll even motivate you to exercise more, if by chance you set certain New Year’s resolutions along those lines and could use the help of Apple’s top earbuds.
Amazon is selling the updated noise-canceling earbuds for $189, down from $249. That’s the best price we’ve seen. And you can find discounts on other Apple earbuds, too.
In an effort to boost sales and clarify offerings, Apple will revamp its AirPods lineup in 2024, reports have indicated — but that won’t include updates for every product.
AirPods 4 should arrive next year, with two versions replacing current lower-priced earbuds models. And AirPods Max will receive some long-awaited updates, although the pricey over-ear headphones won’t get a major revamp. And as for what comes after AirPods Pro 2, we’ll have to wait until early 2025, most likely.
If you’re in the market for Apple earbuds, second-gen AirPods Pro with a USB-C case are the earbuds to beat. And this hot new AirPods Pro sale slashes the $249 list price down to just $199.99 … and it comes with AppleCare+!
Plus, if you order by 11:59 a.m. Pacific on Wednesday, December 20, you can take delivery by Christmas.
The only (potential) drawback is that this AirPods Pro deal is for Costco members only. But never fear: If you’re not already a member, Cult of Mac Deals offers a great deal on a Costco membership that will let you save money on Apple gear every day of the year.
Apple will revamp its AirPods lineup in 2024 in an effort to boost sales and clarify offerings, a new report indicates.
AirPods 4 should arrive next year, with two versions replacing current lower-priced earbuds models. And AirPods Max will receive some long-awaited updates, although the pricey over-ear headphones won’t get a major revamp.
This week on Cult of Mac’s podcast: After a quick spin through the news of the week, we get down to business with our second round of picks for the best and worst tech and entertainment of 2023.
Also on The CultCast:
Would you pay 99 bucks for a USB-C case for AirPods Pro? I think the price is outrageous, but not everyone is so sure.
Apple just raised the bar for authorities who might want to spy on your iPhone’s push notifications.
A new iPhone security feature will soon make it harder for thieves to wreck your life.
And the latest on how Apple might be forced to open up iPhone to appease regulators.
Listen to this week’s episode of The CultCast in the Podcasts app or your favorite podcast app. (Be sure to subscribe and leave us a review if you like it!) Or watch the video live stream, embedded below.
December 13, 2016: After months of anticipation and delay, Apple finally releases AirPods. The tiny wireless earbuds arrive in Apple’s online store just in time for holiday shoppers looking for stocking stuffers.
Like so many Apple products, they aren’t the first such earbuds to arrive on the scene. However, AirPods’ rapid success will fuel a wireless listening revolution.
A gift that always goes down well with Apple fans, no matter the time of year, is a brand-new pair of AirPods. But it’s important to ensure you pick the right pair out of the four on offer if you really want to impress.
In our AirPods buying guide, we’ll help you choose between AirPods 2, AirPods 3, AirPods Pro, and AirPods Max — and highlight some of the best cases and charging accessories to go with them.
A crazy good deal on the new AirPods Pro 2 with USB-C case lets you save $60 off the retail price. And this despite the wireless earbuds being on the market for just over a month.
Apple’s new top-of-the-line wireless earbuds take advantage of all the latest new bells and whistles in iOS 17. Plus, they bring additional new features besides the port change, including additional dust resistance and the promise of high-res audio when paired with Apple Vision Pro.
AirPods 4 will be the first in Apple’s budget line of wireless earbuds with active noise cancellation when they launch in 2024, according to high-profile tipster. And there’ll be other improvements, too.
In addition, a new version of AirPods Max over-the-ears headphones are also supposedly on the docket for 2024.
Did you miss buying your favorite Apple gear or accessory during Prime Day earlier in the year? Worry not, as Amazon is back with its Prime Big Deal Days, offering hefty discounts on a hoard of Apple products and accessories.
There are great deals on MacBooks, AirPods, Apple Watches, iPads and other Apple accessories that make your favorite products much more affordable.
If you want to see a good example of high-end Mac computing, look no further than today’s elegant featured setup. Its powerful M2 Mac Studio desktop computer works alongside a PC gaming rig as they drive a curved OLED display for maximum contrast.
Throw in a rarely seen mechanical keyboard and a standing desk with a big Grovemade desk shelf, and we’re in business.
Apple could release charging cases that use USB-C for lower-priced AirPods in 2024, according to an unconfirmed report. A similar case for premium AirPods Pro 2 is expected at Apple’s September event next week.
And Apple might bring USB-C to AirPods Max next year, too, as part of a general move away from Lightning.
Using older magnetic chargers, lots of folks still charge their iPhones at a pokey rate of 7.5 watts. So it’s good news Spigen just rolled out its first 15W MagSafe device, the ArcField Wireless Charger.
You can use it to quick-charge any MagSafe iPhone 12, 13 or 14 handset, and it’ll juice up an AirPods Pro charging case at 5W.