review

xFyro ANC Pro Review True Wireless With Noise Suppressing AI

Wednesday, January 06, 2021

The reason why active noise cancelling (ANC) headphones are becoming popular for home use is because there is currently no way of "ANCing" an open room. Even though the hardware needed to do ANC is available (i.e.microphones and speakers), it is very difficult to actively cancel noise in an entire room because ANC works by cancelling sounds close by. In an open room, sounds would come from everywhere while also reflecting on surfaces, making it virtually impossible to ANC a room!
The two most popular ANC headphone variants are over-ear ANC headphones and in-ear canal ANC earbuds such as the xFyro ANC Pro, which are the latest competitor on the market bringing a new feature called AI Transparency mode, which works similarly to Microsoft's real-time noise suppression by filtering out stationary (non-moving) rumbling type sounds (i.e. car engine).
AI Transparency mode works but comes with a trade off since you are not able to turn off AI Transparency mode; hence losing passive isolation in the process. One noticeable thing about AI Transparency mode is that the bass response becomes more pronounced than in ANC mode. With most ANC headphones/earbuds, it's the opposite.
When toggling between ANC and AI Transparency, you will hear a voice prompt for each mode. When Transparency is on, ANC gets turned off and, when ANC is turned on, AI Transparency gets turned off. You cannot turn off both ANC and Transparency modes so, one or the other has to be always running, which is the intended purpose, even though the vast majority of ANC earbuds allow you to disable both ANC and Transparency modes. On the upside, having Transparency mode always on means when a call comes in you can hear yourself when speaking and, it is also safer for situational awareness when walking around with the ANC Pro.
The ANC Pro charging case has xFyro branding etched on the backside of the charging case, which weighs 40 grams. On the front of the charging case, there is a status a led and a large psychical reset button for clearing the earbuds Bluetooth list of paired devices. Speaking of Bluetooth, the pairing process itself is easy since both ANC Pro earbuds pair as a single unit and, you can pair them both while sitting inside the charging case.
As long as the charging case remains open, you can switch between the earbuds without bluetooth disconnection, re-connection delay and/or the audio pausing. When closing the charging case though, the bluetooth connection automatically disconnects, taking 3 seconds to re-connect when taking the earbud(s) out of the charging case again. The xFyro ANC Pro can be paired independently with separate devices so, you can use them individually.
The xFyro ANC Pro earbuds weigh 5 grams each and feature three microphones each, one for ANC and two beamforming microphones (sames as the AirPods Pro) for calls. The dual beamforming microphones do a good job of attenuating background noise and raising your voice naturally. The ANC microphone is located on the touch control area and has a feedforward design (hence it is located on the outside).
The xFyro ANC Pro earbuds control all key functions, including calls (answer/reject), voice assistant, play/pause, track skipping (next/previous), volume, ANC/Transparency mode and game mode, which is designed to work similarly to aptX-LL to reduce latency during gaming. 
While the ANC Pro game mode does not reduce latency as low as aptX-LL (40ms), it is able to cut down lag down to 90ms, which is pretty good, although the sound quality does get degraded. Game mode is activated by tapping the left earbud four times, although there is no voice prompt or beep alerting you when game mode has been turned on or off. 
The ANC Pro have good audio dynamics with loud volume, although there is no voice prompt when maxing out the volume, which is a useful feature to prevent the annoyance of having to tap on the earbud more times than you have to. The xFyro ANC Pro are IPX5 water resistant; hence they aren't fully waterproof like other xFyro earbuds, including the xS2 earbuds, which are IP67 certified.
The xFyro ANC Pro earbuds have a runtime of up to 3 hours at 100% volume (whether you have ANC turned on or Transparency mode turned on). The charging case can store up to 90 hours of battery power, which is remarkable giving its compact size (approx. 5.5cm high, 6cm wide and 2cm thick). The ANC Pro charging case charging time is 2 hours with fast charge support, which recharges the earbuds to 50% full in just 15 minutes. The ANC Pro Bluetooth 5.0 chip only supports AAC and SBC codecs.
The ANC Pro charging case has the same matte coating as the earbuds, which minimizes oily smudges. The USB-C charging port is located on the base of the unit, which is probably not the most ideal because it prevents you from re-charging the charging case with the lid open, which is needed in order to maintain an active bluetooth connection to the earbuds. Since you cannot recharge the charging case upright, you have to lay it flat, which in turn forces the charging case lid to close.

The xFyro ANC Pro earbuds have a drum style design with a tall 2cm long body, which makes removing the earbuds from the charging dock very easy. The ANC Pro earbuds also have long and slimline oval-shaped stems, measuring 2.5cm long, 0.6cm wide and 0.6cm thick. Each earbud is equipped with a 7mm dynamic driver, which is able to hone in deep bass without muddling the vocals and instrumentals. Inside the box, there is also an unbranded charging cable (usb-a to usb-c) and ear tips. You can buy the ANC Pro from the xFyro website. Check out the review of the xFyro Aria true wireless and xFyro Orion speaker.

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