Talk me into (or out of) AirPods Pro

For the last couple of years I’ve used a pair of Bose QC35 II over-ear noise-cancelling headphones for commuting and the (home) office, and Bose Soundsport earbuds for exercise (indoors and outdoors). Apart from one Raspberry Pi, I’m all in on Apple devices. I’m contemplating getting AirPods Pro as a less bulky noise-cancelling option that could take the place of the two Bose pairs, and for the promise of more seamless switching among my (counts…) six Apple devices.

I’ve read a variety of experiences here and on the major Apple blogs. Can anyone here reassure or warn me, especially if you’ve used the QC35 as well as AirPods Pro:

  • Is the APP’s noise cancelling comparable to the QC35’s or at least close enough?
  • Are rattling and squealing still likely issues?
  • I’m afraid AirPods may be too easy to lose in transit – can I trust Find My… to alert me if I’ve left them in a cafe?
  • If I’m listening to a podcast on my iPad while my partner watches something on the Apple TV, and a phone call comes through, how confused will the AirPods get?

My 2¢: My first AirPods were my favorite, but the AirPods Pro have given me problems with connections. Most people don’t have that issue. The sound of the smaller AirPods won’t compare to the QC35. Nor will the noise cancellation. But they are pretty good for how tiny these things are. The AirPods Pro are good for carrying around in your pocket where you can’t take the QC35s.

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As I’ve only had experience with the regular AirPods I can answer this. You can set your Airpod to answer your calls. If anyone calls you, you can pick up the call and it will go directly to your Airpods.

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I love my QC35IIs. If Tim Cook stopped by to offer me something Apple made to replace them, I’d offer him a coffee and a gingerbread biscuit, then send him on his way.

  1. The QC35 noise cancelling is a 10 out of 10. My AirPods Pros are 7.5/8 out of 10 IMO.
  2. I’ve been lucky to have no issues w/rattling or squealing issues. I may have had 2 or 3 people come to the Genius Bar with this problem over the last 2 years.
  3. They ARE to easy to lose while traveling… Find My works pretty well but isn’t foolproof.
  4. This depends on who answers the call… Actually, it should default to your iPad if the call comes in on your phone. I’ve never had a call show up on my Apple TV. I believe it is an Airplay option only.
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The AirPods Pro noise-cancelling might not be as good as over-the-ear headsets, but IMO the convenience + transparency mode make up for it.

On trains I will turn on ANC. It doesn’t completely block out all sounds but makes listening to music go from a very difficult, almost unusable experience (compared to regular AirPods) to a perfectly usable experience. I noticed that the train announcer’s voice still comes through with ANC which is quite handy.

Once I get off the train however, the ability to keep my AirPods in, just switching to Transparency mode, and I can walk around the streets and hear everything perfectly well, is quite simply amazing. Even if I’m not listening to anything, it’s super convenient to just leave them on, rather than putting them back into the case and risk dropping them while walking.

To answer your last question, you can disable automatic switching between devices- and many people recommend this. AirPods still makes device switching a lot faster compared to other headphones even with this feature disabled

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The Beats Fit Pro’s in my opinion have equal if not better noise cancellation to the Airpods Pro. They are 50 dollars cheaper and I would be worried we get new Airpods Pros in the next few months.

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I’ve had both the Beats Fit Pro and the AirPods Pro. The little extra flange off the Beats makes a WORLD of difference for the fit and security in my ear. The NC is very similar on both. My only complaint with the Beats is I have a tendency to push the button on them inadvertently.


Airpods can have connectivity issues especially if you try to use them to make phone calls with macOS. There are codec issues which Apple has not solved for years. Very disappointing.

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The Airpods Pro replaced both my QC25 (wired so not entirely equivalent to your QC35) and Bose SoundSport wireless for a few reasons:

  1. More compact than either of the above options.
  2. ANC was good enough to work on planes, saving me the bulk of the QC25. Not as good, but strong enough.
  3. Transparency mode is great at home or on calm streets where you want to be aware of surroundings. I still use ANC when on downtown streets to reduce how loud my content needs to be playing at while walking/running.
  4. The Airpods Pro didn’t fall out when I ran. YMMV on this though.


  1. Rattling is still an issue. I’m on my third pair, replaced freely by Apple as they’ve extended the warranty for this issue. Not great, but replacement was fast for me. It’s a flaw in the design that I imagine will be fixed in the next version.
  2. Rumours indicate a new version being released in the next few months. I’d wait for those.
  3. Ear fit is crucial. While the Airpods fit my ear, the Bose Soundsport did have a more secure fit. Try and see how it works but be ready for it to not work for you.
  4. Find My has been hit or miss, but after 2 years of ownership, I haven’t lost anything. Depends on how diligent you are about putting the airpod back in the case. I
  5. To avoid Airpods getting confused, disable the automatic change-over. Then only Phone calls will trigger phone activation. Otherwise it’ll stay locked to the last connected device. I then you use a shortcut on my homescreens to quickly connect to Airpods when I want to switch. It’s been bullet proof that way.

Hope this helps.


I love my Airpods Pro. But the ANC is not a patch on the bose. (I’ve had the 35’s and 700)

The Airpods Max are currently my headphone of choice, ANC on there is just as good as the Bose.

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If I’m at work, train etc the AirPods are what I use. If I’m flying, I’m using my Sony’s


I have a pair I got for £90 (Student incentive when my daughter bought a new iPad) but I wouldn’t buy a new pair at full price, I’d either try the AirPods 3, or get a new pair of the AirPods 2, especially with the built in battery timebomb which means they don’t last 2 years.

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Thanks everyone for your comments! I’m really leaning towards getting a pair for the convenience, now that things are opening up and I’ll be taking public transport more often, and working in an office where I need to answer the door. I take the point about rumours of a new version, OTOH both my birthday and Christmas are approaching…

I’ve thought further about one of the things that I find mildly frustrating about my two Bose sets. Both of them can connect to two devices at once, but switching to a third device can take a few seconds. Do AirPods remain constantly aware of all the devices that are in range?