Of the many new products that apple announced over the past couple of weeks, none have been more hotly anticipated than the second-generation AirPods. Và yet, the new AirPods are the least new product hãng apple revealed this month.

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The new AirPods look so similar khổng lồ the first-generation version announced nearly three years ago that they are virtually indistinguishable. The design, fit, & sound quality are exactly the same as before, as are many other features. Wearing the new AirPods isn’t any more of a flex than the first-generation because nobody seeing you will be able to tell the difference.

But there are changes here — some notable, some less so — that make the new AirPods even better than they were before. Táo bị cắn hasn’t addressed many of the long-standing complaints leveled at the AirPods, such as their fit và ability to lớn work in noisy environments, but it has added some things that improve the experience, without changing it much.


The biggest change from the first-generation AirPods is the ability lớn recharge the case on a wireless pad. Táo apple is selling the second-gen AirPods in two ways: with the new wireless charging case for $199 or with the standard case for the same $159 as before. If you have the first-gen AirPods & are interested in getting the wireless charging case, you can buy it a la carte for $79 và it will work exactly the same as it does with the new AirPods.

The wireless charging case uses the Qi standard — just lượt thích the iPhone and countless android phones on the market — so you can use the same charging pad as your phone to lớn charge your AirPods case. Put the case on the charger và the little charging light on the front of the case will turn orange và begin charging. The light will turn off after a few seconds, but the case will still be charging as long as it’s sitting on the mat.

Charging the case wirelessly is slow — táo tells me the case charges at 5 watts, which is slower than the iPhone is capable of, and it can take up to lớn three and a half hours khổng lồ fully tank up the case wirelessly, compared khổng lồ the roughly two hours it takes over the Lightning cable, which is still an option on the new case. Also, if you’re using a stand-style charger for your phone, that probably won’t work because the coils won’t line up — you want to be using a flat pad charger for the AirPods. I tested charging the case on a few flat pads we have in the office and had no problems charging with any of them.

If you’re the kind of person that puts your AirPods case in another case, wireless charging should still work, but you likely won’t be able to lớn see the indicator light at all. Finally, if you have Samsung’s Galaxy S10 or a recent Huawei flagship phone, you can use your apk handset lớn wirelessly charge your AirPods, which is never not hilarious. And yes, you can use the new AirPods with an app android phone và they will work just as well with it as the first-generation models. The main things you’ll đại bại are the double-tap gestures and the ability lớn automatically pause music when you take an AirPod out of your ear, though that can be added with a third-party app.

Overall, the wireless charging ability is a nice convenience, but it doesn’t drastically change the AirPods experience. If you’re already charging your phone on a wireless pad or have one that can charge multiple devices at the same time (but sadly, isn’t Apple’s still-not-available AirPower mat), it’s nice khổng lồ be able to lớn charge your AirPods case the same way.


The other big thing with the AirPods is the new H1 chip that replaces the W1 chip of the first model. Táo khuyết says the H1 chip has been specifically designed for headphones & enables most of the AirPods’ new features, such as always-listening, hands-free Siri access; faster switching between devices; better call chất lượng in windy environments; lower latency when playing games; and longer battery life for calls.

Instead of having to lớn double-tap one of the AirPods to lớn launch Siri, you can now say “Hey Siri” to lớn activate it, just lượt thích you can on an iPhone or recent Mac. Not only does this provide easier access to lớn Siri, but it also allows me to bản đồ the double-tap gesture to lớn another action, such as play / pause or skipping tracks.

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But even with the new chip & hands-free ability, there’s still a significant delay from when I say “Hey Siri” to receiving a response in my ear. Unlike the iPhone, there’s no bell or ding to lớn indicate that the AirPods actually heard my command, & there’s obviously no visual indicator unless my phone is out và I’m looking at the screen. As a result, I often kết thúc up repeating myself because I don’t know if Siri heard my command and is just being slow to respond, or if my command wasn’t heard at all. It’s a frustrating experience that could be greatly improved with an audible chime to lớn confirm that Siri heard me.

táo says the H1 chip lets the AirPods switch between your devices up to lớn two times faster than before, so if you use an iPhone và an ipad tablet or a Mac, you can quickly switch between them. Maybe it is technically faster, but it never feels faster in use because switching devices still requires going into the công nghệ bluetooth settings menu or Control Center on the device I want to switch to, selecting the AirPods, và then still waiting a few beats for them to lớn make a connection.

This is an area I really wish táo apple had improved. I love how easy hãng apple makes it khổng lồ pair AirPods to my iCloud account and have them automatically set up on every device I use, but I also just wish they could be connected to more than one device at a time. The Bose QC35s, the Sennheiser HD1s I have, và a lot of other công nghệ bluetooth không dây headphones are capable of this already. With those other headphones, if I want to switch from my iPhone khổng lồ my iPad, I just hit play on the device I want khổng lồ use instead of having to fiddle with audio source settings. If you are a Mac user, the ToothFairy tiện ích makes this a slightly better one-click process with the AirPods and is totally worth the $3.

The new cpu supposedly improves voice quality on calls in windy environments, too, but I haven’t really noticed much of a difference in my testing. That isn’t really a knock — I use the first-gen AirPods for taking calls all the time because they are already excellent for it. I also haven’t noticed much of a difference in latency or lag when watching clip or playing games, largely because I didn’t ever experience any lag with the first generation. Of all the truly wireless headphones I’ve used, the first-generation AirPods have the least amount of lag or video syncing issues và the second generation is just as good.


Finally, the H1 cpu also extends the battery life for talk time to a claimed three hours, a full hour more than the older models. The battery life for listening lớn music or audio remains at five hours, which, while no longer the longest battery life you can get in a truly wireless headphone, is still better than average và very good. The charging case extends that lớn up lớn 24 hours; a 15-minute charge will provide three hours of listening or two hours of call time.

Aside from those things, the new AirPods are still AirPods, which means they are really great wireless earbuds if they fit in your ears. Táo bị cắn is quick to lớn boast how last year the AirPods became the most popular wireless headphones on the market, so they clearly work for a lot of people. But they don’t fit everyone và the new iteration doesn’t do anything lớn address that. They also aren’t great in noisy environments like a plane or subway car because they don’t provide either passive or active noise cancellation.

As I stated earlier, the sound unique of the new AirPods is exactly the same as before, with no material changes. The sound is clear, full, and surprisingly detailed, without overwhelming bass or fatiguing highs. The lack of any seal or noise-blocking ability is frustrating when I’m on the subway, but otherwise makes the AirPods disappear into my environment, lượt thích I’m not even wearing headphones at all.


So should you buy them? If you have the first-gen AirPods & they are still working great, then no, you’re really not gaining anything here. If you must have wireless charging, you can buy the case separately without having khổng lồ drop $200 on a full new set. But if your first-gen AirPods aren’t holding a charge anymore because you’ve been using them for years, then buying the new AirPods makes sense, since it’s basically impossible to lớn fix these or replace the batteries in them. You’re getting the same basic experience, with a couple of new conveniences. (The fact that a nearly $200 sản phẩm has a usage lifetime of less than three years, notwithstanding.)

If you haven’t yet jumped on the AirPods train & you know they’ll fit in your ears (if the wired EarPods that come with every iPhone fit you, the AirPods will, too), they are still among the best truly wireless headphones on the market, with great battery life, solid connectivity, great ease of use, và pretty good sound quality. They even work great for apk users, just like the first model. The new wireless charging convenience comes at an increased price, but for most people, the AirPods are still hard lớn beat.

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