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Apple AirPods 2 review – even better performance, convenience and connectivity

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  • VERDICT

Apple’s new AirPods continues to set the benchmark for wire free earphones that offer all round performance, convenience and play time. If you own an iPhone, they are a must have accessory.

It’s been two and half years since Apple’s original AirPods were released and they’ve been popular since day one. Finally a new version of the AirPods is available and the good news is they’re even better.

The original AirPods were one of the first wire-free earphones and designed for use especially with Apple’s devices.

Today they are really easy to spot out and about with their distinct white colour.

Version two of the AirPods have a number of subtle improvements.

On the design side, they look exactly the same as the original.

The AirPods themselves still have the same look and fit.

We’ve never had an issue with the AirPods staying in place in our ears, they’ve always been a comfortable fit – and they still are with this latest iteration.

The AirPods sit inside your ear securely but without the need to force them uncomfortably into your ear to hold them in place.

This means you can still hear what’s going on around you.

Some wire free earbuds feel like you’ve stuck your fingers in your years so if you’re walking, running or eating you can hear everything through your head.

That’s not the case with the Apple AirPods.

The only downside of this open design is not being able to hear clearly in noisy environments.

If you’re on a train platform or beside a busy road or inside a shopping centre, you’re going to have to turn up the volume to hear your music, podcast or audiobook.

But we’re happy to say that this latest version of the AirPods are noticeably louder at the higher volumes than the original.

Apple hasn’t revealed driver sizes or output power of the AirPods but we can definitely hear the difference in the scale and volume of the sound.

Audio quality is crisp and there is now a healthier level of bass.
The charging case also looks almost identical to the original but there is a small difference.

The new case can be charged wirelessly as well as through the Lightning port on the bottom.

Whenever the AirPods are placed back inside the case they are being recharged.

When fully charged, the case can provide 24-hour’s power for the AirPods.

The AirPods themselves can run for up to five hours when fully charged.

And if you need a quick charge, pop the AirPods into the charging case for 15 minutes to get to three hours of listening time.

Now you also have the convenience of charging the case wirelessly. You can use the same charging mat you would use with your iPhone.

Once it’s in the right place on the charging mat, you will see the indicator light (this used to be inside the case) on the front illuminate.

Apple’s new AirPods are still the easiest earphones to connect thanks to the new Apple H1 headphone chip which create a more stable connection to your device.

We also noticed a faster connection when switching between devices – say from our iPad to our MacBook Pro, to the iPhone and to Apple Watch.

And when connecting to incoming calls we also noticed a snappier connection time.

Audio quality on phone calls using the AirPods is unmatched and we were often been wearing the AirPods not only for our regular phone calls but also for radio interviews as well.

The people we were speaking to had no idea we were talking through the AirPods.

That’s because the AirPods are actually smart enough to recognise when you’re speaking and engages the beamforming microphones and even blocks out external noise to focus on your voice.

There are also optical sensors on the outside of each bud so they know when they are in your ears.

When you take them out, whatever you’re listening to will be paused and then resume once they’re back in again.
Another big addition to the new AirPods is “Hey Siri”.

Now you can simply say “Hey Siri” to ask for assistance, to access a playlist, navigate your music, control the volume and ask for directions.

This worked really well even in noisy areas so we were able to do what we needed to do or find out a piece of information without having to touch our iPhone.

You can buy the new AirPods with the wireless charging case for $319 or the new AirPods but sticking to the regular charging case for $249.

If you already own a pair of AirPods and just wanted to buy the wireless charging case, you can do just that for $129.

VERDICT

Apple’s new AirPods continues to set the benchmark for wire free earphones that offer all round performance, convenience and play time. If you own an iPhone, they are a must have accessory.