A week ago, I wrote that my AirPods Pro were overheated and broken. More precisely, one of the headphones.
A day later, they gave me a new earphone under warranty, and during this time I took another Pro.
The first thing I noticed is different sound quality of the freshly unpacked model. Such a difference does not happen out of the blue, and my suspicions were confirmed quickly.
Alas, this says one thing: buyers of all AirPods Pro after 20 December are forced to be content the wrong sound,
Now I have seen this myself.
What is the difference between the “old” and the recently purchased AirPods Pro
AirPods Pro firmware 2C54Unavailable for installation. Serial number 1 is a consequence of replacing one of the headphones in the service. The reader wrote about this here.
A firmware was installed on my broken AirPods Pro, which is no longer there: 2C54that appeared literally for three days and then disappeared without explanation.
The user does not have control over the AirPods update process: it installs itself without notice or warning.
AirPods Pro owners who bought headphones until December 18 last year, almost without exception managed to get a new version of software – 2C54.
AirPods Pro with firmware 2B588publicly available to date.
The 2C54 firmware changed the sound quality for the better compared to the previous one, 2B588. But, according to some, the power of the noise reduction effect has decreased.
Two months have passed since then. Apple did not comment on anything, did not release new firmware.
Sound comparisons should be treated with caution, because this is a subjective topic without special equipment. But I have two pairs of AirPods Pro on hand with both versions of the firmware.
Why not at least try?
I compared AirPods Pro with different firmware. The difference is instantly noticeable.
It’s good that in iOS 13 there was a suitable function – Share audio.
Thanks to her, I can simultaneously connect 2 pairs of different AirPods (or Beats) to one iPhone or iPad.
In my right ear I inserted an earpiece from the new AirPods Pro with firmware 2B588, and in my left ear from the old ones on the same 2C54. Well, that’s it, I started to launch different tracks.
You cannot turn on noise reduction in this mode, so both headphones played without effects.
The difference appeared instantly and in absolutely any tracks.
2B588: a murky middle, freshish high frequencies, the same blurry but powerful bass. In comparison, it seems that the headphone is clogged or the ear itself.
2C54: Weaker bass with less emphasis, but noticeably cleaner mid and high. And there is a strange feeling of lightness compared to the 2B588. As if they put less pressure on the brain, they sit better.
Total: 2C54 forces AirPods Pro sound cleaner and brighterthan 2B588, but the bass is weakening.
Decided to test and active noise reduction. To do this, I turned off the joint listening mode and put on different headphones without music in the Moscow metro.
I also had to turn on noise reduction for single headphones in the menu Universal access.
Surprise: 2B588 and 2C54 seem the same. I don’t notice any difference, as if I simply put a pair of headphones on one firmware. Everything that suppresses or misses the left, with the same success repeats the right.
The subjectivity of such a test does not allow us to say that in both versions the noise reduction is really the same. But the fact that I personally do not hear the difference is a fact.
In the end, I was surprised how significant the difference in sound quality is without a noticeable loss in noise reduction. This is not just “a little better,” but as if you are listening to two completely different models of headphones.
therefore firmware 2C54, IMHO, a clear winner. I do not consider the “soap” in 2B588 to be a plus, even taking into account the amplified bass.
And what to do with it?
It would be nice if Apple explained where the 2C54 went and whether it would appear again.
Buy AirPods Pro with this fleeting firmware today is possible only with hands, already used. I see no reason to intentionally do this. Still, 2B588 will not disappoint you, since there is nothing to compare it with.
But if you are not comfortable with the sound of “bugs” on a publicly available version, be aware: they can play much better. It remains to wait and hope that they will be allowed to do this again.