Bakeoff: Apple AirPods Pro Gen 1 vs Gen 2 vs Leaf Blower

Warning: this content is older than 365 days. It may be out of date and no longer relevant.

In this episode, I test out the new Apple AirPods Pro Generation 2 versus the previous generation and the Bose QC Earbuds Generation 1 for noise cancellation and microphone quality in the most absurd conditions: with a leaf blower.

The new Apple AirPods Pro are pretty impressive. The noise cancellation is good, the microphone is good, and they’re comfortable.

This review is entirely unsolicited and I paid for everything out of pocket.

Bakeoff: Apple AirPods Pro Gen 1 vs Gen 2 vs Bose QC Earbuds Gen 1

Can’t see anything? Watch it on YouTube here.

Listen to the audio here:

Download the MP3 audio here.

Machine-Generated Transcript

What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for watching the video.

Christopher Penn 0:00

So today we’re gonna test out the new Apple AirPods the second generation pro versus the first generation for noise cancellation.

And for for mic stuff I’m doing in the car because cars are one of the best places to do this sort of stuff because they’re, they’re almost, you know sound insulated a little bit.

So let’s get started.

Here’s what we’re going to do, we’re going to use this little sleep machine noisemaker and I’m also going to turn on the sound detection on my Apple watch.

So right now okay, so let’s do this.

Let’s start with a benchmark here 34 decibels with nothing.

So let’s do 10 clicks on here 1-234-567-8910 It’s about 42 decibels, so about 10 More

1-234-567-8910 58 decibels 1-234-567-8910.

About 70.

So 4458 and seven years sort of the where this thing goes.

So that’s those are three levels.

Let’s go ahead and do AirPods number one

Unknown Speaker 1:40

Okay, here we go.

Christopher Penn 1:41

This is first 1041

Unknown Speaker 1:42


Christopher Penn 1:57

I can just start to hear it now.

Unknown Speaker 2:03

54 decibels definitely hear it now 69 decibels.

So there’s the first AirPods take those out.

Christopher Penn 2:24

Okay, got the second set of AirPods.

And now Now this is where it’s saying noise levels reduced by AirPods on the watch.

So I can’t actually get a good reading but I can count the number of clicks like we’ve been doing.

So here we go first 10 clicks

now it’s saying on here 24 decibels noise reduced by AirPods.

That’s firsthand.

I can feel it.

I can’t really hear it.

Unknown Speaker 2:51

Let’s go to the second 10.

I can hear it.

But it’s definitely quieter than the others that are AirPods.

Okay, can I more feel up in here, I can tell there’s a white noise that was taken up there instead of 10.

Unknown Speaker 3:16

Yep, now this is saying on here.

Noise level 4748 decibels, so it’s at 70.

So that’s a pretty big reduction bias

Christopher Penn 3:35

so when it’s a max going here, this is about 70 decibels.

When it’s guys cranked up and on here it’s saying 4647 So it’s chopping about 25 decibels off which is pretty impressive.

That’s up there with actual hearing protection right your average hearing protection noise reduction levels between 20 and 30 decibels depending on how it adjusts.

That’s That’s pretty impressive.

For calibration.

Let’s go ahead and do the Bose QC your

Unknown Speaker 4:02

bucks now.

Now I switched over to the Bose QC earbuds the

Christopher Penn 4:10

first generation ones so let’s see how we’re doing here

Unknown Speaker 4:18

Okay, there we go.

45 hear it now 55 That’s somebody I heard on 55 on that one.

So this was the third third way in, alright.

Christopher Penn 4:53

Okay, next what we’re gonna do is we’re going to try testing this microphones against them.

When I’ve done this.

I’ve said Have a leaf blower on my grill here, I’m just gonna stand roughly here to start winding up as long as it sounds, it’s gonna be both the wind and the noise

Unknown Speaker 5:27

Okay, next up, we have the Generation One AirPods got some nice cross breeze here, but we’ll see how the sounds of the gen one AirPods.

Christopher Penn 5:35

Okay, now we have the generation to AirPods we’ll see how these sound.

