The original AirPods were a runaway hit. They continue to be in high demand even two years after their launch. With AirPods 2, Apple is building on the success of the original by fixing some common gripes and adding new features to it.
The highlight of the 2nd gen AirPods is Apple’s new H1 chip. Designed especially for headphones and wireless earbuds, the new H1 chip adds some new functionality to the AirPods 2 while also greatly improving its battery life.
AirPods 2 Features
Hey Siri Support
Like almost all other Apple products released over the last year or so, the AirPods 2 now also feature always-on “Hey Siri.” This means that one can trigger Siri by simply saying the hotword instead of tapping the AirPod first like on the original.
New H1 Chip
Other benefits of the new H1 chip is lower latency, ability to seamlessly switch between devices and connectivity improvements. AirPods 2 will connect faster to your iPhone or Mac and they will also be faster and less buggy when it comes to switching between your iPhone and Mac or vice versa. Apple says the 2nd gen AirPods offer 2x faster switching times, 1.5x faster connection time for phone calls, and 30 percent lower latency than before.
AirPods 2 Battery Life
Thanks to Apple’s new H1 chip, the AirPods 2 offer notable battery life improvements over their predecessor despite coming with the same battery capacity as revealed by a teardown. This is true for the AirPods 2 as well as the charging case. The 2nd gen AirPods feature a 93 milliwatt-hour batteries, while the charging case has a 398mAh battery inside it.
Compared to the original AirPods, the 2nd gen AirPods offer 50 percent more talk time. While the original AirPods offered 2 hours of talk time, AirPods 2 offers up to 3 hours of talk time. They also offer up to five hours of music playback.
With the charging case, the total run time of the AirPods 2 can be extended to provide over 24 hours of listening time or up to 18 hours of talk time.
One can also quick charge their AirPods for 15 minutes to gain an additional 3 hours of talk time.
Wireless Charging Case
For increased charging convenience, Apple has updated the charging case with the AirPods 2 to add Qi wireless charging support. This means one can charge their AirPods 2 or the charging case itself by simply putting it on a wireless charger. However, the wireless charging case is an optional upgrade and one needs to either buy it separately for $79 or pay $199 outright to buy the AirPods 2 and Qi Wireless charging case bundle.
The wireless charging case is also compatible with the original AirPods.
Like the original AirPods, the 2nd gen AirPods also lack any kind of sweat or water-resistance. This means that Apple’s warranty does not cover the AirPods against any kind of liquid damage.
The motherboard of the AirPods 2 does feature a water repellent coating but that does not mean the wireless earbuds carry a water-resistant rating. If you want truly wireless earbuds with water-resistance or sweat-resistance, you should look at the Powerbeats Pro. In many ways, it is a far more superior product when compared to the AirPods 2 but it also has a higher price tag to go along with it.
AirPods 2 Compatible Devices
AirPods are compatible with the following iOS devices:
- All iPhones from the iPhone 5 and newer. AirPods are not compatible with older iPhones, such as the iPhone 4s.
- AirPods are compatible with the iPad Air, iPad mini 2 and later, 5th-generation iPad and later, and all iPad Pro models.
- AirPods are compatible with all Apple Watch models, starting with the original Apple Watch.
- AirPods are compatible with the 6th-generation iPod touch.
- AirPods are compatible with Apple TV 4K, the fourth-generation Apple TV, and they can connect to other non-Apple devices over a standard Bluetooth connection.
To use all the features of the second-generation AirPods, you need to install iOS 12.2 or later.
AirPods vs AirPods 2: What’s the Difference
More than two years after the original AirPods were launched, Apple launched the 2nd gen AirPods. Contrary to rumors, AirPods 2 only offer better battery life and latency when compared to the original AirPods. They do not offer improved sound quality, better grip, or come with new health sensors as many leaks had claimed.
Read a detailed AirPods 2 vs AirPods 1 comparison here.
AirPods 2 Price
The AirPods 2 start at the same price as the original AirPods. This means they can be purchased for $159. However, the bundle with the wireless charging case is priced higher at $199. The $159 variant comes with a regular charging case that can be charged via its Lightning port.
On the plus side, Apple is offering free engraving on the AirPods charging case for all orders placed through its online store.
AirPods 2 Availability
Despite their age, AirPods are extremely popular among consumers. They are usually not available for next-day shipping on Apple’s online store, with the usual delivery timeframe being around a week from the date of order. Retail availability is a bit better, though that largely depends on what time of the year you are planning on buying the AirPods.
Should I Buy AirPods 2 Now?
Apple released AirPods 2 on March 20, 2019. Apple launched the new AirPods after 827 days, so it is very safe to buy AirPods 2 now.
AirPods Tips and Tricks
Check out some tips and tricks for the AirPods below to get the most out of the wireless earbuds.
- How to Reset AirPods
- AirPods 2 Tips and Tricks
- 20 AirPods Tips and Tricks
- Fix for AirPods Battery Draining Too Quickly
- The Best Ear Hooks for AirPods
- Add Wireless Charging to Your AirPods with this Mod
- How to Update AirPods Firmware
AirPods Guides, How-tos, and Tutorials
- Are the AirPods Water or Sweat-Resistant?
- Powerbeats Pro vs AirPods 2 Comparison
- How to Use AirPods Live Listen Feature
- AirPods 2 vs AirPods 1 Comparison
- How to Prevent AirPods from Falling Out
- How to Find Lost AirPods and AirPods Case
- How to Connect AirPods to Mac and Windows PC
Check out our latest AirPods 2 coverage below.