Apple released thein early November with very little fanfare, but these fully wireless earbuds are a notable upgrade of the released earlier this year. In fact, the AirPods Pro are the biggest upgrade we've seen to the AirPods since Apple first released them in late 201
However, some things have changed. For example, you no longer tap one of the earphones to change tracks and you can use active noise cancellation to block all outside noise. And for those who want to listen to music, but still want to hear something from your environment, well, there is a new Transparency mode that lets through some ambient noise filter so that your cars can hear behind you, someone calling your name, and so on.
Here are some tips for getting the most out of the AirPods Pro, starting with how you can pair it with your iPhone ($ 815 with Amazon) .
Pairing still only takes a few seconds
After unpacking your AirPods Pro, unlock your iPhone (or iPad ($ 350 at Walmart) ) and open the charging case for your earbuds . A second or two later, a prompt appears on your phone asking if you want to pair the earphones.
Tap Connect to start the pairing and you are done. The AirPods Pro not only works with your iPhone, but they are also paired with all Apple devices that you have registered with your iCloud account.
Do not tap your AirPods Pro, press it.
Instead of tapping one of the AirPods, the stems of the AirPods Pro act as a button. There is actually no button there, but more a pressure-sensitive part that can replicate how you would use a button. It's weird and confusing, and yet something you'd expect from Apple.
Squeeze the flat impression on each AirPod with two fingers. With every press you will hear a click in your ear. Here is an overview of what each press of the button does:
- Press once : Pause / play
- Double press : Jump forward
- Triple press : Jump backward  Long press : Switch between noise reduction and transparency mode.
Check the battery life
To check the charging level of your AirPods Pro and the charging cassette, unlock your iPhone or iPad and open the case next to your device with the AirPods in it. An animation appears with the charge level of each AirPod and the case.
Use Active Noise Reduction
Perhaps the headliner function of AirPods Pro is Active Noise Reduction (ANC). When this is on, noise reduction blocks almost all background noise that you would normally hear with normal earbuds or standard AirPods. For example, if you work in a noisy office, this should block all chatter and distractions.
In addition to turning off noise reduction by long pressing one of the AirPods buttons, you can also use Control Center on your iPhone or iPad. Swipe down from the top right corner of your device screen and then hold down the volume slider when the control center appears. At the bottom of the screen you have three options: Noise Reduction, Off and Transparency. Tap the setting that you want to use.
Using the transparency mode on the AirPods Pro
When you switch to transparency mode, you can hear some ambient sounds, but still have audio in your AirPods Pro without problems.
The transparency mode is something that you use at an airport when you have to listen to gate changes or when you walk through busy streets so that you can hear the traffic.
You can switch to transparency mode by long pressing the buttons on the AirPods or by using the switch in the Control Center.
If you have an Apple Watch, you can tap the AirPlay icon in the Now Playing app to switch between noise reduction and transparency modes when your AirPods Pro is in use.
Changing modes on your Mac
When using your AirPods Pro with your Mac, you can switch between noise reduction and transparency without squeezing one of your AirPods Pro. Instead, click the speaker icon in the menu bar at the top of your screen and then move your mouse over your AirPods Pro and then select the mode you want to switch to.
Replacing the tips
The AirPods Pro includes two extra sizes of earbuds – the medium size is already installed. Try them out first, and if they feel uncomfortable, you can exchange them for a different size. It is not a trick to remove the tip from each AirPod, just pull it off and push it to place another pair. It may feel like you're going to tear it up, but the few swaps I did make them come out.
Do the ear-tip test
If you dive into the AirPods Pro settings, you can do the ear-tip test (try saying that out loud a few times). The test plays some sounds, uses the microphones of the AirPods and then tells you whether the earbuds you have installed are the right size for your ears.
To perform the test, open the Settings app on your iPhone, select Bluetooth and tap the "i" next to the name of your AirPods Pro. Select Ear Tip Fit Test and follow the instructions.
I performed the test with both medium and small earbuds, and both passed. So don't feel trapped in the first earbuds you test with; there may be another size that works and feels more comfortable.
Check the charging status when the case is charged wirelessly
The case that comes with the AirPods Pro will charge wirelessly on the same wireless charging pads that work with the iPhone.
Place the housing on the cushion, with the small light up, to start charging. The light of the case illuminates when it is first placed on the pad to let you know that it is being charged. However, eventually a timeout will occur and will be disabled. Tap the case to check the charging status of the case (green means that it is fully charged).
The AirPods Pro has many more, but theseand should help you master your new wireless earbuds completely.
Originally published earlier this month.