Apple just dropped the second generation of the popular AirPods Pro with the brand new set of features and improvements from the previous generation.
I’ve been using the AirPods Pro 1st generation since it was released and acts as one of my primary tools when editing YugaTech content. And now, with the release of the 2nd generation AirPods Pro, I’d want to see if the new features and improvements are worth the upgrade.
I’d like to give a shoutout to our friends at DigitalWalker for providing us our AirPods Pro 2 unit.
Table of Contents
Design and Construction
Checking out the unit itself, the body is made out of the same scratch-prone glossy polycarbonate material. The layout here is pretty much the same as the previous iteration with just a couple of new twists like a new lanyard holes on the right side which also acts as an antenna for FindMy feature.
At the bottom, we have the speakers, again for FindMy along with the lightning port and a microphone to detect the noise levels in your environment which is a nice feature that we will explore more later.
Onto the earbuds itself — we still have the same familiar shape except that the sensor for detecting your ears are now moved in the middle of the ear-tips and the secondary microphone for ANC are moved at the top.
One of the new features of the bud itself is, aside from the ability to change track and activating either the ANC and transparency feature, you can now control the volume by simply swiping up or down on the AirPod’s stem. Pretty neat feature here, although most of the time I find myself just adjusting the buttons on my iPhone as you only get a tiny amount of volume travel for ever swipe up or down. This is adjustable though but you can only go as much.
Now, if you have a plethora of AirPods Pro 1st Generation cases and you want to upgrade to the newer generation, we are glad to report that the dimensions of the new generation AirPods Pro is the same as before so your old cases can still fit in here. Although, keep in mind that the speakers and the lanyard hole will be blocked.
Sound and Features
Moving on to the sound quality, the AirPods Pro 2 has an improved bass and much more balanced low and mids. It isn’t really that noticeable to most but if you are sensitive to sound, the AirPods Pro 2nd Generation has a much more wider soundstage with better bass and there is a little to no high volume distortion which is not possible without the new H2 chip.
The H2 chip does all the computational audio processing. On paper, the Active Noise Cancellation is 2x better than the previous version and in our testing, it definitely improved on this iteration as white noises like rain, plane engine sound, crowd and cars on the street are more cancelled and gives you an illusion as if you are inside a bubble chamber.
Anyways, aside from the amazing ANC that the AirPods Pro 2 has, we also did loved the transparency mode on the previous gen AirPods and it also does have an improvement on this iteration.
The goal of transparency mode is to make you aware of your surrounding and still have the ability to listen to your favorite music or attending calls. And with the AirPods Pro 2, Apple, somehow, perfected this feature. One of the new features that Apple implemented on the transparency mode is called Adaptive Transparency Mode, and yes, as the name suggests, it does automatically adopts and reduced the noise in your environment. For example, you are walking on a street, then suddenly there’s a motorcycle with a loud muffler, the AirPods Pro 2 will instantly lower down the decibel level of that noise so it won’t sound harsh to your ears. Pretty cool!
When this mode is turned on, it gives you an illusion of not wearing anything, which can sometimes feel a little bit disorienting, at least in my case. As I forgot actually wearing the AirPods and went showering… So yeah, thankfully, it is IPX4 rated so it can withstand water splashes. Anyways, it is still perfectly functioning, and still does produce great sound quality.
Battery and Other Features
Its got 33% larger battery than the previous generation AirPods Pro. On a regular day we get a little over 7 hours of usage with Active Noise Cancelation turned on and an additional 30 hours of playback time with the case on.
In addition to that, there are a few ways to charge the AirPods Pro 2. Aside from connecting it directly to a lightning cable, you can now also charge it using a MagSafe charger and it also does work with your Apple Watch’s charging puck. Pretty nifty, huh?!
Moving on, the new AirPods Pro 2 has the U1 chip, same chip on the AirTags so locating it using the FindMy app is as accurate as you can get on your AirTags especially now as it does make a low decibel noise through the speaker on the case so you can locate it pretty easily. Also one of the features we have on the AirPods Pro 2 is the ability to costumize your spacial audio experience. It scans your whole face and locates your ears using faceID depth sensors to give you personalized audio mix – not really useful though, but hey! It’s a welcome feature for those tech nazzy.
For pairing, we still does have the same process. Make sure you have bluetooth turned on on your device, open the airpods, click the button at the back, then after a few seconds, the Connect your new AirPods splash screen will show onto your iPhone. Follow the given steps and you are good to go.
Things that we didn’t like
The case — it is such a scratch magnet. I took the AirPods out of the box for just a little over 5mins and there are already several scratches around the casing. Pretty annoying especially for those people who wants to keep things as pristine. So yeah, we highly suggest getting a case right after your purchase of the AirPods to protect it.
Also, there are times where I wear only one AirPods on my ear, then when i decide to wear both buds, there is quite a bit of a delay on the other airpods before they get synchronized. I believed its just a software issue, and I hope I know knows this bug and release a fix soon.
Should you upgrade?
Now to wrap things up, if you have the 1st generation AirPods Pro, upgrading to the 2nd generations is okay, noting that the difference between the two is not as dramatic. But if you have the 2nd generation AirPods or lower, I suggest you check out the 2nd generation AirPods pro because you will definitely feel the upgrade with its new features, extended battery life, and of course the improved Active Noise Cancellation feature and adaptive transparency mode thanks to the new H2 chip.
With the price of PHP 14,990.00 some people might find the price pretty steep, but considering the features and the sound quality you get – not to mention the bad design language on some other TWS on this price segment, the AirPods Pro 2 ticks all the marks in our books.
But if you want to have an AirPods with a decent ANC feature, with nice sound and will not break the bank, the 1st generation AirPods Pro is still a good choice, especially now as you can cop one of these in a much more affordable price, at around PHP 4,000 to PHP 8,000 online, but beware of fake ones. We will be doing a much more in-depth review of the AirPods Pro 2 on our YouTube channel so do stay tuned for that!
So what do you guys think about the AirPods Pro 2? Are you getting one for yourself? And if you are, make sure to get it at DigitalWalker or Beyond the Box near you.