AirPods 2 Review – AirPods needs no introduction. It is a way of saying that by now seems almost rhetorical, but in this case, it is truer than ever with its iconic true wireless headphones, whose first model was launched in 2016.
Apple has marked a sector, giving way to a market that exploded in subsequent years. You can not agree, you may not like it, you can hate Apple and its prices. But then there are the numbers that 35 million units sold in the last year.
With figures like that, it’s no wonder you sell those white sticks by the ears of so many people. So let’s go straight to the heart of this review, without too many other preambles.
AirPods 2 Package
The packaging is practically unchanged with this AirPods 2 and compared to the first version with a white parallelepiped, inside which we find the AirPods (already inserted in their case), a USB-Lightning cable for charging quite long and the usual manuals.
Obviously, depending on the model purchased, the case included in the package may or may not be equipped with wireless charging. The version that includes support for the Qi standard for wireless charging and costs Rs. 4000 more than the “base” model
For this review, we used the wireless charging version of AirPods 2.
Design and Comfort
In appearance and design, the new AirPods are virtually identical to the previous ones. The only noticeable difference, from an aesthetic point of view, is the small LED on the front of the case, which lights up orange to indicate when charging has begun (but be careful, because it does not stay on during charging and turns off after some seconds).
You probably already know the rest of the story. Both the case and the headphones are white and shiny, well-built and really solid, with that sense of perfect attention to detail that characterizes Apple products.
The first thing that always leaves me surprised when (re) picking up a pair of AirPods, is how small the case is both in width and in length it does not exceed the size of my thumb and I can carry it comfortably in any pocket. No one has managed to even come close to what Apple has done with this case which, despite being very small, manages to provide four complete refills, guaranteeing a battery of almost 25 hours.
Even the AirPods 2 are the same, with all the advantages and defects of the case. From the built quality point of view, the biggest flaw is the lack of any certification against liquids. Probably they are able to resist sweat and online it is full of reviews that show a “sporting” use, but rest assured that the guarantee will not cover any damage caused by liquid.
And then there’s the – legitimate – question that everyone asks – don’t they fall? My girlfriend had the same question so I invited her to try it herself and check how they live on the ear. I took them off and handed them to her. and she put them on and started shaking her head vigorously. The AirPods remained in place, and her eyes went from being doubtful and worried to be surprised and satisfied.
Here, this step is what everyone feels when they wear AirPods. On the other hand, it is understandable that the Apple headphones do not fit deep like most modern earphones ( in the ear) and are hung on the ears for some magical form factor studied to perfection. In this regard, I have some clarifications to make.
First, AirPods 2 is not necessarily good for all ears. I believe that most users will not have too many problems, but inevitably there will be those who will find themselves better and those who are worse, according to the shape of the ear and having no rubber pads or any other kind of appendages with variable sizes, there is no way to adapt the earphones.
During the weeks of use, I personally found myself very well and I didn’t have any major problems, but there is a factor that you should take into consideration when wearing AirPods, or if there is something that could go around them.
On the other hand, with the necessary exceptions, in urban life, the AirPods are of truly unique comfort. On public transport or on the street, you just have to remove them from there case and they are immediately ready and connected.
Audio features and quality
Before talking about the novelties of these new AirPods 2, let’s talk a little about audio. In terms of sound quality, Apple has not made major changes to this second generation and the songs will sound more or less the same way with the old or new AirPods.
As always, therefore, the mids are the strength of these headphones and, in the singing, you can feel the difference compared to other earphones even without having a trained ear. The treble is also very good, which is really ringing, while the speech is a bit more complex as far as the lower frequencies are concerned.
The basses are there, they are full-bodied and they also have a good extension but, considering also the shape of the AirPods and the scarce acoustic insulation , it is more difficult to obtain a certain type of groove even listening to music with many bass.
But don’t get me wrong, the overall listening experience is really good, the AirPods have a pleasant and balanced sound that, among other things, will make (even) those who listen to podcasts and audiobooks happy, thanks to the excellent mid frequencies.
