AirPods (2nd Generation) Vs. AirPods (1st Generation): What’s New

BY Rajesh Pandey

Published 20 Mar 2019

Apple-AirPods-2Apple today unveiled the 2nd generation AirPods. Contrary to rumors, the new AirPods (2nd generation) pack modest upgrades and are not a massive upgrade over the original AirPods as many would have expected. So, how do the AirPods (1st generation) compare to the new 2nd generation AirPods? Find out in this comparison.

If you already own the 1st generation AirPods, there’s really no reason for you to upgrade to the 2nd gen AirPods. While certain improvements are welcome like the improved battery life, they still short of the expectations that most people had from the 2nd generation AirPods.

AirPods (2nd Generation) Vs. AirPods (1st Generation): What’s Different

Improved Battery Life

This is one of the biggest changes in new AirPods (2nd generation). Thanks to the new H1 wireless chip, the new AirPods offer up to 8 hours of talk time. Plus, they offer more than 24 hours of listening time with the charging case. That’s a 50 percent improvement over the original AirPods which offer 4 hours of battery life on a single charge.

New H1 Headphone Chip

The new AirPods (2nd generation) feature Apple designed H1 headphone chip with a custom audio architecture. They are not only more efficient but also bring a hoard of other improvements. The new chip offers faster connect times, lower latency, improved audio quality, and faster switching times between iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch.

The new chip should also help fix the connectivity problems that original AirPods users

Apple claims some serious improvement in almost all connectivity related tasks for the new AirPods (2nd generation). This includes up to 2x faster switching times between devices, 1.5x faster connection time for phone calls, and 30 percent lower gaming latency. All this is on top of the improved audio quality brought about by the new chip.

Always-on ”Hey Siri”

The new H1 headphone chip also brings always-on “Hey Siri” detection to the new AirPods (2nd generation). This means that unlike the original AirPods, one no longer needs to tap the AirPods to trigger ”Hey Siri.” Instead, simply saying “Hey Siri” is going to be good enough to trigger the virtual assistant.

Also Available For the Original AirPods

Wireless Charging Case 

Alongside the 2nd generation AirPods, Apple also unveiled the Wireless Charging case. However, instead of bundling it with the AirPods 2, Apple is selling it as an optional accessory. Customers looking to buy the AirPods (2nd generation) can buy a bundle with the wireless charging case for $199 instead of buying the AirPods and the charging case separately for $159 and $79.

The good news is that the wireless charging case is also compatible with the original AirPods. While wireless charging functionality might not be a big deal for many, it is definitely a convenient feature to have. If you own an iPhone with wireless charging, you can simply use that same charger to top off your AirPods and its carrying case. Or you can buy a wireless charger that is capable of charging two devices at once and then charge your iPhone and AirPods at the same time.

What the AirPods (2nd Generation) Don’t Offer

While the AirPods are definitely among the best Bluetooth earbuds you can buy, they are far from perfect. With the 2nd generation AirPods, customers were hoping that Apple would fix some of the major pain points of the original AirPods. However, that has not happened. The new AirPods continue to lack a lot of key features that other wireless Bluetooth earbuds are now offering.

  • Water-resistance
  • Improved in-ear fit
  • Active noise-cancellation
  • Better design

While the better design wish can be skipped, Apple should have offered a certain degree of water-resistance with the new AirPods. Even something like sweat-resistance would be good enough for most users. While the original AirPods themselves were good enough to survive gym workouts and light rain, they were not marketed as sweat-resistant by Apple. This meant that any kind of repair for liquid damage would end up requiring users to pay from their own pocket. And for most users, their AirPods did stop working after a few months of heavy use.

The original AirPods have also been criticized for their poor fit and the lack of active noise-cancellation. While these ommissions could have been forgiven when the AirPods were originally released, the market has changed considerably since then. Samsung, Bose, and other companies now offer true wireless Bluetooth earbuds that are superior to the AirPods in many aspects.

We Want to Hear From You

Are you disappointed with the modest improvements the new AirPods (2nd generation) bring to the table? Or are they good enough for you to consider upgrading from your original AirPods? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!