Apple AirPods 2: A Complete Review

Apple AirPods 2: A Complete Review


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9.2/10 (Expert Score)
Product is rated as #4 in category True Wireless Earbuds
With the help of new Apple AirPods 2, Apple showed its vision of a wireless future. That's why they refused an audio jack on the iPhone. Someone likes this future, but someone is not ready to part with established habits and favorite wired headphones. So for now, AirPods 2 is a very good product.
  • Balanced and detailed sound
  • Ease of use
  • Autonomy in conjunction with a charging case
  • Work in headset mode
  • Only for Apple technology
  • The lack of player controls on the headphones
  • Poor sound insulation

Apple AirPods 2: Features and Specifications as mentioned on Amazon

  • Automatically on, automatically connected
  • Easy setup for all your Apple devices
  • Quick access to Siri by saying, “Hey, Siri.”
  • Double-tap to play or skip forward
  • The New Apple H1 headphone chip delivers a faster wireless connection to your devices.
  • Charges quickly in the case
  • The case can be charged either wirelessly using a Qi-compatible charging mat or using the Lightning connector.
  • Rich, high-quality audio and voice
  • Seamless switching between devices
  • Listen and talk all day with multiple charges from the Wireless Charging Case.

Apple AirPods 2: A Complete Review

Apple calls AirPods the most popular wireless headphones in the world. There are probably reasons for this, and indeed on the street, you can often meet people with AirPods in their ears. But most importantly, this is a really successful device for several parameters: the case with headphones is very convenient to carry (fits in any pocket), the headphones themselves are as comfortable as EarPods, they sit in your ears like a glove (although the author has met people who have the shape of EarPods / AirPods did not fit at all), you have to change frequently, and thanks to the battery built into the case, this can be done without interruption from listening to music. That is, while listening to music, they recharged the case, then, ceasing to listen, put the headphones in it, and after taking it out after a while, they got already charged.

Apple AirPods 2

Besides, they have an excellent sound quality and excellent functioning inside the Apple ecosystem: you can, for example, use earbuds with an Apple Watch without a smartphone, and you can play music on the iPhone but control playback through the clock. Well, of course, you can connect other Apple devices with operating systems to AirPods.

Apple AirPods 2

What can be improved with such a model? The answer is simple: equip the case with wireless charging and further improve the Apple ecosystem’s functioning. In particular, speed up switching between devices and “train” the headphones to the “Hello, Siri!” Command. How did you do it? We decided to look into this in detail as soon as the second-generation AirPods.

Equipment: Apple AirPods 2

The packaging of the new AirPods is almost the same as the box of the previous generation. It is compact, square, designed in a light minimalist style.

Apple AirPods 2

The only difference is the Wireless Charging Case label under the name of the device. It is clear why this is necessary: to distinguish the option with a wireless charging case, since, recall, AirPods can also be bought with a case of the previous generation.

Apple AirPods 2

Inside, everything is the same: a case is the earbuds themselves, in an envelope is a set of leaflets, and under a cardboard pallet, there is a Lightning cable.

Apple AirPods 2

By the way, please pay attention: the name of the product is the same as it was, there are no two in it.


Case and headphone design: Apple AirPods 2

The appearance of the headphones has not changed one iota. That is, if you put the old and new AirPods side by side, you cannot distinguish them even with great effort. This is a minus for those who like some updates, but a plus – compatibility is preserved. That is, you can buy a separate case with the wireless charging function and new headphones with the old case, using it as an additional battery.

Apple AirPods 2

Actually, the differences in the design of the new AirPods concern only the case with the wireless charging function. The main thing – in the case the indicator location has changed. Previously, it was under the cap, next to the earbuds hats. Now it has been moved to the outer surface of the case.

Apple AirPods 2

This solution is understandable: when we put the case on a wireless charger, I want to see if the process is going on. A well-known misfortune of wireless charging: sometimes it is necessary to place the device on them in a certain way so that everything works out, that is, not in all positions the charge will go. Therefore, the presence of an indicator is a handy thing.

Apple AirPods 2

We tried a new case with two wireless chargers. In both cases, everything went fine, provided that we placed the case exactly in the center. If you put it closer to the edge of the surface, then nothing will come of it.

Apple AirPods 2

The second and last difference in the design of the case is the button’s movement on the back surface closer to the center. It can be used to activate the indicator, but, really, it is scarce to use it in ordinary life, so we cannot call this solution a plus or minus – it is unlikely to affect the user experience. It is caused, rather, by some design features.

