Airpods Pro 2 review

Airpods Pro 2 (credits: Apple)

We saw the new AirPods announcement and the keynote and like couple new features.You can get your emoji on it and everything.

Airpods Pro 2 vs Airpods Pro

So there’s a lot of small, new features here that AirPods Pro 2 people have been waiting for a long time. On the surface, it’s still in a nearly identical design. You recognize them from a mile away. The only way you can tell them apart from the last AirPods Pro visually is by these dual vents at the top.

But on the inside, there is an entirely new driver and amplifier. And these AirPods do. Dramatically better than the last ones. Easily the best sounding earbuds apples ever made. There are way more lows and mids. So if you listen to hip hop or just music with a lot of bass, it’s very noticeable. There’s just way better, and there’s also very little high volume distortion.

Airpods Pro 2 Audio quality and Range

They sound good, like really good EarPods. Now there still is no lossless audio with these, but it’s still 16 bit 48 kilohertz audio, and that is good, but that wasn’t the thing that convinced me. It was a difference maker for sure. It’s really nice, but that’s not the thing.

Airpods Pro 2: Longer Battery Life

These do now have a 33% longer battery life, so it’s six hours on a single charge now with noise cancellation. And up to 30 total hours with the battery in the case. You I’ll never have earbuds in for six hours straight. So this was more than enough for us, but it wasn’t what impressed me either.

New extra small ear tip

There is also a new extra small ear tip. So now it comes with the mediums installed by default, and then there’s two size of smaller and one larger size. So if you had smaller ears that the previous AirPods didn’t quite work with, these may make a difference for you with the extra small ear tip.

Airpods Pro 2: Biggest upgrade

But some may even tempted to say that the new is the biggest upgrade. That’s certainly what I thought when I watched the keynote. It’s like Apple had a meeting about how wow, people are losing these things and getting them mixed up with other people’s AirPods and then they just decided to do something about it.

Airpods Pro 2: Speaker on the case

So the case is the same size and shape, but there’s this lad loop on the side. Now, in case you wanna attach it to something, it’s kind of like the loop on the top of the water bottle. But just way smaller. And then you can use whatever language you wanna attach it to, but if that’s not good enough for you, there’s a whole speaker at the bottom of the case now, and it is surprisingly useful, so it can play a loud sound to help you find them on top of the precision finding.

Airpods Pro 2: New U1 chip

That already works really well since it has a U1 chip inside. So it’s just like an air tag. If it’s somewhere in your general vicinity, it can guide you to it. It also plays a sound when you get it on a charger, wired or wireless. And the mag safe ring helps it stay in place on any mag safe wireless charging puck. That’s not new, but it also now works with Apple watch chargers too, which is a nice touch on top of all that.

Airpods Pro 2: Water resistant

It is still IPX four water resistant, which is an extra layer of security if you work out and sweat around the case or if you end up in the rain in these, and you can engrave it with your emoji now, so your friends will never accidentally pick up your AirPods case by mistake. Not even that is what was convincing me about the AirPods Pro 2, not even the most requested feature, apparently.

Volume control on the earbud

This is something lots of other earbuds have had, but volume control on the earbud itself, It’s on the stock now, so of course it is now much more convenient to just adjust the volume without having to reach for your phone. It’s kind of like this pinch gesture where you hold your finger on one side and then slide with the other on the flat spot on the stock. It’s kind of awkward at first, but you do get used to it. But no, it was none of that. The thing that convinced me with these headphones that they’re incredible is the H2 chip.

Airpods Pro 2: H2 chip

So previous years, generations of Apple headphones have had the H1 chip inside, and it’s this little chip that’s doing the audio processing, noise cancellation, etc. This is the second generation of that. And Apple was bragging on stage that it has like a billion transistors or something ridiculous, whatever the point of the chip is that it enables everything that is special about these new AirPods Pro 2.

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Improved active noise cancellation

So first of all, there is much improved active noise cancellation. Apple said something like up to two times more background noise is removed versus a last generation. I don’t know about all that, but combining these new drivers and the sound profile with the improved noise cancellation is definitely noticeable.

I mean, it’s incredible. With white noise, like air conditioners and transportation, you put the headphones on and it just erases them immediately. Like, I’m not the type of person to wear earbuds for an entire flight. I still much prefer over the ear headphones for that, but I get it with these. Now I understand why people would want to wear these airpods Pro 2.

On a plane because they cancel noise that well, I’m putting them on the same level of like the Sony Mark four earbuds and right below the new Bose Quietcomfort Earbuds Tws, and I put them above the AirPods Maxes as far as how well it actually cancels sound. I mean, they still sound very different.

