Even some of Apple’s most loyal customers love to hate Apple. Besides the frustration of all proprietary crap they impose on us, Apple consistently produces reliable products with great design that are impossible to resist. In short, their #winning becomes annoying. And the AirPods are no exception. What sound quality and improvements can you expect from Apple’s latest AirPods? Let’s take a look in this Apple AirPods 2 Review.
Apple AirPods 2 Review
The only disappointment I have with respect to the AirPods is the fit. Though the comfort level is okay, the AirPods provide absolutely no sound isolation. Without any silicone tip to seal off outside sound, you hear everything around you, which is a bummer if you live in a big city. And though I wasn’t worried about them falling out, I started to feel the earbuds pressing against the contours of my ears after a couple of hours of wear. That being said, the plastic design is easy to keep clean, and you don’t have to worry about replacing the tips.
Apple boasts brand new technology with the company’s H1 headphone chip. The company claims that their new buds deliver a more stable wireless connection than the previous model. Although I can’t speak to the added reliability, I had no dropped connections throughout the process of this review. In addition, switching between active devices is twice as fast, while connection time for phone calls is also faster than the older model. You can also expect lower gaming latency when shooting zombies. Finally, Apple claims that the sound quality has improved as well. I haven’t done an AB comparison with the 1st generation AirPods, so I can’t say. But I was impressed with the level of volume offered on the new AirPods. The buds get louder than any other true wireless earphones I’ve tested in this price range. But careful kids. Tinnitus is real.
One improvement that stands out is the 24 hours of listening time. You can play music for 5 hours at a time or talk for 3 hours on a single charge. In total, you’ll get 12 more hours of usage from the AirPods than you will from something like the Galaxy Buds. It even beat the $300 Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless, which only offers a total of 12 hours. Apple also give you the option of purchasing a Qi-compatible charging mat, which lets you simply place the AirPods on the mat for charging.
The other upgrade is the “Hey Siri” feature which allows you to activate a host of functions without touching your phone. You can adjust volume, change the song, make a call, get directions, etc. This brings the AirPods to a new level, adding functionality that was missing in the previous AirPods. The AirPods also have a sensor on the earbuds that allows you to double-tap to play or skip forward.
What I love about the design of the AirPods is that the music stops playing as soon as you take the earbud out of your ear. No buttons, just an intuitive, minimalist design. And pairing with your iPhone is super easy. The iPhone recognizes the AirPods as soon as you take them out, allowing you to connect quickly. And after you’ve paired them the first time, they pair automatically when you take them out of the charging case.
Call clarity is excellent for a pair of true wireless earphones, and the AirPods do a good job of eliminating ambient sound when you’re on a call.
Apple presents a pretty well-balanced sound profile. The bass is deep and punchy, but avoids taking too much stage presence. It’s also a dry sound, absent of any cloudy resonance in this range. It gives tightness to pop, while also offering some warmth in the low end when listening to rock. Although string instruments in this range aren’t super detailed, the overall sound is clean and well separated for a wireless earphone at this price point.
You’ll hear relatively even mids here. The low mids are clear, present and well-separated from the bass frequencies. And the upper-mids avoid too much emphasis, so you won’t get any harsh or overly forward vocals. The result is a full-bodied sound that give big rock choruses a sweeping feel. At the same time, the tidiness remains, giving acoustic instruments, like guitars, plenty of definition, even in heavily layered arrangements. Again, it’s not the most detailed sound. And cellos, for example, presented more smoothness than texture. Still, for a 160 bucks, the level of transparency is pretty good.
This is an easy listening headphone. That is, those who are sensitive to high frequencies, shouldn’t have problems using these buds for long sessions. On the flipside, the AirPods aren’t the snappiest sounding earphones out there because they lack crispiness and sparkle in the highs. So, if you like your buds to really snap, consider going for a brighter sound signature, like the Galaxy Buds.
The AirPods present an impressively spacious soundstage for the price. You’ll hear enough depth and height to get a somewhat multidimensional experience from these buds, even if it’s not the most precise imaging in the world.
If the AirPods provided a better fit with more effective sound isolation, I’d put them up there with the best true wireless earphones under $200. But if you live in a concrete jungle, you might want to find buds with silicone tips, like the RHA TrueConnect. Still, based on sound and build quality alone, the AirPods are a solid deal.
I’d give the AirPods five full skulls if they isolated sound.