Cue the old Rose DeWitt Bukater voice, it’s been three long years –– since the launch of the AirPods Pro back in 2019, we’ve been eagerly awaiting the next iteration of Apple’s noise-cancelling earbuds. The world sat through several Apple days eagerly waiting for the next gen version with all its improvements (or lack thereof).
Well, that day has finally arrived as Apple just announced the highly anticipated Apple AirPods Pro 2. And as expected it’s got some shiny new features to boot.
Here are the top features of the new AirPods Pro 2.
Pricing and availability
When they launched in 2019, the AirPods Pro cost $249, which is definitely a lot. But if you were looking for a price reprieve you’ll have to look elsewhere as the 2nd-gen earbuds are also $249. The earbuds are currently available for pre-order starting September 9.
There were rumors that Apple was working on making the AirPods Pro 2 smaller and more like the stemless Beats Studio buds. However, the AirPods Pro 2 are nearly identical to their predecessors. But that doesn’t mean there have been no changes. The stems have a few new controls thanks to the new Touch Controls. Instead of squeezing the tiny stems to play, pause and skip forward or backward, you can now swipe you commands.
Hopefully, you can tweak the control designations in the Settings menu so you can adjust the volume. I don't know about you, but I'm not much of a Siri person when I'm using an iPhone.
The charging case, however, has undergone a small change that makes a big difference. The first is the addition of a small speaker near the bottom which will play a loud sound when Find My is activated, making it that much easier to find the wayward case. Plus, there's a new loop so you can attach a lanyard so they don't get lost in the first place.
Out with the old in with the new. The H1 chip which gave the OG AirPods a serious boost has been retired in favor of the new H2 chip. The new processor brings improved audio quality by way of the new driver. Plus there's spatial audio support. Speaking of 3D audio, the new AirPods will give listeners the ability to create a custom spatial audio profile.
However, the biggest feather in Apple's cap is the active noise cancellation as the company is promising twice the performance. I'm interested how the AirPods Pro 2 will live up to the hype. Of course, I'm hoping for more power, but I also hope that the new ANC won't introduce any white noise via the noise cancellation mics. I'm also hoping we won't have to worry about any uncomfortable pressure shifts.
The original AirPods Pro had a rated battery life of 4.5 hours. Apple has extended the battery life to a much-needed six hours. Paired with the charging case, you get over 30 hours of battery life, making it one of the longest lasting wireless earbuds on the market.
Sadly, the AirPods Pro 2 are still Lightning dependent. However, you can now charge the case via an Apple Watch charger in addition to a MagSafe or a Qi charger.