In a surprise announcement following the two consecutive days of new product releases, Apple updated its store to release the new AirPods. The new AirPods doesn’t feature a new design but has been built from the ground up to provide better audio quality, connectivity, and battery life.
Instant connectivity was one of the reasons why AirPods became so popular. It came with Apple custom-designed W1 chip which allowed seamless connection with iOS devices and connectivity sync over multiple devices using iCloud. The AirPods 2 replaces the original W1 chip with a brand new H1 chip which brings even faster and more reliable wireless connection. Switching between devices is up to 2X faster and it is1.5X faster when connecting to a phone call.
The AirPods 2 also features a 30% decreases in latency when playing iOS games. The new H1 chip also enables voice-activated Siri. AirPods 2 no longer requires you to provide tap feedback to activate Siri. Just say the “Hey Siri” command and you can access Siri anytime. For example, you can say “Hey Siri, How’s the battery on my AirPods?” and it will tell you the exact battery life.
The new H1 chip brings battery life improvements. While the audio playback time remains the same 5 hours, the talk time has increased up to 3 hours. Additionally, the case holds multiple charges which cumulatively provide more than 24 hours of listening time. You can put the AirPods back in the charging case for 15 minutes to get an additional 3 hours of listening time and 2 hours of talk time.
Finally, AirPods 2 also supports wireless charging. But this feature will cost you more. The AirPods 2 start at the same $159 price tag as the original AirPods. If you want the AirPods 2 with wireless charging case you will have to shell out $199. The charging case is Qi compatible so all your old wireless chargers will work with it. If you don’t want to upgrade the AirPods and just want to enjoy the wireless charging capabilities, you can get the case separately for $79.
The only thing missing from this announcement is AirPower which is Apple’s charging mat that the company announced back in 2017. The only remaining evidence of AirPower was on the old AirPods page which is now gone with today’s update. If you were holding any hope for the AirPower charging mat, I think it’s best to let go of it now.
Note: AirPods 2 requires an iCloud account and macOS 10.14.4, iOS 12.2, or watchOS 5.2 to set up which are not released to the public yet.