This past Wednesday, Apple unveiled and released their second generation wireless AirPods 2, which they claim are “More magical than ever”. But when it comes to earphones, is there much more that you can really do with them?
Well, we’re here to give you the lowdown.
A more stable and wireless connection
This is what Apple claims to deliver with their new new H1 chip, an upgrade from the previous W1 chip. They likely rebranded it to “H” so as to avoid confusion with their low powered W2 and W3 chips that powers bluetooth and wifi in the Apple Watch. Nevertheless, the new AirPods supposedly switch between devices twice as fast as their predecessors and 1.5x faster when connecting to phone calls. So nothing too flashy, but we’ll take it. The new chip also allows the AirPods to know when you’re listening, so when you take them out of your ears, the music stops and plays music when you put them in. Apple also claims that the AirPods know when you’re talking and filters out external noise so your voice is clear when on calls.
More AirPods – Siri integration
Siri has also become more integrated into the AirPods. You can now say “Hey Siri” and give it numerous commands between changing music, to calling someone and asking it to “Turn down the music”. Although you can still touch the AirPods to answer calls, skip between songs and adjust volume if voice commands isn’t your thing.
With the new wireless charging case, you can now charge your AirPods wirelessly if you lay them down on a wireless charging mat. This is a good an indication that the new iPhone will likely come with reverse charging which Huawei and Samsung already offer on their flagship devices.
Given that the AirPods battery is relatively poor, this will be a welcomed feature. The new AirPods has a measly 5 hour battery life. I myself listening to easily over 5 hours of music and podcasts during a working day. granted, the AirPods will recharge in their case in 15 minutes which will give you another 3 hours of battery, but does this mean I need to carry around my charging case with me too all day? It’s a hassle I don’t really want to be honest. Although in practice, it might not be as much of a pain as it may sound.
The price tag
So with all of these upgrade, will they be worth the price tag? For the new AirPods, you’re going to be looking at €179.00. Which is fairly expensive for earphones when you could get a very decent set of headphones for the same price. But…. and there’s always a But when it comes to Apple. This does not come with the wireless charging case. That will set you back an extra €50 if you buy them with the AirPods. And if you decide to go with the standard case and buy the wireless case at a later date, you’re looking at €89.00 for it.
My final thoughts on Apples new AirPods 2 are…. meh. They through out the standard buzzwords to create hype for something you won’t even be able to differentiate from their original AirPods. “2x as fast”, “more powerful”, “magical”. For a price tag of €179.00, you’d be better off waiting for another pay check and get yourself a good pair of Bose Quiet comfort 35 II’s. If you’re after something that looks like AirPods but is built for Android, the imminent launch of the Huawei FreeBuds 3 should also tickle your fancy.
But if they do tickle your fancy, the new AirPods 2 are released already and can be bought on the Apple store now.