Apple announces the latest version of the AirPods, the AirPods Pro. — Picture courtesy of Apple

NEW YORK, Oct 30 — Yesterday, Apple announced the AirPods Pro, a pair of truly wireless ANC earbuds that currently only have one direct competitor: Sony’s WF-1000XM3 ANC Truly Wireless Earphones.

Until Apple announced the AirPods Pro yesterday, there was only one type of earbud on the market which was both truly wireless and featured active noise-cancelling technology, Sony’s aptly-named WF-1000XM3 ANC Truly Wireless Earphones.

So how does Apple’s latest rendition of the AirPods compare with Sony’s version?

Apart from both being truly wireless and featuring ANC tech, both also support Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity. The AirPods Pro, however, don’t support NFC, which will slow the pairing process — especially for users who are connecting their Apple earbuds with an Android or other non-iPhone device.

The Google Assistant has been integrated into Sony’s earbuds, allowing the wearer to get information, control their music, receive notifications and set reminders all with their voice. Apple’s AirPods Pro have almost identical features, thanks to the integration of its own voice assistant, Siri.

In terms of battery life, Sony’s earphones offer six hours of continuous playback time when the noise cancellation is on and eight hours when the NC is off; the AirPods give users four and a half hours of distraction-free listening time — five hours with the NC off.

Unlike Sony’s earphones which don’t have any sort of rating, the AirPods Pro have an IPX4 sweat and water resistance rating which means that they are protected from splashing water. This characteristic is the only one where Apple really has a leg up on its competitor; without a doubt, the AirPods Pro are a better earbud to work out with than the Sony earphones.

Both come with wireless charging cases: The Sony case can recharge the earbuds three full charges (up to 24 hours of listening time with noise-cancellation enabled), and Apple states that the charging case brings users over 24 hours of listening time with Active Noise Cancellation on.

Sony’s WF-1000XM3 ANC Truly Wireless Earphones are available for US$229.99 (RM962.62), and Apple’s AirPods Pro will be available for US$249 starting today. — AFP-Relaxnews