Expert review Apple AirPods 2
Apple AirPods 2 with wireless charging case
- No more struggles with a connector, thanks to wireless charging.
- You can ask the digital assistant Siri for help by simply saying "Hey Siri".
- Thanks to the Apple H1 headphone chip, the connection with your device is more stable and you can switch between devices faster.
- The earbuds work with Android devices but can't support all functions such as Siri and Proximity Connect, which they can with Apple devices.
- A wireless charger isn't included by default.
The new AirPods have arrived at the office. I pick up 2 boxes. Why 2? Because AirPods 2 are available in 2 versions. By this, I don't mean the earbuds but the charging case. The AirPods 2 include either the standard charging case or a wireless charging case. The wireless charger is new. For an extra € 50, I can charge my charging case wirelessly. This is useful if I already have a wireless iPhone charger.
The design of the earbuds is the first thing I see and there are no spectacular changes. In fact, the AirPods 2 and their predecessors look identical. The differences are hidden inside the AirPods. To experience those differences, I have to start using the AirPods first. I connect the Apple AirPods 2 to my iPhone. Pairing is a lot faster than I'm used to from the AirPods 1.
Apple has designed a new H1 headphone chip for the AirPods 2. Naturally, this has a number of advantages. First, I notice that my AirPods connect to my devices a lot faster. When I take my AirPods out of the case, they connect to my iPhone right away. The new chip is also more efficient in terms of talk time. The listening time (5 hours) is the same, but the talk time is now 3 hours if they're fully charged. This used to be 2 hours.
Activate Hey Siri with your voice
I use Apple's virtual assistant, Siri, all the time. I can activate Siri with my voice via my iPhone and Apple Watch. With the previous version, I had to tap one of my earbuds twice to activate Siri. This is no longer necessary, thanks to the new H1 chip. This chip can tell when I'm talking to my earbuds. From now on, I can simply activate Siri by saying "Hey Siri". This is useful if my hands are dirty while I'm cooking and I want to ask Siri to set the timer.
Wireless charging case
The only visible difference regarding the case is the indicator light. It used to be inside the box. Now, it's on the outside. This means I can check the status without opening the case. I use the wireless charger to charge my wireless charging case. I can tell wireless charging is slower than a cable. If I have to leave the house soon, I prefer to use the Lightning cable. The battery is full in about 3 hours with wireless charging and it only takes 2 hours via cable.
25-hour battery life
My AirPods have a 5-hour battery life. This isn't very long, but I always carry the charging case with me. It's where I keep my earbuds. The case provides 20 hours extra battery life. This means I can use my AirPods for about 25 hours, until the case needs to be charged. And charging in the case is super fast. In just 15 minutes, I already extended the battery life with 3 hours.
Still have AirPods from 2016 and they still work properly? There aren't a lot of reasons to upgrade. You can also buy the new wireless charging case separately if you're a fan of wireless charging. Don't have AirPods yet? I definitely recommend the latest version of the AirPods. Why? Thanks to the brand-new H1 headphone chip, you can switch between different devices faster, have a more stable connection, and enjoy a longer talk time. Another benefit is that you can activate Siri with your voice instead of tapping one of the AirPods twice. The AirPods 2 are just a little bit better at everything.