Apple’s new AirPods Pro 2 are finally in the hands of consumers. Powered by the new H2 chip, the AirPods Pro 2 offer next-level audio performance including improved Active Noise Cancellation, Transparency mode, and Personalized Spatial Audio. The earbuds themselves feature the same design as the first generation but the stems now offer touch control. In addition, Apple has made some notable upgrades to the case.
According to the first batch of reviews published, the AirPods Pro 2 offer incredible performance for the price and are a worthy upgrade from the first generation, despite the older design.
AirPods Pro 2 reviews are out!
The selling point with the new AirPods Pro has to be the 2x improved noise cancellation. CNET’s David Carnoy says that while the noise cancellation on the new AirPods Pro did not feel twice as strong as the original AirPods Pro, the difference can be felt with high- and mid-range frequencies.
The noise canceling didn’t feel twice as strong to me as I switched between the AirPods Pro 2 and the original AirPods Pro, but by double the noise canceling power what Apple means is that noise canceling is improved across all frequencies and probably more so with high- and mid-range frequencies that are harder to muffle than lower frequencies. So you’re likely to hear more improvement with the muffling of people’s voices, for example.
Ultimately, the noise canceling is one of the best out there right now and just a slight step behind what I experienced with Bose’s new QuietComfort Earbuds 2, which arguably have the best noise canceling at this moment. But I’ll say it again, the noise-canceling experience can and will vary with the fit of the earbuds, so hopefully, you get a good fit.
TechRadar’s Gareth Beavis calls the new AirPods Pro a “hugely impressive upgrade.” The sound quality of the new buds is applauded. However, Beavis says the new stem touch controls can be a bit finicky at times. Since this is the first time that Apple has implemented such a feature in its earbuds, there are some improvements to be made.
It works by stroking the small stem up and down, waiting for the small click to confirm a change. When you get the rhythm, it’s fine – the strokes work perfectly and you can alter volume easily, despite being a little slow to respond.
However, it’s so hard to get the sweet spot each time – while the feature is nice to have and one we use regularly, it’s not well implemented enough to be flawless.
Beavis also says that the AirPods Pro 2 are worth the price based on their noise cancellation capabilities alone.
We’ve been using noise-canceling products for nearly 20 years now, when headphones came with a massive extra microphone block to achieve the feat. But slip on the AirPods Pro 2 in a noisy environment – we’re currently writing this review in a noisy cafe, for instance – and hold one of the stems to activate noise cancellation.
The world goes quiet, and you instantly enter a soft, comfortable studio where it’s just you and your music. The effect is stark and worth the cost of the headphones alone.
Endgadget’s Billy Steele highlighted all the changes Apple made to the AirPods Pro’s case in his review. Not only are the AirPods Pro 2 easier to find now, thanks to a new speaker on the bottom, but Apple has also added a lanyard loop on one side of the case.
The other key design changes have to do with the AirPods Pro charging case. First, it has a built-in speaker this time around, making it easier to hear pings when you’re looking for the earbuds or activate tones for low battery, charging and pairing. Accordingly, the grille is now visible on the bottom edge. The case is IPX4 rated just like the AirPods Pro, meaning it, too, is sweat and water resistant. Additionally, there’s now a lanyard loop on one side.
WIRED’s Parker Hall calls the AirPods Pro 2 a “good example of how you make already-great wireless earbuds even better. ” Hall specifically enjoyed the improved battery life that the new AirPods Pro offer.
Now, so long as you pop the buds in their case for lunch, the six hours of juice in the buds and 24 in the case will easily get you through a day at the office or around town. Heck, they’ll get you through a catastrophically slow marathon, audiobooks intact.
As for the addition of personalized Spatial Audio, it’s not a make-or-break feature for most consumers. As said by TechRadar’s Gareth Beavis, the “Personalized Spatial Audio capability is nice to have, making them feel like your earbuds, but we’re not sure it adds a lot.
In conclusion, the consensus is that the new AirPods Pro 2 offer incredible performance, made possible by the new H2 chip. The charging case has some great additions but the touch controls are tough to use sometimes. However, if you are upgrading from the first-generation AirPods Pro, you will definitely be able to feel the difference – or rather, you will be able to hear it.
Digital Trends’ review: