2 Weeks ago, a sinking feeling washed over me as I lost my beloved AirPods Pro that had been with me for 3 years. These trusty companions had been faithfully by my side for almost three years, or at least, their various replacements had.
Well, I had encountered the infamous sound issues that plagued me over the years, leading me to visit the Genius Bar on three separate occasions for free replacements, once every year. Each time, I hoped the new pair would bring me peace, and for a while, they did. However, fate had a different plan in store for my latest pair.
This time, they found themselves embarked on a journey in search for the gospel of unrivaled quality, but ended up unwittingly taking a trip through the spin cycle of my washing machine. Enduring an hour in the dryer and a day of air-drying, they miraculously powered on. However, they refused to reconnect to my phone, leaving me puzzled and in search of a solution.
My Solution to Fix Water Damaged AirPods
I bought a pair of second generation AirPods Pro on discount.
It’s been three years since I first laid eyes on the shiny, pristine case of my AirPods. I took them out from the plastic wrap, and carefully opened them before placing them on my table, hoping to keep them safe and scratch-free. In a twist of irony, a scratch marred the surface of the case within a literal second, and thus put an end to my ambitious goal.
A Slightly Better Design
I found two design changes that I loved. Let me share these with you.
XS Size Ear Tips
My personal favorite is the addition of the XS ear tips. This small but significant alteration has made a world of difference in my user experience. With the 1st generation AirPods, I had so much trouble wearing them for extended periods, not only because the small tips are too big, but also because they would often become loose. For example, the muscles on my face gets pushed upwards when I smile, squeezing my earlobe, and the AirPods will fall out.
However, the new extra small ear tip has been a game-changer for me. It has overcome the challenges I had with the previous tips, allowing the AirPods to stay firmly in place regardless of how much I laugh or smile. I can finally be a happy AirPods user.
Setting personal preferences aside, the change in the placement of the microphones is a very good one. In the original version, the noise-canceling microphone was placed on the inside of the earbud. With the microphone being slightly recessed into the earbud, it often became a trap for earwax and dead skin cells. This buildup could compromise the performance of the microphone and negatively impact its main features like transparency mode and noise cancellation. I found myself regularly cleaning the AirPods using Blu-tac just to remove those debris blocking the microphone.
However, in the updated design. The noise-canceling microphone has been relocated to the top of the earbud, where it is exposed to the outside. This new placement ensures that the microphone remains free from the accumulation of debris and allows for improved exposure to ambient sound.
I am not an audiophile, but I can still appreciate the improved bass quality. Trying them on today, I noticed a deeper bass compared to the first-generation AirPods. It made a noticeable difference, especially when listening to rhythm game music that relies heavily on dynamic bass elements.
I also experimented with the new head-tracked Spatial Audio, but I found that it didn’t suit the genre of rhythm game music. It felt like the various instruments were scattered in different directions, and the drums lost their impact as a solid bass element. However, I must admit that for classical music, the Spatial Audio feature provided an immersive listening experience that truly elevated the performance.
Other convenient features, such as transparency mode and force controls, have been retained in the second generation of AirPods Pro. Additionally, the sides of the AirPods now support swipe gestures for adjusting the volume, offering a satisfying click sound feedback with each swipe.
If you’re considering purchasing the AirPods Pro, I would recommend keeping an eye out for sales. Personally, I was fortunate to come across a great deal. Last Saturday, I discovered a $150 – $15 offer for Best Buy on my AmEx credit card. Intrigued, I visited the website and found a $50 discount on the AirPods Pro, which prompted me to make the purchase.