After cutting off the wires from its EarPods in December 2016 and entering the truly wireless zone with AirPods, Apple, after almost two years, has now refreshed its line of wireless earphones.
Over the last two years, the first generation of the AirPods have pretty much become one of the most popular completely wirefree earphones, so the 2.0 version of the little white buds has pretty big shoes to fill. And Apple has packed in the true wireless earphones with a number of features as well. Here is all you need to “hear” about AirPods 2:
Good ol’ looks
When Apple first launched the AirPods, there was a fair bit of criticism about the looks of the truly wireless earphones. But it seems that with time, people have warmed up to the looks and design of AirPods.
Which is perhaps why Apple has decided to stick with almost exactly the same looks for the second generation AirPods as the first one. Flip open the case and you will find the same white earbuds minus the wires, sitting pretty inside. But who is complaining?
The first generation AirPods were powered by a chip borrowed from the Apple Watch series, the W1. The new AirPods have now received a chipset dedicated to the AirPods called the H1.
Of course, that means better performance. We are going to be explaining that in the points that follow.
Faster and more stable connection
The outsides of the AirPods 2 may be the same as that of the original AirPods but it’s the insides that the company has really worked on. The new AirPods are powered by Apple’s new H1 chip which claims to deliver faster and more stable connection to the connected device.
As per Apple, the new AirPods are two times faster when it comes to switching between active devices. They also have a 1.5 times faster connection time for phone calls as compared to the previous generation. This means the new AirPods will not only allow you to switch faster between the devices you have connected to but will also come with improved and faster phone call connection. Considering the older ones were not exactly slow, that’s something.
Better battery life
The new H1 chip is also supposed to make the new AirPods last a little longer. The first generation AirPods offered five hours of use and 24 hours worth of battery life on case. While the new AirPods also claim five hours worth of battery life, the battery life on the case has been pushed to slightly more than 24 hours.
Apple also claims that the AirPods 2 will deliver 50 per cent more hands-free talk time. Which means that if the AirPods used to give you two hours of talk time, the AirPods 2 will now give you three hours. Plus, they come with their own kind of quick charging —15 minutes of charge will give you upto 3 hours of listening time and two hours of talk time.
Just say, “Hey Siri”
The first generation of AirPods required you to double tap on either one of the AirPods to wake up Siri, Apple’s virtual assistant. Apple has now made that experience completely hands-free as well.
With the new AirPods, you only need to say “Hey Siri”, after setting Siri up on your AirPods, just like on your iPhone or iPad. And Siri will be there to serve you!
While Apple has improved the little white earbuds, the case that holds them has improved too. The AirPods 2 case will now support Qi standard wireless charging. This means you can just put your AirPods on a Qi compatible wireless charger (and most wireless chargers support that standard) and the AirPods will get charged. Wirelessly.
An LED indicator will show battery levels while charging or you could simply ask Siri on your iPhone about your AirPods battery status. There is a catch, though. The AirPods 2 will not be bundled with a wireless charging case by default. Which takes us to our final point.
Two variants, two prices
There will be two variants of the new AirPods — one with the wireless case and one with a standard case (charges with wires). The AirPods with the standard case is priced at Rs. 14,990 while the one with the wireless charging case is priced at Rs. 18,900. The company will also sell the wireless charging case at Rs. 7,500 separately for those who want it for their existing AirPods. Yes, it will work just fine with them as well.
Are the new AirPods going to be as good as the previous ones? We will let you know when we review them. Given how good the previous ones were, we are expecting a lot!