Do the New USB-C AirPods Professional 2 Sound Any Higher? | Digital Noch

Do the New USB-C AirPods Professional 2 Sound Any Higher? | Digital Noch

Ever since Apple’s WWDC in June, we have recognized that the AirPods Professional 2 could be getting some new options with the arrival of iOS 17, which is formally out there as Sept. 18. Amongst these free upgrades to the AirPods Professional 2 are Adaptive Audio, Dialog Consciousness and Customized Quantity. They’re undoubtedly good enhancements that improve the performance of the AirPods Professional 2 and you must clearly strive them out in case you’re an AirPods Professional 2 proprietor when you replace to iOS 17. However as I have been testing out these new options with the “new” AirPods Professional 2 with MagSafe Charging Case (USB-C) that had been launched alongside the brand new IPhone 15 fashions, I discovered myself asking a query that could be on different folks’s minds: Does USB-C model of the AirPods Professional 2 sound any higher than the earlier Lightning model? 

Here is the factor: The brand new, USB-C model of the AirPods Professional 2 are similar to the sooner Lightning mannequin, however they don’t seem to be equivalent. First, the brand new buds and charging case add elevated dust-resistance (IP54 score as a substitute of IPX4). Second, in a pinch you should utilize your iPhone 15 to cost the USB-C AirPods with the included USB-C cable. And lastly and most apparently, Apple has added help for 20-bit/48 kHz Lossless Audio with a “huge discount of latency” for Apple’s upcoming $3,499 Imaginative and prescient Professional headset (notice that Apple Lossless Audio truly goes as much as 24-bit/192 kHz). As a part of that help, Apple has introduced it is developed a “groundbreaking wi-fi audio protocol” however some bloggers and YouTubers like former CNET editor Brian Tong, have famous that the AirPods Professional 2 characteristic a brand new “acoustic structure.” 

What does that imply precisely? It is unclear whether or not that is a {hardware} change, a software program change or each. However at any time when I hear the phrases, “new acoustic structure” on a set of earbuds or headphones, it raises the query whether or not the sound has modified in any respect.

Put one other method, the AirPods Professional 2 with USB-C are designed to sound higher with the Imaginative and prescient Professional Headset, so is it attainable that new acoustic structure makes the buds sound subtly completely different with present units just like the iPhone? Granted, that new structure could very nicely be all about delivering extra wi-fi bandwidth. And Apple hasn’t mentioned something in regards to the sound being improved once you pair the brand new USB-C AirPods Professional 2 with present Apple units. However that does not rule out the likelihood that they sound ever so barely completely different.


The brand new packaging for the AirPods Professional 2 with USB-C.

David Carnoy/CNET

A/B testing

In my makes an attempt to determine whether or not there are any variations, I paired each the previous and new AirPods Professional 2 to my iPhone 14 Professional (nonetheless operating a model of iOS 16) and swapped them out and in of my ears, utilizing the identical massive ear recommendations on each buds. For the report, the Lightning mannequin quantity is A2698 operating software program model 6A301, whereas USB-C was mannequin quantity A3048 operating software program model 6A300. I did my finest to set the buds for a similar quantity stage and left noise canceling on and did not interact another options, together with spatial audio. I then listened to a handful of tracks time and again, together with Spoon’s Knock Knock Knock, Think about Dragons Monday, Florence + The Machine’s Choremania and Ed Sheeran’s Shivers, on each Apple Music and Qobuz, which does supply hi-res tracks for units that help hi-res wi-fi streaming by way of audio codecs like LDAC. 

I ought to notice that I have been utilizing the unique AirPods Professional 2 for nearly a 12 months and the brand new USB-C AirPods for only some days so my two samples usually are not in equivalent states from a utilization standpoint. However since I check quite a lot of earbuds, I do not use the AirPods Professional 2 every single day, solely sporadically so they are not as closely used as somebody who has used them as their every day drivers for a 12 months.


The brand new USB-C mannequin is on the left, the older Lightning mannequin is on the precise.

David Carnoy/CNET

Early verdict

Let me begin by saying that the common listener will likely be hard-pressed to note a distinction in sound high quality between the previous and new AirPods Professional 2. They each sound wonderful for the way light-weight they’re, which is partially why we gave the unique AirPods Professional 2 a CNET Editors’ Alternative award final 12 months. However I additionally got here away from my testing feeling that the 2 earbuds do not sound precisely the identical, and that possibly, simply possibly, the brand new USB-C AirPods Professional 2 sound ever so barely extra refined with ever so barely cleaner sound.

The one downside is I am coping with is just a little inherent bias. Ever since I realized there was some change to the acoustic structure, I have never been in a position to firmly imagine the 2 buds sound precisely the identical. So I may very well be mistaken, my thoughts may very well be taking part in methods on me. However then once more, possibly not. 

Why would Apple not say they sound higher than the originals in the event that they do? Effectively, typically Apple likes to maintain issues just a little obscure and mysterious and would not reveal every little thing a couple of product till months after it launches. Working example: we solely realized lately that the AirPods Professional 2 could be getting Adaptive Audio, Dialog Consciousness and Customized Quantity — all of which are actually out there by way of that iOS 17 replace.

Extra exams on deck

Was my statement bias — that the brand new headphones must be “higher” — affecting my judgment? Will the efficiency on the 2 normalize as soon as I improve to iOS 17? I am doing that proper now, and persevering with my testing. Finally, as soon as hundreds of individuals strive the USB-C AirPods Professional 2 and A/B them with the unique AirPods Professional 2, we’ll hopefully get a extra definitive reply on whether or not they actually sound equivalent or not. For now, my intestine says they do not — however I will be updating this story quickly with extra ideas.

#USBC #AirPods #Professional #Sound

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