Apple AirPods Pro 2 review – fitness tested!

The Apple AirPods Pro have finally received an update this year with the release of the second generation. There have been a large number of improvements made, including stronger active noise cancellation, an increased battery life, and better sound quality.

But how do the second-generation Apple AirPods Pro hold up for exercise? Read below to to get our review after taking them through over a dozen workouts!

AirPods Pro 2 review

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When it comes to Apple AirPods Pro 2, there are five things we need to discuss around fitness:

How they fit

The fit is one of the most important considerations since the last thing you want is to constantly be adjusting the AirPods or, even worse, have them fall out mid workout.

As always, the fit will vary for everybody, based on ear shape and size. The Apple AirPods Pro 2 have the exact same fit as before, so for me, they tend to feel a bit loose once I start to sweat. Though it is far from bad, and I have not had them fall out once during the dozen or more workouts I have tested them with.

They also come with a new XS (extra small) ear tip included. For those of you with smaller ears, this could be the trick to finally getting a great fit. As I will discuss, it is well worth testing out given how good they are.

AirPods Pro 2 battery life

The battery life of the Apple AirPods Pro 2 has been increased to six hours (it was five previously). The total battery life is 30 hours when including the full charge of the case.

This is more than enough for pretty much any situation. Even a multi-day hike or camping trip will likely not give you any trouble.

The battery case itself has also been improved. It now has a spot for a lanyard, has a pair of speakers to help you locate it, and is a bit more water resistant. This is great because if you have a small water bottle leak in your backpack (for some reason this always happens to me), the AirPods should still make it out alright.

AirPods Pro 2 controls

Similar to the previous generation, you can control the Apple AirPods Pro via the stems that come down.

  • Press once to pause or play.
  • Press twice to skip forward a track.
  • Triple press to go back a track.
  • Press and hold to switch between active noise cancellation and transparency mode.

New this time around is the ability to adjust the volume up or down. You can do this by placing your thumb on the stem of either AirPod and using your other finger to swipe in the direction you want the volume to go.

This takes a while to get, but once you figure it out, it works pretty well. However, it can be extremely tough to pull this off while mid run. To be fair, the same is true for all earbuds.

Transparency and active noice cancellation

One of the big differentiators for the Apple AirPods Pro is the excellent Transparency Mode and active noice cancellation feature. Both are important to consider for exercise. 

Active noise cancellation (ANC) is great for indoor workouts. For example, with treadmills it will block out the majority of the noise and allow you to just focus on your own music or class.

The ANC was already really good on the original Apple AirPods Pro but is even better here. Apple says it is twice as effective. While I do not agree with that, it’s still phenomenal.

The Transparency Mode is crucial as well in order to be safe for exercising outdoors near or on a road. Again the AirPods Pro 2 do an excellent job allowing you to hear everything that is going on around you. 

A warning for Adaptive Transparency

The one new feature that I am a bit scared of is Adaptive Transparency, which automatically dampens loud or harsh noises before they reach your ears.

While this is a very cool feature, my concern is that it works too well. If I am out running or walking near a road, I do not want loud noises (like a car horn) dampened. I want the noise to be as loud as possible so I know if it is critical that I quickly get out of the way.

Luckily, you can turn this feature off in the settings if you have an iPhone.

AirPods Pro 2 sound quality

The improved sound quality is my favorite feature of the AirPods Pro 2. Don’t get me wrong. The previous generation sounded great. But this is on a whole new level.

The bass is much stronger, and the overall tone quality has been improved well beyond what I had expected. If you appreciate great sound quality, these are among the best out there.

Additionally, the sound quality of the mic has been improved. The cleaner audio for calls is very noticeable on the receiving end.

Overall, I definitely recommend the AirPods Pro 2 for fitness use. Everything from the improved active noise cancellation to the top sound quality make these a worthy purchase – even with a price tag at over $200. 

Buy the AirPods Pro 2 here.


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