I Almost Walked Into A Fight: An Accidental Product Review of Apple's AirPods Pro's Noise-Cancellation Technology

Illustration for article titled I Almost Walked Into A Fight: An Accidental Product Review of Apple's AirPods Pro's Noise-Cancellation Technology
Photo: Hadrian (Shutterstock)

Hey, you. Are you in the market for noise-cancelling earbuds? If you are, have I got a product review for you.


Let’s start at the beginning though. As most of you know, we’re in the midst of a pandemic. That’s not really central to this story but I feel like it’s irresponsible to not say “CORONAVIRUS, SHIT IS REAL!” whenever possible. Anywho, since I spend a lot of time on Zooms, and one of my favorite songs is The Commodores “Zoom,” I spend a good amount of my day with headphones of some sort on. I purchased the Raycon E55’s at one point and told you about them—they’re still a hell of a value—but my instinctual go-to is almost always my Apple AirPods. I’m an Apple dude.

Now, to be an Apple dude is to spend bushels (see what I did there?) of money on Apple shit since Apple shit is not cheap. It also means that when your Apple shit goes kaput you naturally want new Apple shit. One of my Apple AirPods just stopped working. Like, out of the blue, it went full asshole for no reason. And then the other one wouldn’t hold a charge for more than 10 minutes. As I went to buy some replacements I remembered that Apple had dropped their new, better, more expensive shit: AirPods Pro. The headphones had silicone earbud tips for a better fit, smaller design and noise-cancellation technology. I’m not one of those folks who care immensely about noise-cancelling headphones; I have many children, noise-canceling sounds better in theory than in practice. The last thing I need is for one of my kids to set the house on fire and I don’t hear it because of some fancy-pants noise-cancelling technology that is really only beneficial in professional settings or when you don’t have dependents.

Even at the price point of $250—which is very expensive—, I decided to cop the Pros instead of replacing my broken pair of AirPods. I did this because I like the sound in AirPods and also I like the idea of a better fit inside my ear. When I got them in the mail and then tried them for the first time, I noticed just how much sound they really did blend out. It was amazing, even if it was, again, not necessarily useful for my life. I was happy, though.

Whenever I go out to the store, I usually listen to music or podcasts while I walk around and peruse and shop. Such was the case on this one particular trip to Target at Forestville Mall in Forestville, Maryland.

I have to point out, here, that much like Old Peter Parker in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, weird shit happens to me all the time when I go out. I see crazy things, largely because I’m almost overly observant. My wife NEVER believes me when I say stuff happens. Fights, celebrity sightings, aliens, etc. I’ve seen it all. Please, put a pin in this.

So, one very fine afternoon, I took a trip to Target. I did what I usually do on Target runs—with mask on, natch—I pulled up some music. On this day it was Mobb Deep’s The Infamous album because I was feeling very dunny. I was bobbin’ and weavin’ in and out of aisles and despite the album’s dark tone and less than dance-y themes, I was dancing. One of my wife’s friends even texted her to tell her she saw me dancing in the aisles. Well, as I was walking around Target, with my earbuds in, my AirPod Pros, I decided I’d purchased enough purchasables and began my jaunt towards the front. I walked through an aisle towards the greeting card/office supply section.


Now, I’m a super observant person, but I also don’t always put two-and-two together immediately. For instance, in this case, as I walked, with a hard bop, towards the main aisle, I noticed a whole display of cards had been knocked over. In fact, I saw so much shit all over the floor I was surprised Target would allow its employees to be so messy while stocking shelves. I assumed they were stocking shelves; why else would shit be all over the floor?

At the same time, I saw this, I saw some other shit fly out of one of the aisles and was like, “really, Target, this employee needs to chill.” Then, I saw several people in Target apparel moving briskly, damn near jogging towards the checkout area of the store. And as opposed to putting it all together, I figured maybe they needed more cashiers; silly Target!


Mind you, I’m still listening to my music and I see folks all looking and pointing and I’m like, man, what is happening here! I pulled out one of my headphones and all I hear is lots of glass breaking, yelling and then somebody yells out loud, “she spit on me DURING FUCKING COVID!!! ARREST HER!” Apparently I missed a whole fucking brawl that I pretty much walked RIGHT by or missed by seconds and had NO idea because my fucking noise-canceling AirPods Pro actually canceled the shit out of all the noise happening. When I got to the front somebody was being ushered out quickly, though I can’t tell if she was running out with her family or if the security were doing the ushering.

Another lady was on the phone talking about how the other lady spit on her. Somebody asked me if I could believe what I saw and all I could muster was a “that’s crazy,” because I have no idea what happened—I missed the whole shit, thanks to my noise-cancelling headphones courtesy of Apple’s AirPods Pro.


Back to that pin: I got home and told my wife what happened and she, as usual, struggled to believe me. Another fight at a store? Sure, P. And then I logged onto Facebook and a friend of mine was apparently there at the same time as I was and mentioned this fight she saw break out up in the Forestville Target. I told her I was there and missed it because of the headphones and she broke down what she saw and I was even more amazed at what I missed, at least noise-wise since apparently, everybody involved was with the total shits AND there it was a brawl that spanned a good swath of the store. Take that, wife. I showed her the Facebook post and she was like, “damn, maybe you aren’t making all this shit up.”

So if you’re in the market for some noise-cancelling headphones, I recommend Apple’s AirPods Pro because they literally canceled out a whole brawl’s worth of shenanigans up in the Forestville Target one fine summer day.


Two thumbs up for noise-cancellation.

Panama Jackson is the Senior Editor of Very Smart Brothas. He's pretty fly for a light guy. You can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking all her brown liquors.


Crystal Marie

The F in Forestville is for Fights. 😂 I wouldn't be surprised if you missed multiple fights that day.