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Review of second generation Apple AirPods headphones

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AirPods are simple, elegant and still the best choice for Apple fans.

The good

    Easy synchronization Simple and elegant design Wireless charging Solid connection Easy access to Siri

The bad

    They are not water resistant. Wireless case costs more.

Score

7/10

The updated Apple AirPods arrived with little fanfare and with only minimal improvements. The question is: is that Apple's latest wireless devices offer enough updates to keep up with the growing number of competitors?

It seems that we are in the era in which the devices are minimally updated in comparison to their predecessors. At the end of 2018, Google gave us an “update” of its Chromecast HD that represented little more than a new layer of paint and an increase of $ 5 dollars. Months later, and after years of speculation about new fitness tracking, waterproofing and even health monitoring features, Apple has offered a basic update to its popular AirPods headphones, which does not include any of those expected features.

The improvements we see in the new AirPods include more talk time (three hours instead of two), faster access to Siri, and a wireless charging case that costs an additional $ 40. While these changes will be well received by many of Apple's most loyal users, for those who are still undecided, there are a number of other wireless options that include more features, better battery life and complete waterproofing, which should be enough to remove the most recent AirPods from their list of candidates. Anyway, Apple headphones have their own. We tried them for a few days and this is what you can expect.

review airpods 2 apple gen featRiley Young / Digital Trends

UNPACKING AND CONFIGURATION

One thing that fortunately has not changed with the last AirPods is the extremely easy installation that characterizes Apple devices, which surpasses all competitors in the market when it comes to simplicity. Simply open the case, locate the new AirPods next to your iPhone, and voila! Once paired, they will appear automatically on any of your Apple devices connected to iCloud.

For all other non-Apple phones, you must make the pairing by opening the charging case (keeping the AirPods inside) and holding the small button on the back, but it's still quite simple. Once you see the flashing LED light, simply select them from your phone's Bluetooth settings.

review airpods 2 apple gen 12 800x534 cRiley Young / Digital Trends

There is no denying that Apple knows how to make a beautiful package. We were impressed not only with the look and feel of the white and shiny AirPods when opening the box, but also how compact the charging case is.

Within the small package you will find only the case with the AirPods, some basic instructions (with an incredibly small letter) and a Lightning cable for the charging case. If you have chosen the $ 199 wireless charging version, you will need your own Qi charging platform.

The only visible difference between the old AirPods and this new model is the wireless charging case with the LED light in front.

DESIGN AND LOAD

The only visible difference between the old AirPods and this new model is the wireless charging case with the LED light in front. This allows you to see the charging status when the case is placed on a Qi loading platform. The small box offers the same amount of cargo almost three years ago, offering up to 24 hours, which still exceeds most of the competitors.

review airpods 2 apple gen 9 800x534 cRiley Young / Digital Trends

Unlike Samsung Galaxy Buds, you cannot load the Apple case from your phone. And while Samsung's cheaper Galaxy Buds offer less charging time on the reservation, they outperform the AirPods with 6 hours of listening time per charge, compared to the same 5 hours that Apple offered in 2016.

HEY, SIRI!

The controls on board are the same as before, that is, they only let you play and advance the songs with a double tap. For the volume, instead of adding touch controls like most real wireless devices, Apple employs Siri.

Changing the audio with a simple "Hey, Siri, turn down the volume" is quite easy if you don't mind speaking alone, but without an Apple device, you have to do it manually in the headphones. As for other commands, in our test we were impressed by Siri's quick response to a variety of tasks, all without the need to click on a button.

review airpods 2 apple gen 800x534 cRiley Young / Digital Trends

THE CHIP H1 IN ACCIN

Apple's new H1 chip is what makes the new “Hey, Siri” feature possible. It also allows less delay in games and a connection that promises to be 50 percent faster for phone calls, although we don't really notice much difference compared to other true wireless headphones, including the original AirPods. Apple also claims that the H1 chip offers better call quality in windy or noisy environments, by eliminating distortion.

The mid-range audio and treble are clear, but lack definition or presence.

SOUND QUALITY

Some people think that virtually all true wireless headphones offer the same sound quality, but that conception is wrong. High-end options, such as the Sennheiser Momentum and Master and Dynamic MW07 sound incredibly good, while cheap headphones from lesser-known brands may sound terrible. However, most of the other renowned brands offer the same sound quality, which you can put in the category of not bad.

review airpods 2 apple gen 5 800x534 cRiley Young / Digital Trends

The new Apple AirPods enter that intermediate category along with most of their rivals. If you've heard the original AirPods (or even Apple's wired headphones) you know the sound. The instruments are softened for a smooth and pleasant sound. The mid-range audio and treble are clear, but lack definition or presence. The bass is complete and powerful, but not as tight or musical as the one you get with the high-performance headphones, which makes some instruments get lost in the mix.

As previous AirPods users know, Pods are designed to rest softly on the ear, allowing a good amount of ambient sound. This lack of intrusion makes them relatively comfortable for long periods of listening, similar to what Google was looking for in its Pixel Buds, but with better execution. However, they are not ideal for noisy environments and, although they are generally quite safe, it always feels like they are going to fall.

The new Apple AirPods represent a modest update, but should please Apple fans who have not had completely wireless headphones before, or those whose previous AirPods are losing their brightness or battery life. Special features, such as access to Siri without a button and wireless charging are welcome improvements, but they probably won't be worth it for those who are happy with their previous AirPods model, or who want headphones for their outdoor activities or for physical training . For them, we suggest the Powerbeats Pro, Beats' first truly wireless headphones, geared primarily for sports enthusiasts.

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Review of second generation Apple AirPods headphones
5 (100%) 4 votes