For nearly three years now, everywhere you go there are the pod people – folks with those ubiquitous white wireless AirPod earbuds perched in their ears. Still, despite their popularity, AirPods have lacked one major feature for listeners who want to block out external sounds while fully immersing themselves in the music. That’s “Active Noise Cancellation,” the key ingredient driving the long-rumored new AirPods Pro that finally hit Apple Stores on Wednesday. The $249 buds – yes, they’re expensive – go on sale just as rival Amazon’s new EchoBuds arrive, also with their own version of noise cancellation, but for $120 less. According to Apple, the noise cancellation inside AirPods Pro is accomplished through a pair of microphones – one outward-facing, the other inward – that are combined with advanced software. Apple says noise cancellation continuously adapts the sound signal 200 times per second. But the new AirPods also have a feature called “Transparency Mode,” similar to the Ambient Mode feature on Samsung’s $130 Galaxy Buds, which, for example, will let you hear the captain’s greeting or some other announcement on an airplane at the same time you’re listening to a song. You can switch modes by apparently squeezing a force sensor along the stem… Read full this story
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