So that was the test to see how each of these three microphones sound in really adverse conditions, you probably wouldn’t be standing in front of a leaf blower, but if you had to be, what’s the other sound? All right, well, there you have it.

That was the noise cancellation test inside the vehicle, and then the microphone test.

In terms of my thoughts, these are pretty impressive.

These are pretty impressive.

The noise cancellation was good.

I felt like they were definitely better than the Gen ones.

In terms of the noise cancellation, I could pick up and detect the noise right around 5560 decibels.

But it was definitely more muted with the generation twos versus the generation ones for the same amount of noise.

So it was detectable.

But it was less but it was still there.

And the Bose around the same level as well.

The microphones is where these things stand out.

The gen one microphone is okay.

Right? It’s It’s decent, the Bose QC ear buds microphones is awful.

It you sound like you’re in a tin can all the time.

These, the microphone sounds good if you listen to carefully just between the gen one and gen two is a big difference in the microphone.

The quality to the point where if I was out and about and I was going to shoot some video, impromptu I hadn’t planned to shoot or anything like that.

The mic on these is good, right? It’s not as good as I can with the wireless lavalier that I’m using the RODE Lavalier.

But for out and about, this is good enough, this is good enough to get good quality audio that you would be happy to have in your YouTube videos or wherever else as you use video.

The other thing I think is really impressive about these is the noise cancellation having the meter on the Apple Watch that tells you how much it’s cutting the noise by 2025 decibels.

That is at the level of actual hearing protection, right when you start cutting 20 to 25 decibels, you’re at a point where you no real hearing protection, that you know your earplugs cuts that noise down.

So if you are again on the road at an event at a concert or something, and it suddenly gets really loud, pull these guys out and put them in your ears and you will reduce the amount of noise and potentially take dangerous noise levels back down to safe noise levels.

That’s pretty cool.

Right? So combination of hearing protection, good microphone, good microphone, and good noise cancellation? Is it as good as Apple says? Is it double the previous versions? Not really.

You know, I would expect double to be because Decibels are logarithmic, I expect double to be you know, five or six decibels greater in terms of the ability to cut they cut a route and same route but they cut it differently so I can detect it.

But it’s less loud the same decibel levels.

If I had to pick one of the three as my every day, this would be it.

This is it now because we paid for these that they’re better than the Bose QC additional ones.

Now I have not tested any of the Bose QC earbuds, generation twos.

They just came out and having heard this now it’s a tough sell.

It is a tough sell because they’re more expensive at 50 bucks more expensive than these.

They don’t do everything the apple’s devices do you know the instant pairings stuff like that.

And the noise cancellation on these is really good.

Like it’s, it’s better than the Gen ones for the Bose side of things.

And it’s good enough that I would be happy just with this on an airplane, I wouldn’t need to use the other ones which do better on an airplane than the Gen ones do with this.

This is pretty good.

So in terms of which one if I had to just pick one, this is the gen two AirPods pro Apple did an amazing job with these.

And while it might not live up to marketing’s claims, it certainly lives up to my expectations about what a second generation product should be able to do.

And, yeah, I like it.

I like it a whole bunch.

So that’s the show, I would love to hear your experiences if you’re testing out this gear to if you got a better way of doing some of these tests.

Certainly the leaf blower test.

I mean, that was just ridiculous, right? No microphone is going to do well in that environment where we’re pumping 650 cubic feet of air per second at these microphones, but I will say having reviewed the footage,

it is most intelligible with these it’s still not intelligible, right? It’s you know, it’s like standing inside of a tornado.

It’s still not intelligible.

But the other shoe sets the version ones on the Bose QC UCS.

You couldn’t hear anything.

I was just pure noise these you could make out some of my voice.

And that again, pretty impressive for a ridiculous test condition.

So that’s, that’s the show.

like to hear your thoughts, leave them in the comments.

Thanks for tuning in.

I’ll talk to you soon.

If you’d like this video, go ahead and hit that subscribe button.

You might also enjoy:

Want to read more like this from Christopher Penn? Get updates here:

subscribe to my newsletter here

AI for Marketers Book
Take my Generative AI for Marketers course!

Analytics for Marketers Discussion Group
Join my Analytics for Marketers Slack Group!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This