About the Apple® AirPods (2nd Generation)
Back, and even better than before
Apple promises even better, more reliable wireless performance with their state-of-the-art H1 chip.
Back, and even better than before
I've been anxiously waiting for this one: the update to Apple's game-changing, 100% wire-free AirPods. A few years back, these best-sellers shook up the headphone world and basically created one of our most popular categories — true wireless earbuds. Apple loaded this latest version with some cutting-edge tech, stronger battery, and even more convenience features.
Powered by Apple's new H1 wireless chip
It's all thanks to the new H1 chip, which Apple says performs much better than the previous generation's W1 chip. That statement speaks volumes. An engineer from another revered audio company told me that they still considered the W1 the most advanced wireless chip out there — just earlier this year. While the AirPods will play music wirelessly from any Bluetooth-enabled phone or music source, the H1 chip makes pairing up with Apple devices even more special.
Steady, high-quality connection to your Apple gear
Easy and straightforward. That's the best way to describe the wireless pairing process between the AirPods and your Apple products. A one-tap connection syncs up the earbuds to your iPhone®, and then you're automatically paired to other devices on your iCloud account (like your Apple Watch®, iMac®, or iPad®).
The H1 chip ensures an even stronger wireless connection than the first-generation AirPods, along with higher-fidelity streaming. Apple claims this new version offers 30% lower latency, too. That's key when watching videos or playing games, when you need the audio and video to sync up correctly.
My wife Meghan's take:
Just 15 minutes in the case provides enough power to get the AirPods up and running again.
I received a sample pair of the 2nd-gen AirPods, and brought them home for my wife Meghan to try. While these headphones would play music just fine with my Samsung Galaxy phone, I knew she'd get more use out of them with her iPhone 8 Plus. Well, she told me these were the best true wireless earbuds she's ever used with her phone.
The main reason? Convenience. "Sometimes I have trouble pairing up Bluetooth headphones with my iPhone. I'll have to toggle Bluetooth off and on, or reboot the headphones or the phone — or both," she told me. "The AirPods and iPhone immediately recognized each other the first time I used them. From there, I just pulled the AirPods out of the case, popped them in, and they were ready to go."
They also fit more securely than she expected. "When I see people wearing them out in public, they look like they might fall out — but they actually stay in pretty nicely, and don't wiggle around at all when I move my head," she said.
She told me the only real frustration came when she forgot to charge the AirPods, and they ran out of power. But 15 minutes in the case gave them enough juice for hours of listening time.
Her main use for headphones is watching tutorials on YouTube for work, and she didn't notice any lag between the audio and video. "I also put them in to FaceTime my sister," said Meghan, "and she told me my voice sounded much clearer with the AirPods than when I just use my phone."
Clear phone calls and more talk time
AirPods have become an everyday essential for some, often as much for phone calls as music listening. When I visited New York City earlier this year for CanJam 2019, I noticed countless people wearing them. And why not? They make it so easy to hop on conference calls, order food, or carry on conversations as you move along the sidewalk.
With the new H1 chip, phone calls connect to these headphones even quicker. And a super-powerful, voice-detecting microphone can filter out external sounds for clear calls in noisier environments. Plus they offer more talk time than the original model — you get up to three hours on a full charge.
Smarter, hands-free Siri® voice control
This new chip makes Siri voice commands easier, too. Instead of having to double-tap the AirPods to activate Siri, you can just say "Hey Siri" and follow it up with a command or request.
After a one-time setup through a connected device (like your iPhone), Siri will recognize your voice command. Just how smart are these earbuds? When you remove one — or both — music will stop playing, and it resumes as soon as you put them back in.
A carrying case that recharges your earbuds
Thanks to the H1 chip's battery management, the tiny AirPods offer five hours of music listening on a full charge, or three hours of phone calls. Siri will keep you updated on your battery life. When you need to refuel, just click the AirPods into the included charging carrying case, which is a little bigger than a matchbox. It can bank 24 hours of power to recharge your AirPods. Just 15 minutes inside the case gives your AirPods up to three hours of wireless use.
