Are AirPods Pro 2 Worth It? What To Know Before Buying…
Thinking of upgrading from your prior AirPods to the new AirPods Pro 2? Here’s what to consider before you make the plunge.
After three years Apple has finally released its second generation AirPods Pro. Often referred to as the AirPods Pro 2, Apple’s 2022 AirPods Pro retained the same design as its 2019 predecessor but added improved functionality.
But are the AirPods Pro 2 right for you? The answer depends on your unique situation and whether you are buying AirPods for the first time or are upgrading from an earlier version of AirPods.
AirPods Pro 2: What’s New?
When it comes to the differences between Apple’s AirPods Pro and the AirPods Pro 2, there are actually quite a few changes under the hood – some more noticeable than others.
I’ve listed all the major changes between the generations below but the main things you’ll notice, or, the reason why you’d want to go with AirPods Pro 2 over the first-gen model is as follows:
The overall battery performance is now much better – you now get 6 hours versus 4.5 hours – and the ANC on the AirPods Pro 2 is twice as strong as it was on the first-gen model. You get Adaptive Transparency on the AirPods Pro 2 as well.
What is Adaptive Transparency? It actually serves a dual purpose with the first being a safety measure that relates to ANC and ensures your ears aren’t blown out by a loud noise like a fire engine blasting past you while you’re out walking.
Thanks to the AirPods Pro 2’s H2 chipset, Adaptive Transparency is able to detect when a potentially loud noise is about to hit and calibrate the sound so as not to damage your ear drums. Conversely, if you’re talking to someone, the H2 chip will detect the conversation and augment the sound so you can hear the person’s words without removing your AirPods.
It’s pretty cool, actually. If you live in a city or frequent lots of shops and don’t like having to take your AirPods out every time you talk to someone, Adaptive Transparency is a godsend. With it, you can just leave your AirPods in and hear everything as you would without them in. And if there is a massively loud noise in your vicinity, it’ll take care of that too.
There are more updates, of course, like the fact you can now attach a lanyard to the AirPods Pro 2’s case, or the fact that there are new sizes for the silicone ear tips (including extra small). But most new users coming to the AirPods Pro 2 will be coming for the improved ANC, better overall audio quality, and improved battery life.
AirPods Pro 2 New Features (Versus AirPods Pro)
- Active Noise Cancellation (2x stronger)
- Transparency and Adaptive Transparency
- New low-distortion audio driver and custom amplifier for richer bass and clearer sound
- H2 chip
- Bluetooth 5.3
- Skin-detect sensors for in-ear detection
- Force sensors and touch controls for volume adjustment
- IPX4 sweat and water resistant earbuds and charging case
- Up to 6 hours of listening time with Active Noise Cancellation enabled
- 30 hours of total listening time with Active Noise Cancellation using MagSafe Charging Case
- MagSafe Charging Case with built-in speaker for Find My, Precision Tracking, and Lanyard loop
- MagSafe Charging Case compatible with Apple Watch charger, MagSafe charger, Qi wireless charging mats, and Lightning
- Four silicone ear tips (XS, S, M, L)
AirPods Pro 2 Specs
Here are the official specs for the AirPods Pro 2 from Apple:
- Personalized Spatial Audio with dynamic head tracking
- Active Noise Cancellation
- Adaptive Transparency
- H2 chip
- Apple U1 chip in MagSafe Charging Case
- Sweat and water resistant (IPX4): AirPods Pro and charging case
- “Hey Siri” always on
- Up to 6 hours of listening time on one charge
- Up to 30 hours of listening time with charging case
- MagSafe Charging Case with speaker and lanyard loop
- Personalized engraving with initials, emoji, and more
Now let’s look at if the AirPods Pro 2 are worth upgrading to…
Are AirPods Pro 2 Worth It If You Have No AirPods?
If you don’t have any existing AirPods, the answer is easy: yes, the AirPods Pro 2 are right for you. While they are costly – at $249 – their sound quality far outshines the AirPods 2 and AirPods 3.
That’s because the AirPods Pro 2 has active noise cancellation, which blocks out unwanted background noise and really amplifies just the music you want to hear. The AirPods Pro 2 also has adaptive transparency which lets the outside noise you want to hear come through while blocking the loud annoyances.
Also, the AirPods Pro 2 now comes with four interchangeable eat tips, so you can find the perfect fit for your ears.
But the single biggest reason to opt for the AirPods Pro 2 instead of the AirPods 2 or AirPods 3, however, is the active noise cancellation. Simply listening to music on the AirPods Pro 2 with ANC enabled just once will tell your ears all they need to know – that the AirPods Pro 2 outshines the regal AirPods Apple sells.
Are AirPods Pro 2 Worth It If You Are Upgrading From AirPods (1st Generation)?
If you still have the first AirPods Apple ever sold (and if so, the battery life must be shabby by now), then yes, it’s worth upgrading to the AirPods Pro 2. The reason for this is much as if you have no existing AirPods: the AirPods Pro 2 are simply the best-sounding Apple earbuds the company has ever made.
Are AirPods Pro 2 Worth It If You Are Upgrading From AirPods (2nd Generation)?
If you’re using the second-generation AirPods, it’s probably worth upgrading to the AirPods Pro 2, too. That’s simply because AirPods lack ANC as well as have a pretty dated form factor. The AirPods 2 also only get five hours of listening time per charge, while the AirPods Pro 2 gets you six hours per charge – 20% more.
Also, the AirPods 2 do not support personalized Spatial Audio with dynamic head tracking. This is a technology that makes it sound like you are standing right in the middle of the band. AirPods 2 also lack sweat and water resistance.
But most of all, upgrading from the AirPods 2 to the AirPods Pro 2 will immediately make you notice just how much better music is with ANC.
Are AirPods Pro 2 Worth It If You Are Upgrading From AirPods (3rd Generation)?
This is a little trickier to answer because the AirPods 3 are fairly new. The AirPods 3 and the AirPods Pro 2 also share some features including personalized Spatial Audio with dynamic head tracking and sweat and water resistance. They also sport the same batter life.
But again, what you get with the AirPods Pro 2 is active noise cancelation – something that is clearly noticeable. Also, the AirPods Pro 2 comes with four interchangeable tips, while the AirPods 3 has fixed tips.
Finally, upgrading to the AirPods Pro 2 will get you a charging case with Apple’s MagSafe technology.
Are AirPods Pro 2 Worth It If You Are Upgrading From AirPods Pro 1?
This is the toughest one to answer. The biggest improvements to AirPods Pro 2 over the first AirPods Pro is the AirPods Pro 2 has six hours of battery life per charge (versus 5 on the original AirPods Pro) and it also has better active noise cancellation, too.
Another nice improvement is the AirPods Pro 2 case adds a built-in speaker for Find My sound alerts and sports a lanyard slot.
However, most people would say those improvements don’t necessitate an upgrade to the AirPods Pro 2 from the original AirPods Pro. It might be better to eating to next year when the AirPods Pro 2 is likely to get a USB-C case instead of the current Lightning case.
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Michael GrothausApple expert and novelist, Michael Grothaus has been covering tech on KnowYourMobile for the best part of 10 years. Prior to this, he worked at Apple. And before that, he was a film journalist. Michael is a published author; his book Epiphany Jones was voted as one of the best novels about Hollywood by Entertainment Weekly. Michael is also a writer at other publications including VICE and Fast Company.
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