As for the earbuds themselves, then, as already mentioned, their design has remained unchanged. We described it in detail in an article about the first AirPods so that we won’t repeat it, but we note that we can admit that it is perfect from the experience of two years of use. AirPods sit comfortably in your ears, do not fall out, do not cause discomfort, and their style deserves only praise.


Connection and Use: Apple AirPods 2

The initial connection with iOS devices in AirPods is the same as in the previous generation: we open the case – on the iPhone, a window immediately appears with a proposal to connect the headphones. We confirm, insert the headphones into the ears – and that’s it, the job is done.

It takes just a few seconds. And here, AirPods, in conjunction with the iPhone, is really out of the competition. But it was like that before. What has changed? Apple claims that the headphone switching speed between devices. Let’s say you started watching a video on an iPhone, then you took an iPad and want to continue on it. With the first-generation AirPods, this took a few seconds. Now, in theory, everything should be much faster.

In practice, – we did not notice a significant difference. It was tested as follows: the headphones connected to the iPhone XS Max, then to the MacBook Pro 13 ”running macOS High Sierra, then to the 2019 iPad mini. In all cases, the time required for connection was several seconds, and for both generations of AirPods, it was approximately the same.

On the other hand, if you first speak on the iPhone using the built-in speaker and then switch to the earbuds, the process will really pass almost instantly – in this scenario, the increase in connection speed is really noticeable.

Another innovation promised by Apple is the improvement in sound quality in a telephone conversation. However, as our test showed, this only applies to external noise reduction. However, if you carefully read the description on the manufacturer’s website, it should be so. “When you talk on the phone or use Siri, an optional voice activity detection accelerometer and variable-beam microphones remove external noise and provide a clear sound for your voice,” Apple said in a statement. Therefore, if you are in a relatively quiet place (for example, at home or in the office), there will be no difference between the first and second-generation AirPods. At least, we could not notice it: neither from the side of the person who received the call nor from our side.

We assume that in noisier conditions, the difference may already be noticeable. However, the author spoke with the first AirPods everywhere, wherever possible, both near a busy highway and inland transport. And nowhere were there significant complaints about the sound quality – on one side. Well, in quiet conditions and even more so, everything was fine.

What really appeared in the new AirPods is Siri’s voice activation. Previously, you had to double-click on one of the headphones, now say “Hello, Siri!”. How significant is this improvement? It depends on personal preferences and on how often you basically use Siri. Again, we are only talking about use outside the home because if you are in one place and the smartphone to which the earbuds are connected is next to you, it can already be activated by voice.

Finally, the last thing the manufacturer pays attention to is the increased battery life during a telephone conversation. It is clear that this thing is difficult to verify: it is unlikely that anyone will speak continuously for 3 hours, which Apple promises. And if interrupted, then the purity of the experiment will already be violated. Also, we recognize that telephone calls occupy most users less time using headphones than listening to music or other audio content. The reason is simple: it is unlikely that someone will go around all day with earbuds in their ears, and we will receive calls suddenly and just as suddenly there is a need to call someone. And it’s even less likely that someone will wear earbuds for a minute phone conversation. And pre-planned long conversations are not so often.

In general, although an increase in battery life, even if in one mode, is, in any case, a plus, it’s worthwhile to say that it will greatly affect how often you have to charge AirPods.


Conclusions: Apple AirPods 2

A very successful product has become even a little better – this is how the AirPods update can be described. Those improvements related to the headphones themselves are minimal, and you may not notice them in ordinary life. However, the ability to wirelessly charge the case is a very nice innovation. Now it’s enough to have one wireless charge, which can be used with both iPhone and AirPods.

Is this magic case worth $64.99, which they ask for today in the Apple online store? And are the new AirPods with this case worth $132? Questions are rhetorical. The answers to them depend on how much the user, in principle, is willing to pay for convenience.

Judging pragmatically, this is exactly what you can save on. Oh, very significant savings are obtained, whatever one may say. On the other hand, it is in such things and the level of their implementation that Apple magic is enclosed.

You can also read:

Apple AirPods with Charging Case: A Complete Review

Best True Wireless Earbuds For 2020

Best Wireless Earbuds from $100 to $200

Specification: Apple AirPods 2: A Complete Review

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