Apple AirPods Pro 2 Review

Introduction and unboxing

Exactly three years since Apple launched the AirPods Pro and looking at its successor, it's clear that Apple isn't bored with its design. But don't let that fool you - pretty much everything is getting better inside and Apple will have another winner on its hands.

Compared to 2019, 2022 has a much more saturated and powerful TWS market, and the AirPods Pro 2's ability to actively suppress sound is no longer quite as prominent. Strong offerings from rivals Apple's world-renowned smartphone, as well as from audio staples mean the AirPods Pro 2 will have to work hard to earn their place.

On the other hand, many who invest in the Apple ecosystem will only see three alternatives to €299/$249/INR 26,900 AirPods Pro 2 - €159/$129/INR 14,900 AirPods 2, €209/$169/ INR 19,900 AirPods 3, and AirPods Max €629/$549/INR 59,900. That makes the AirPods Pro 2 Apple's cheapest headphones with active noise cancellation, which is an outright win.

New case, comparison with AirPods Pro

Let's open this.

The AirPods Pro 2 come with a USB-C to Lightning cable, XS/S/M/L silicone ear tips, and the bud itself, in its case.

The MagSafe Charging Case is new this year. It has acquired speakers to play the Find Me chimes, as well as metal hoops for the lanyard - eliminating one of the main reasons people buy AirPods cases.

But the loop doesn't just exist to hurt third-party retailers' profits. Cleverly, it doubles as an antenna for the Find Me service.

You can charge your AirPods Pro 2 using a MagSafe charger, Apple Watch charger, or any standard Qi charger. The out-of-date Lightning port is the wired option for charging the new AirPods Pro 2.

The AirPods Pro 2 are pretty much the same as the original, early rumors suggesting a shorter stem never materialized. That's not too bad, because buyers of the original model will feel confident that this will fit the old one.

The new AirPods Pro 2 introduces a smaller XS ear tip size, which should help those who think the S size is too big. Since the ear tips fit older models, it gives owners of those earbuds another size option.

The only real change to the AirPods themselves is a new skin detection sensor that replaces the old ear sensor. It can distinguish between your ear and other surfaces, so the earbuds won't automatically start to rotate when placed on a table or in a pocket - a very welcome change.

The stem on the AirPods Pro 2 has a new sliding function, in addition to pressing and holding. So now you can swipe on the bar column to adjust the volume - one slide up or down activates one-step correction in each direction.

You can press with two fingers on the bar to play/pause, while pressing and holding toggles between Active noise cancellation and Adaptive Transparency.

Find My has been upgraded with AirPods Pro 2. The case supports Precision Search, is powered by the U1 chip, and you can play sounds to help you find buds more easily. This case plays a bell too.

There's also a detailed battery indicator, which will give you a battery reading on the case as well as each of the two buds. Sound quality, active noise cancellation, Spatial audio, battery life OK, let's get rid of the biggest thing - the AirPods Pro 2 sound great and they're way better than their predecessors.

The original AirPods Pro are a big step up from the open AirPods. They have better sound isolation thanks to the in-ear design, which also gives them better bass characteristics. The original Pro has an expansive soundstage with pronounced vocals and sharp instrument reproduction. However their voices are muddled in the middle and become loud and shrill at higher volumes. Their upper-middle class lacks presence, while the sub-bass isn't particularly impressive.

AirPods Pro 2 solves each of these problems. For starters, the soundstage is just as wide but clearer - the sound is more dynamic so it fills in the gaps that made the old pair sound muddled and mushy. The upper midrange has more presence and on the other hand, there is more sub-bass. And AirPods Pro 2 can go the extra mile without sacrificing sound quality.

So improvements across the board. If you use AirPods Pro every day and consider the Pro 2 for its sound, you'll notice a noticeable improvement.

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