Apple AirPods 2 vs AirPods 1

Apple AirPods 2 vs AirPods 1 : Should you upgrade to the new AirPods?

AirPods 2 has just released with the predicted features. Apple has done a lot this week from releasing the new iPad, then iMac to WWDC 2019 invitation that will blow your mind. If you have been wanting to upgrade AirPods for a long time, hold your thoughts. Here is the comparison of AirPods 1 vs AirPods 2 features.

Apple AirPods 2 Lineup

Should you upgrade your AirPods 1 to the AirPods 2?

That is the biggest question in every AirPods owners’ head right now. AirPods 1 changes the way we listen to music. It offers convenience by making it truly wireless while maintaining stable connections. However, I have one complaint about the delay in showing the AirPods card to your iPhone when checking the AirPods’ battery. This will change in AirPods 2. Apple promises that the new AirPods 2 will connect to your phone at up to 2x faster than the AirPods 1. So, this should eliminate the previous issue with the delay. Here are the highlights of what’s new on the AirPods 2.

1. Apple made a dedicated chip for its AirPods 2

The biggest change is the processor. AirPods 1 uses the W1 chip, similar to those on Apple Watch. For AirPods 2, Apple created an entirely new chip called H1. This new chip brings many improvements in performance and battery life. It also enables Bluetooth 5.0 in AirPods 2, which means more bandwidth while reducing its latency by 30%.

2. Noise-canceling gets a bit better

In the noise canceling department, AirPods 1 has a bit of problem when calling. Many people have complained that the background noise is more evident than their own voice. With the H1 chip, AirPods 2 brings better noise-cancelation performance than its predecessor.

3. You can now talk for 1 extra hour

Apple AirPods 2 Extra Hour Battery Life for CallingThis new H1 chip also brings improvement in battery life, especially for talk-time. You still get the same 5 hours of music listening. However, the talk-time is now rated for 3 hours usage. In comparison, AirPods 1 only have 2 hours of talk-time. Using AirPods for calling is the battery hog of my AirPods 1. I always use only 1 side of the AirPods whenever I’m calling to make sure that I still have a backup, in case one is dead. With the new AirPods 2, you can get almost 6 hours of talk time, if you use my trick.

4. Wireless charging case

There is no news about AirPower, but the AirPods wireless charging case is here. Basically, if you want the new AirPods 2 without the wireless charging case, it will cost the same as the AirPods 1’s previous price. However, if you want AirPods 2 with the wireless charging case, you will have to add $40 (US Dollar) or S$60 (Singapore Dollar) or ฿1,300 (Thai Baht) than the AirPods 2 without the wireless charging option. Apple gives you another option to buy the wireless charging case only and it is compatible with the original AirPods 1. It costs around $80, and you can get free engraving. Unfortunately, the case-only option is currently not available in Apple Thailand.

5. “Hey Siri” is here!

Hey Siri on AirPods 2

Lately, Apple has been trying to improve and push its voice assistant heavily. “Hey Siri” has been available in many of their devices, but not the AirPods. Previously, to call Siri, you would have to double tap on either of the AirPods. However, with the new AirPods 2, you can set your double tap to activate other commands such as play, pause, or skipping tracks. You can now ask Siri to check the AirPods battery level for you. Apple have been trying to promote this as a “new feature.” However, I have tested this on my AirPods 1. Surprisingly, this feature is also working on AirPods 1. I must say that this is the most underrated feature for the AirPods.

Comparison Table of AirPods 1 vs AirPods 2

Here is the full specification comparison table for the new AirPods 2 and original AirPods

AirPods 1 AirPods 2
Chip W1 H1
Bluetooth 4.2 5.0
Listening Time 5 hours 5 hours
Talk Time 2 hours 3 hours
Siri Support Double-tap Double-tap and “Hey Siri” support

With this table, you can better compare the difference to decide whether to update or not. One thing to keep in mind is that the AirPods 2 with Wireless Charging Case is bigger than the one without the wireless charging feature. Here are my thoughts on the new AirPods 2.

Summary: AirPods 1.5 is probably the correct name

AirPods 1 vs AirPods 2 Conclusion

I don’t think this is the matter of AirPods 1 vs AirPods 2 anymore. AirPods 2 does not seem new at all in comparison to the 3-years old AirPods 1. In fact, it might as well be called AirPods 1.5, since the upgrade is so minor.

The design is pretty much the same. Even though the new AirPods 2 promised to offer a more stable connection, the connection speed and stability on the AirPods 1 did not seem to be an issue for me. The rumored space gray version is not coming.

If you already own AirPods 1, I don’t think you should upgrade to the new AirPods 2. Instead, just buy the wireless charging case, if you prefer the updated convenience in charging. However, if you are someone who uses AirPods to call a lot, the improved noise-canceling and an extra hour of battery life on AirPods 2 might be a game changer for you.

2 Comments

  1. Will the space gray version be available next time?

    1. I hope so. Rumors said that the next AirPods will have major redesign and will be focusing on health related features.

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