I did the back to back test. Don’t get me wrong, you can tell the much bigger driver makes a difference in the AirPods. But these get quieter. They remove more background noise. Now there is already a lot of computational audio happening in AirPods Pro Sound. They’re literally adjusting the EQ with everything you listen to and across every different volume level to make sure they sound a certain way.

It actually makes them hard to review sometimes against other headphones because every track hits a little bit different. But the one huge advantage AirPods have had for a long time now over the competition, over the BS and the Samsungs and the Pixel Buds of the world, is the transparency mode.

Transparency mode

As someone who has used them all, like the transparency mode from AirPods, has for a while been on a level by itself above the rest, the real time pass through of outside sound. Is kind of amazing. And in these, with the H2 chip, it is leveled up again. So on stage Apple introduced what they’re calling adaptive transparency mode.

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Adaptive transparency mode

It’s actually not a separate mode, it’s still the transparency mode, which is with a different name. But what’s happening is it’s still passing through all the outside sound. But anytime there’s a loud or a harsh sound above 85 decibels, it cuts that sound. To not be loud and harsh. So let’s say you’re walking or biking through the city, you need to keep transparency mode on so you can hear the cars and the people around you for safety, but you’re still listening to music or a podcast or whatever, and then an ambulance drives past you, sirens blaring.

You will still hear the sirens, but that super loud sound will be suppressed to a level that doesn’t hurt your ears. It’s super smart and that ambulance could be anything that could be, someone honking. It could be a jackhammer construction noise. It could be a dog barking, but it’s keeping the same sound signature of whatever sound that is and just bringing it down below a certain level.

And it’s doing it all in real time with virtually no delay. So the crazy number is, it’s sampling outside sound 48,000 times per. Apparently that’s 240 times faster than the last generation. And so it could even be like a really sharp, like quick outside sound, like a dog barking. It will actually reduce a loud dog barking as fast as it’s actually happening, so by the time it reaches your ears, it’s a lower degree of sound.

It’s so good that this is, this is a real situation, a scenario that I’ve dreamt up that I believe could happen. I haven’t tried this myself. But you know how you typically go to a super loud concert and like front row, middle row, like the speakers are, are obviously too loud, They’re damaging your ears.

If you have an Apple watch, it’s giving you. You know, warnings that you, if you’re in this type of sound for too long, it’ll be damaging to your hearing instead of wearing earplugs, you can really do this. You can wear AirPods Pro 2 and put them in transparency mode, and it will take the entire sound signature of that whole thing you’re listening to, and it will drop it down to a reasonable level.

You’ll still feel the basing your chest of the speakers, but your hearing won’t be damaged as much because it’s taking all of that and reducing it, and you’re still hearing the. That’s incredible. So all of this real time processing is happening on the earbuds, not on your phone, and that is the H 2 chip at work.

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Mismatched AirPods notification

Plus there’s also a few other features it enables to, It talks to the Noise app on the Apple Watch in real time to show you how much noise is being canceled out in case. You want visual for that sort of thing. And also if you accidentally ever put the wrong earbud in your case, like someone else’s, the speaker will actually play a chime and you’ll get a mismatched AirPods notification on your phone.

Another nice touch for those people who have inevitably lost AirPods to their friends’ cases and probably don’t even know it. And then there’s a new ear scan for personalized s spatial audio. This was kind of a weird one, so it’s using the face ID depth sensors. To measure your head and measure the depth of your ears to give you a personalized s spatial audio mix.

Sony’s been doing the same thing for a little bit with some of their headphones. They use the front facing camera. I don’t know if I was, convinced at the usefulness of this. I mean, the spatial audio was already pretty good. But after I did the personalized audio, basically for me. It just sounded like the sound stage got a little bit wider.

Maybe like there’s just a bit more of a spread to how far apart the different sounds and instrumentals are. I don’t know exactly how much of the ear scan data was being used for this. But that’s even more computational audio thanks to the H2 chip.

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Airpods Pro 2: Conclusion

Overall though, these AirPods pro 2. A significant upgrade and they’re just flat out better than I expected. I wasn’t expecting this much of a change, and they sound way better. They work way better. There is still lots of other competition in the earbuds world. Samsung’s buds are really good. I also really like the pixel buds.

AirPods people, this is something that you might see a lot if you live in a major city. Or whereas a lot of mass transit or something like that. it’s when people just wear AirPods everywhere they go, like they walk around the streets with them, they bike around, they just live with AirPods in their ears.

These are gonna be amazing for those people. Like it’s everything you’d care about. It’s the better battery life. With the better sound quality. It’s the better noise cancellation and much better transparency mode. The better case, the volume control on the stocks all in one package at the same price. I get it. I get it. It’s really good. Air Pods Pro 2 are really good now.

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