Among the other functions that we appreciated in the first version and that we find again here is the automatic music control just remove even one earpiece to pause, and insert it back to the ear to restart (by default, this does not work with Android). Everything happens with fluidity and absolute precision: the AirPods don’t really miss a beat. I found this feature really convenient in everyday life, for example, to immediately pause (and “instinctively”) when someone is talking.
Needless to say that the same reliability is found in the coupling, which is nothing short of instantaneous and opening the case the AirPods gets connected with the iPhone and, even before bringing them to the ears, everything is already ready.
The battery remains one of the great strengths and still manages to surprise me. You get about five hours on a single charge, in addition to about 4 additional offices provided by the case, for a total of over 20 hours of listening.
From this point of view, the best true wireless earphones you can buy are still hands down, even considering that Apple claims that this second generation should last 50% more on call (from 2 hours to 3 hours).
But the most important news on the battery front is the support for wireless charging , even if to have the case compatible with the Qi standard you should spend at least Rs. 4000 more. Wireless charging is certainly a great convenience, but it is also significantly slower than cable charging and for this reason, considering the price difference far from ridiculous, I recommend buying the wireless charging version only if you are sure that you will make constant use.
In the current state of things, wireless charging has not changed my (very personal) user experience with AirPods, even considering that charging them with the cable takes about an hour less to get from 0 to 100 (about 2 hours, against over 3 hours used with wireless charging).
On the other hand, it is likely that the next iPhone 2019 will introduce some kind of reverse wireless charging and, at that point, charging the headphones directly from the iPhone will be one of those things that give you some satisfaction. Then don’t say we didn’t tell you.
But since we are talking about new features of this second model, we also remember the biggest hardware change, namely the new H1 chip (and the introduction of Bluetooth 5.0 ).
This allows you to switch more quickly from one device to another and the time difference is sensitive and, although one or two seconds less to switch from iPhone to Mac do not change much, it is still a popular feature.
Especially if you have more than one Apple product and you immediately find the AirPods associated with everything (thanks, iCloud synchronization). Too bad, however, that it is not yet possible to connect AirPods to two devices simultaneously.
In any case, what really makes the difference in having the new chip is continuous support for Siri. Having the voice assistant for a sentence away at any time is really incredibly convenient. Especially because it works in any condition, on the bike against the wind, at the supermarket, vacuuming, there is no background noise that prevents the AirPods 2 from hearing Hey Siri (and this is obviously also excellent microphones, to which we will return later ).
Who has the first model of AirPods still working does not have too many reasons to switch to AirPods 2, but for me, the real killer feature of this new model, the one that really makes the difference compared to the first generation, is just Siri?
As for microphones, the AirPods remains the best true wireless headsets with which to make phone calls the quality of the calls, even in difficult audio conditions (wind, background noise) is significantly higher than the competition (also due to the position of the microphones and the system noise cancellation).
Finally, even the controls remain the same and can be customized, but only on the iPhone and a double tap on the button can activate one of the following commands – Siri, Play /Pause, Next track or Previous track.
Personally, I find them very comfortable, since they are not based on some kind of touch but on an accelerometer that perceives the movement: the answer is always very fast and just a double tap everywhere to activate the command.
AirPods 2 Price
The AirPods 2 cost Rs. 14,900 in the version without wireless charging or Rs. 18,900 in the variant that supports wireless charging. The wireless charging case (which also has the advantage of having an external LED) can also be purchased separately, for as much as Rs. 7,500
AirPods 2 Verdict
AirPods are one of Apple’s most successful products and this second version, although with few changes, is an important confirmation. We find all the defects and advantages of the first model, with the great addition of continuous support to “Hey Siri” and wireless charging (optional). Once again, AirPods 2 is not for everyone, they are not cheap and they are not comfortable at all. But if you use an iPhone they are by far the best true wireless earphones you can have.