KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 3 — Beep.
I check my notifications and see a somewhat ominous message: there’s a change in my resting heart rate.
All’s good though. My resting heart rate has been trending lower, which is great because I’ve been walking regularly three to four times a week, most of it power walking through one of the city’s largest malls or the walkway that connects two other big malls.
You do what you must when the weather alternates between searingly hot and flash flood storms, often on the same day.
As I walk or when weather isn’t too awful to run, I have the new AirPods Pro in my ears, while wearing the second iteration of the Apple Watch Ultra, that I’m testing to see how long it takes to detect that I’m walking outdoors (anywhere between 10-20 minutes) and I’m moving as fast as I can because there is no time.
I’m still working on shaving my walking pace, lowering my resting heart rate further or I’m not going to be able to run fast enough to finish a 5K in the time that I want.
Walk’s done. Time to head home and clock in. I’m listening to music on the AirPods Pro and checking out the trail for next week’s hiking session on the phone.
Each time I pass a station, the volume on my AirPods Pro lowers so I can hear the announcement.
It took a while to get used to my earphones being smart enough to detect when to quiet down.
Hilariously when I’m telling my pets off (“No, bad Momo!”) the AirPods Pro go nearly silent but when I’m singing along to the music they’re smart enough to know to keep the music on.
I’m still learning how to use the new Double Tap gesture that’s one of the few things that differentiates the new Apple Watch Ultra from last year’s.
It’s novel but I hardly used the Assistive Touch features on the last few watches. Let’s see how it goes when I’m trying not to collapse going up a hill next week.
The AirPods Pro, though, do feel different. They seem to fit a little better in my ears, for one, though size-wise they’re the same but they did swap out the driver and amplifier (these are things I checked only after trying the headphones as I came into the review expecting no difference at all).
What I wasn’t prepared for was how different the sound was as I’d thought the experience would be the same but they fit a little better now and I don’t feel that itch to push my headphones further in so I can hear the music better.
I find the stereo experience a lot more defined, the clarity of the music and vocals more pronounced from the last version and I would say it is an upgrade sound-wise and with the new USB-C port, makes more sense as a futureproofing purchase.
Like why buy the Lightning version when USB-C is coming to replace Lightning ports in the future anyhow?
I can already say that if you have the first AirPods Pro these are a decent upgrade but especially if you only have regular AirPods.
If you already have the most recent Lightning iteration of the AirPods Pro, they’re still decent earphones and worth hanging onto.
As for the Apple Watch Ultra, I think a whole lot more needs to be said about them and just how much more useful they would be on longer trails or more challenging physical events, not just for the actual event but the training leading up to them so look out for my upcoming Cliffnotes guide to ‘how to help your watch save you from dying’.
In the meantime, the new AirPods Pro with USB-C are already available online and at your nearest Apple retailer for RM1,099 while the Apple Watch Ultra 2 is also available for order from RM3,799.