The new Apple AirPods Pro 2 may look the same as its predecessor but like most things Apple, the many small changes added in this year’s model accumulate, making it a meaningfully better version than the AirPods Pro 1s.
In my view, the AirPods Pro 2s are the best earbuds on the market.
IS IT WORTH THE UPGRADE?
Like most refreshes with Apple devices, there are many small upgrades to the AirPods Pro 2 which individually might not seem significant, but all together makes it a materially better product, even if the design looks the same.
1. Big noise cancelling improvements
With the new H2 chip in the AirPods Pro 2s, noise cancelling has gone up a notch.
I A/B tested these against both the AirPods Pro Max and the AirPods Pro 1 on a flight from Melbourne to Sydney (Swans got flogged, BOOOOO), and can affirm that the noise cancelling improvements on this generation from the last are materially better.
When I compared them to AirPods Pro Max the noise cancelling was pretty comparable which is a great result. Earbuds that can match ‘over ears’ in the noise cancelling department is an incredible feat.
1. Better transparency mode
Apple call this improvement “Adaptive Transparency”, I call it “cool, I can finally use Transparency Mode”.
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My view on the AirPods Pro 1 was transparency mode was unusable. It seemed to not only let sounds in from around you, but amplify them. The outside world was too loud and I hated the experience of Transparency Mode on the AirPods Pro 1.
With new “Adaptive Transparency” in the Apple AirPods Pro 2, again powered by the new H2 chip, the sounds from the outside world are now audible, but compressed so your ear drums don’t get blown.
As an added perk, when you use this mode with your Apple Watch, you can view the level of noise reduction in real-time—and then utilise the Health app on iPhone for noise exposure and level reduction trends over time. Pretty cool.
2. Volume control
What I thought would be clumsy to use when I first watched the promo has ended up being a delight.
The volume control feature on the stem of the AirPods are sensitive and responsive. It works so well that I have completely stopped reaching for my phone or watch when I need to adjust the volume to my music or audiobook.
There were rumours that Apple would kill off the stem and mirror their competitors look where it’s simply just the bud in your ear, however this new volume functionally makes the stem worth keeping.
3. Charge with your Apple Watch charger
This might not be important to most, but as a frequent traveller this is hugely beneficial to me as now it means I have one less cord to take with me as I travel. Nice one Apple.
4. Speaker in the case
Everyone loses Airpod Pros, everyone. The speaker in the case now plays sounds to help find it when you lose it.
Yes it also plays cool sounds when the battery is low, charging has started, or pairing is complete but really, we only give a fuck about finding our missing AirPods. Now we can.
5. Better ear fit
I was lucky enough that the default size fit my ear perfectly, but if that’s not you, AirPods now come with more options to give you the perfect fit which means perfect noise cancellation and audio experience.
Yes, it’s bloody worth the upgrade. The new AirPods Pro 2 are much better than the predecessor.
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