When you think back to the original AirPods Pro announcement, Apple didn’t even introduce these as part of an event. Instead, they simply arrived via a press release on Apple Newsroom, but that wasn’t going to be the case this time around.
AirPods remain some of the most popular in-ear headphones, and according to Tim Cook, the AirPods Pro are the company’s most popular model overall. Chances are, you can’t walk down the street or through a store without seeing someone wearing them.
Of course, part of this can be attributed to the various deals and sales that the AirPods Pro have been enjoying. But the time has finally arrived for Apple to replace the original AirPods Pro with the all-new AirPods Pro 2.
AirPods Pro 2 Features
We’re not going to really touch on the overall design of the AirPods Pro 2 as Apple decided to keep things simple this time around. At least for the earbuds themselves. This means that you’ll still have the stem hanging out of your ear for your various controls, along with the silicone ear tips to help provide a better seal. Speaking of which, the vent system was redesigned to help improve pressure equalization, aiming to remove the “stuffy” feeling you might have gotten with the original AirPods Pro.
All of the major changes to the AirPods Pro 2 can be found “under the hood” starting with the new H2 chip. Apple claims this will provide better audio quality, working in conjunction with the low-distortion audio driver, and custom high dynamic range amplifier.
The H2 chip also helps to introduce improved Active Noise Cancelation, one of the defining features of the AirPods Pro. According to Apple, the AirPods Pro 2 can now cancel out double the amount of noise compared to the original iteration. This also enabled Adaptive Transparency, as your AirPods Pro 2 will automatically adjust the Transparency Mode based on how loud, or quiet, the sounds are around you.
While we said that there wasn’t much in the way of design changes with the AirPods Pro 2, that doesn’t mean Apple didn’t make the design more useful. The excellent Force Touch gestures will remain, making it easy to skip tracks, answer calls, or enable Transparency Mode with a pinch. But now, you won’t need to use your Apple Watch or iPhone to adjust the volume, as you’ll be able to swipe up and down on the stem in order to adjust the volume.
AirPods Pro 2 Battery improvements
Given that the AirPods Pro have been around for three years, the 4.5 hours of battery life offered by these earbuds now falls a bit short compared to the competition. Thankfully, this has been remedied with the AirPods Pro 2, as Apple claims these will last for up to six hours on a single charge, a 33% increase. And with the included charging case, you’ll be able to enjoy 30 hours of total listening time before you’ll need to reach for a charger.
As for the included charging case, Apple made quite a few improvements on this front. The Apple U1 chip is now built into the AirPods Pro 2’s case, making it easy to use your iPhone to locate the case if it’s gone missing, complete with step-by-step directions. And there’s even a new speaker on the bottom of the case that will let you know when your AirPods Pro 2 are in pairing mode, or if you need a bit of help finding the case that’s wedged between your couch cushions.
But back to charging for a moment. Follow the introduction of the MagSafe Charging Case with the AirPods 3, Apple switched gears and began including the same charging case with the AirPods Pro. So it should come as little surprise that in addition to the Lightning port on the bottom, MagSafe makes its return with the AirPods Pro 2. Taking things even further, Apple announced that you will also be able to use the magnetic charger that comes with your Apple Watch. It’s unclear if this will work with pre-Watch Series 8 chargers, but it’s definitely a nifty addition regardless. And if you want to attach a lanyard to your case, you can do so thanks to the built-in lanyard loop.
AirPods Pro 2 Price and availability
From the improved audio quality courtesy of the Apple H2 chip to the ability to adjust the volume from the stem, the AirPods Pro 2 look to be the complete package. And that’s not even including the better battery life and all-new charging case included with every model.
Pricing for the AirPods Pro 2 comes in at $249, with pre-orders set to kick off on September 9. From there, the AirPods Pro 2 will be available for purchase starting on September 23.
Andrew is a freelance writer based on the East Coast of the US.
He has written for a variety of sites over the years, including iMore, Android Central, Phandroid, and a few others. Now, he spends his days working for an HVAC company, while moonlighting as a freelance writer at night.