- built-in Bluetooth® for wireless music listening and phone calls
- Apple's new H1 chip provides seamless, reliable wireless connection with iPhone and other Apple devices
- AAC decoding provides high-quality music streaming from compatible devices
- no connecting cord between left and right earbud
- clear, detailed sound for music and calls
- easy, one-tap pairing with iPhone simultaneously syncs up your iPad, iMac, and Apple Watch
- requires iCloud account and iOS 12.2, macOS 10.14.4, or watchOS 5.2
- dual beam-forming microphones with voice recognition for calls and Siri control
- control music, volume, and Siri by tapping either AirPod
- optical sensors automatically stop music in either AirPod when removed
- AirPods can be used one at a time or as a pair
- built-in rechargeable batteries offer up to 5 hours of listening
- up to 3 hours of phone call talk time
- included carrying case banks up to 24 hours of power to recharge AirPods
- 15 minutes inside case provides enough power for 3 hours of listening
- Lightning® cable included for charging case
- AirPod weight: 0.14 ounces (each)
- warranty: 1 year
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
- MFR # MV7N2AM/A
What's in the box:
- Left and right wireless ear pods (2nd Generation)
- Charging case (A1602)
- 41" Lightning-to-USB (Type A) cable
- Instruction manual
- Safety and Handling booklet
- Limited Warranty booklet
Apple® AirPods (2nd Generation) reviews
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More details on the Apple® AirPods (2nd Generation)
Features & specs
|Earcup Width x Height||0.654" x 1.596"|
|Mic For Taking Calls||Yes|
|Frequency Response||Not Given|
|1/4-inch Adapter Included||No|
|Parts Warranty||1 Year|
|Labor Warranty||1 Year|
Overview: The Apple AirPods (2nd Generation) are individual in-ear buds designed to work with your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, or Mac, as well as Android phones and tablets, and most other Bluetooth-enabled devices. The individual AirPods are the same size and weight as the 1st generation model -- 0.654" (w) x 1.596" (h) x 0.628" (d), and 0.14 ounces. AirPods power on and connect automatically with your device when you open the lid of the included charging case. AirPods use internal sensors and motion accelerometers to detect when they're in your ears, or when you tap them to control playback, answer a call, or activate Siri. The AirPods (2nd Generation) come with a standard Charging Case and a Lightning-to-USB cable. The optional Wireless Charging Case (sold separately) is compatible with Qi Wireless Charging.
Compatibility: The AirPods (2nd Generation) are compatible with the following Apple products:
- iPhone, iPad, iPod touch with iOS 12.2 or later
- Apple Watch with watchOS 5.2 or later
- Apple TV with tvOS 12.2 or later
- Mac with macOS 10.14.4 or later
Power Requirements: Each individual Apple AirPod has a built-in rechargeable battery. The batteries are charged whenever you place them inside of the Charging Case, which contains its own 398mAh rechargeable battery. These 2nd Generation AirPods are equipped with Apple's new H1 headphone chip, which makes them more stable and efficient than the original models (with the W1 chip). The AirPods (2nd Generation) provide up to 5 hours of listening with up to 3 hours of talk time on a single charge. A 15-minute Quick Charge gives you up to 3 hours of listening time or 2 hours of talk time. When the battery in the Charging Case is charged to capacity, you can recharge the AirPods multiple times. With the AirPods (2nd Generation) and the Charging Case, you get more than 24 hours of listening time, or up to 18 hours of talk time. You can check the charge status of your AirPods and Charging Case with a compatible Apple device (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac). A standard Lightning-to-USB cable is provided for charging the Charging Case.
Apple H1 Headphone Chip: The new H1 headphone chip inside the Apple AirPods (2nd Generation) marks a major upgrade in performance over the 1st Generation's W1 chip. Now you can activate the Siri personal assistant with your voice, instead of double-tapping the earbuds. By saying "Hey Siri", you can make a phone call, play music, get directions, raise and lower the volume, and perform many other functions. The H1 chip supports Bluetooth 5.0, which should improve your wireless range. It also generally provides a more stable wireless connection to your devices, connecting to your phone calls 1.5x faster, and switching between active devices twice as fast as before. Latency is improved by up to 30%, with fewer delays between on-screen events and the accompanying audio, to make your gaming and video experience better. Battery life is improved with the new H1 chip, giving you 50% more talk time (3 hours per charge vs. 2 hours).
Microphones: The AirPods have built-in beam-forming microphones that focus on your voice, while rejecting ambient noise, making your phone calls crisp and clear.
Sensors and Accelerometers: The AirPods feature built-in optical sensors and motion accelerometers that can automate numerous functions. When the AirPods are pulled out of their Charging Case, they instantly turn on and connect to your iOS device or compatible Bluetooth device. As soon as you put them in your ears, your music starts playing. Take one or both AirPods out and your music pauses. Tapping gestures help you change tracks, or change the volume. Double-tapping lets you activate Siri if you haven't enabled the "Hey Siri" hands-free function. The AirPods feature a separate voice accelerometer that can detect when you're talking on the phone or to Siri, and will engage the microphone and reject background noise so your call is crystal clear.
Q Crutchfield asked: Why did you buy this?