Technology Apple's new AirPods Pro are $249, add noise cancellation and might actually fit in your ears
Amazon's Echo Buds are an Alexa-powered answer to Apple's Airpods
Apple has proven that combining true wireless earbuds with always on access to a virtual assistant can be a reliable recipe for success. Its Airpods continue to be the best selling option, even as the true wireless scene really starts to take off. So, it's no surprise then that Amazon is looking to cash in. Its Echo Buds don't look terribly different from the competition. But they do allow you to talk to Alexa without touching a button -- basically it's an Echo you shove in your ears. One thing the Echo Buds definitely have over their Apple competitors though, is noise cancellation.
Apple on Monday introduced its new , which feature a new design and active noise cancellation. The can be ordered online and in the Apple Store app as of Monday, and will be available in stores starting Wednesday.
The AirPods Pro are Apple's first earphones to feature a noise-isolating design with "three different sizes of soft, flexible silicone ear tips that conform to the contours of each individual ear." Until now, Apple earbuds -- the wired and totally wireless AirPods -- have had an open design with hard buds that don't seal off your ear canal. The new design could help solve -- that they don't fit in all ears securely. Apple also said the AirPods Pro are sweat and water resistant.
iOS 13.2 beta may shed light on Apple's new AirPods design
Besides a look at the company's upcoming Deep Fusion photography mode, the latest iOS 13 beta includes another preview Apple might not have intended people to see just yet. Digging into the 13.2 developer beta, 9to5Mac discovered an icon that may depict the company's next-generation AirPods. For the moment, it's best not to read too much into the icon. That said, if it is representative of what the next-generation AirPods will look like, the one interesting detail we can glean is that they'll potentially feature interchangeable rubber tips. This would address the one issue almost everyone has with Apple's Bluetooth headphones: their one size fits all approach.
They should sound significantly better, with improved bass performance. With an open design, you tend to lose some bass, particularly outdoors in noisier environments. And Apple said the Pro's Adaptive EQ "tunes music to the shape of your ear for a rich, consistent listening experience."
Like , the AirPods Pro have adaptive active noise-cancelling as well as a Transparency Mode that allows sound to leak in while you're listening to audio so you can hear traffic around you or train announcements. Apple said the Pro's noise cancellation "continuously adapts the sound signal 200 times per second."
Apple's $249 AirPods Pro pack noise cancellation and hands-free Siri
After months of rumors, Apple didn't wait until its next event to reveal the new version of its AirPods. Officially called AirPods Pro, the new model offers active noise cancellation and hands-free access to Siri for $249. The biggest change in terms of design is the addition of silicone ear tips that offer a better seal. This is essential for noise-cancelling earbuds, and it's also a tweak that was tipped in an iOS 13 beta. Apple says theApple says the AirPods Pro offer "superior sound quality" with audio feature called Adaptive EQ. According to the company, the tool "automatically tunes" low and mid-range frequencies to suit each person's ears.
To switch between the two modes -- noise cancellation and Transparency -- AirPods Pro features a new "force sensor" on the stem of the earbuds (you pinch the stem between your fingers to switch modes). This will also allow people to play, pause or skip music, as well as hang up on phone calls, directly on the AirPods Pro.
Like the earlier AirPods and and , this model is equipped with Apple's H1 chip and also feature always on voice recognition, which lets you say "Hey Siri," to summon the digital assistant. Apple owns Beats and this model will compete directly with the popular Powerbeats Pro, which lists for $250 but has recently been .
According to Apple, the AirPods Pro have the same battery life as AirPods, with up to five hours of listening time on a single charge. In active noise cancellation mode, the AirPods Pro will deliver up to four and a half hours of listening. Some new true wireless ear buds deliver better battery life -- more like 6 to 8 hours -- but they don't have active noise-cancelling.
The $249 price tag includes a wireless charging case, which charges on any Qi-compatible charging mat. The AirPods Pro require a device running iOS 13.2 or later, iPadOS 13.2 or later, watchOS 6.1 or later, tvOS 13.2 or later or macOS Catalina 10.15.1 or later.
Originally published Oct. 28, 9:22 a.m. PT.
Update, 10:56 a.m. PT: Adds some comparisons to competing models.
Knops, these innovative earplugs that make disappearing noises that bother you
An engineer has developed new generation earplugs. Described as "a volume button for the ears", they make it possible to disappear as you please the external noises which disturb you.
The world around us is filled with more or less disturbing noises. Music too loud at a concert, baby crying in transport or road traffic a little too noisy, all these sounds can quickly irritate to the point of wanting to plug their ears. And if you could manage to make them disappear in a gesture?
This is what Knops proposes. Designed by the engineer Arjen De Jong, this device looks like a simple ear plug or earphone but it goes much further. It acts as if the user had "a button volume for the ears": it allows him to make disappear the sounds he wants and hear only what he wants to hear.
Four levels of listening
For this, Knops devices have four levels. The first allows you to hear what you hear without plugging while the other three can reduce the volume at different stages. The second allows to silence for example the noise of a busy city. The third lowers the volume of a concert a little too noisy.
Finally, the fourth allows to dive into a totally silent environment and ideal for working. This gives the user total control over what they hear, which also allows them to protect their ears from harmful sound for hearing, all without having to remove the Knops, as.
According to its inventors, the caps do not use any electronics, application or battery. Their secret is based solely on their particular structure and a small gesture is enough to pass the levels. "The sound is filtered using good old physics" and in particular the laws of acoustics, explain the inventors of Knops who have since created their company.
A fundraising campaign launched
The idea of these new generation earplugs came after its inventors found that conventional devices were often of poor quality and unsightly. "After much research focused on the user experience, we created the concept of Knops," say engineers and musicians.
"A volume button that adapts to each situation, protects your ears from damage, filters the noise to your desire and is also super beautiful," they add. To fund the project, a campaign was launched on the. It has already raised more than 168,000 euros, much more than the original goal of 30,000 euros.
Apple’s AirPods Pro are on sale just weeks after their release .
Less than a month after Apple released its AirPods Pro, they're on sale for $235 on Amazon. That $14 savings is a little surprising. It's unusual to see these things go on sale so soon, and it might irk some of the folks who bought them at full price a couple weeks ago. Normally $249, the AirPods Pro are Apple's best and most expensive true wireless earbuds yet. They offer refined design, better sound and more features, like active noise cancellation (ANC). They add transparency mode, on-board controls and silicone ear tips. They're rated as sweatproof (IPX4), and of course, they have hands-free Siri.
Microsoft Surface Earbuds hands-on
Microsoft announced the new $249 Surface Earbuds, which are the second product in its portfolio of headphones after last year's Surface Headphones.
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