I was a big fan of Apple’s AirPods when they first launched, but I have to say grew tired of them fairly quickly. The concept is terrific, of course, and they were certainly among the best true wireless earbuds on the market when they first hit store shelves. But the smooth plastic tips don’t isolate sound so all the bass leaks out of your ears. That’s fine if you’re a runner or if you commute in a city and need to hear what’s going on around you. Personally, I want silicone tips so I can enjoy the best possible sound quality. I switched to the Master & Dynamic MW07 true wireless earbuds and never looked back, and I continued to use them until recently when I got the new and improved MW07 Plus model. They’re so good that I didn’t even care when Apple released its new AirPods Pro model, which features silicone tips and new noise cancelling technology.
The new AirPods Pro earphones look great, but I personally didn’t even bother to try them at first. Why not? Well, I poked around a few reviews out there and I really didn’t find anything worthwhile. The reviews I skimmed seemed like they were written by tech bloggers who had never even tried another pair of noise cancelling earphones. They gushed over capabilities that are beyond basic, and they didn’t do anything to convince me that Apple had made any great strides where sound quality is concerned. Since the reviews I found were so poorly written, I just closed them and didn’t even bother investigating any further. If you’re in the same boat, however, I finally ended up stumbling upon a review that’s actually worthwhile, but it wasn’t published by any tech blog or news site. Instead, it’s just a random guy on Reddit who seems to know a lot more about reviewing headphones than any of the gadget bloggers I found.
The Redditor in question goes by the name “frumpy_cat” and he doesn’t appear to be an expert in headphones or in consumer electronics in general. Instead, he’s a regular user who actually took the time to compare Apple’s new AirPods Pro to leading rivals that he has actually tried. Whereas many reviews from tech bloggers seem to come from people who have never tried any leading rivals, comparing AirPods Pro to similar models is actually the best way to review them since sound quality is obviously objective.
In his post on Reddit, the user compares the AirPods Pro to Apple’s Powerbeats Pro and to the Sony WF-1000XM3 earphones, which are widely regarded as the best true wireless earbuds that support noise cancellation. He also threw in Sony’s over-ear noise cancelling headphones just for the fun of it, since everyone knows the WH-1000XM3 are the best in the business. For each different category, he gives each pair of headphones a score from 1 to 10 and then offers a quick blurb with some overall thoughts.
If you’re in the market for new noise cancelling earphones and you’re considering the new $250 AirPods Pro over Sony’s industry-leading option at $230, definitely read through this review before you pull the trigger. I ended up trying out AirPods Pro for myself, and I think this Redditor is right on the money with most of his takes.