Used AirPods Pro? I Bought A Pair – Here’s What Happened…



Apple’s AirPods Pro headphones aren’t exactly cheap but I wanted a decent pair of earbuds for running, so I opted for a used pair – and I got a lot more than I bargained for…


Usually, when you buy something refurbished – something I have done many times – you do not get the official box. Instead, it usually comes in some kind of unbranded cardboard box, sans any official packaging. It’s not that nice, to be honest, and it does cheapen the buying experience.

In the UK, there’s a company called CEX. You’ve probably seen them on the high street. But they also have an online store now too. I needed a new pair of earbuds for running, something that could handle a bit of sweat and rain, and, ideally, I wanted ANC too. I also use an iPhone, so I figured why not get a pair of used AirPods Pro?

After looking around online, I found a decent pair at CEX; they were Grade A too, meaning they looked more or less brand new. They cost £150 – or, £100 cheaper than Apple’s AirPods Pro 2 – and, yes, they were used, meaning someone bought them new, used them for a bit, and then decided to sell them to CEX either for a bit of extra cash or to fund another purchase.

Used AirPods, Though? Gross!

Isn’t using somebody else’s used earbuds, or, AirPods Pro, in this context, a little, well… gross? I did think about this before buying them. Apple’s AirPods Pro are in-ear earbuds too, so the potential for grossness was pretty high. Of course, I needn’t have worried: they arrived in pristine condition, looking as good as new.

After taking possession of the AirPods Pro, CEX has clearly gone to work on them, cleaning and sanitizing everything. I inspected the AirPods Pro as soon as I unboxed them and they looked, to my eye, as clean as a whistle. The AirPods themselves, including the bits that go in your ear, were free from marks, scratches, dings, and, most importantly, ear wax.

And, unlike with a refurbished product, my used AirPods Pro came in their official packaging, complete with the official documentation, a six-month free trial for Apple Music, and if that wasn’t enough, the charging case was even wrapped in Apple’s usual plastic wrapping – they looked brand new, basically. And this really impressed me, as I was expecting a scuffed-up box and no official packaging.

How Much Do Used / Second-Hand AirPods Pro Cost?

Used AirPods Pro
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I’ve never used AirPods before but since I switched over to an iPhone last year, I have been tempted by them. I really like the look of the newer AirPods Pro 2 but I didn’t really want to spend close to £300 on a pair of headphones for running.

I already have my Bose and Sony over-ear headphones for when I want to sit back and really immerse myself in music. Having said that, I have been seriously impressed by Apple’s AirPods Pro. For the asking price, my used pair were £150, I honestly don’t think you could find a better-sounding pair of wireless earbuds.

The way they integrate with iPhone, and iOS, in general, is brilliant giving you access to things like Siri for hands-free usage. I also like the fact that when you get a message on your iPhone, either in WhatsApp or iMessage, the AirPods Pro read out the message to you, so you can listen to messages while on the move.

The ANC is also very, very good too. This is my first time using earbuds with ANC and the effect is incredible. You get a proper seal in your ear with earbuds so that, combined with Apple’s impressive Active Noise Cancellation, means pretty much all exterior noise is blocked out. You literally cannot hear a thing around you, even in noisy environments.

Why AirPods Pro Are Excellent For Running / Cycling

The reason I bought these used AirPods Pro, and not a new pair, was because I knew I would be using them for running. This means they’ll be regularly drenched in sweat and/or rain. Apple has made its AirPods Pro both water and sweat-resistant, so they fitted both my requirements and my budget (I didn’t want to spend anything more than £150).

With my Bose and Sony bins, both sound amazing and are super comfortable to wear for hours at a time, but they’re not designed to be sweated in and/or rained on. Neither of them is water or dust-resistant, so running in them is super risky. My Bose QC35II headphones, for instance, stopped working after one massive downpour. Fortunately, they came back to life after drying out.

Another reason I opted for Apple’s AirPods Pro is that they have something called Transparency Mode. You access Transparency Mode in settings and what it does is simple: it uses the AirPods Pro’s built-in microphones to relay outside sounds into your ears, so you can hear exactly what’s going on around you as well as whatever you’re listening to.

For running, especially at night or in busy cities, Transparency Mode is invaluable. No matter how much you love listening to music while you’re out running or cycling, you need to be able to hear what’s going on around you. Transparency Mode ensures that you do, and it is one of the most important reasons why I choose Apple’s AirPods Pro over other types of wireless ANC-capable earbuds.

I’ve always hated Apple’s AirPods. The hard plastic design of the earbuds always made my ears hurt and, during prolonged sessions in the gym or out running on the streets, they’d always fall out. With the AirPods Pro, you do not have any of these issues. They have soft silicone tips that mold and press into your ear canal, securing them in place.

I’ve now logged about 50 miles with my AirPods Pro and they have been the perfect running companion. They’re comfortable, they stay in place, and they’re resistant to both sweat and heavy rain. I only tend to run for a maximum of two hours at the most, so their four-hour battery life over ANC isn’t an issue either.

Bottom line? If you’re a casual runner that likes to get out for an hour or two per session, Apple’s AirPods Pro are great. As previously noted, I bought mine second-hand via CEX for £150 and while I was worried about both their condition and reliability, I have had literally ZERO issues with them in the month or so I have been using them.

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Richard Goodwin

Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.
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