You’ve got to tap the right audio choice; too much depends on it today. If you’re hanging around on this page, at the very least we can be sure that you care about sound – and portability – at the same time. To be honest, I can’t stand a chink in my jazz either, plus I travel a fair deal and can’t do without my dose of podcasts. Which is why I already own a pair of second-generation AirPods, and can guess what your concerns might be:
- Should I buy AirPods?
- Are AirPods worth it?
- And what about AirPod Pro?
First things first. I recently ditched my first-generation AirPods after a pretty cosy one-year relationship. Why? Not because I’m one of those tech-chasers, but because wireless charging does make a big difference. Who wants to babysit earphones? I like to be able to walk, cook, skate if I like, and it’s nice to be able to do all that while still having a chat alongside.
Secondly – and this is where the AirPods 2 score higher – I’ve just discovered the freedom to stop tapping the ear each time I need to wake up Siri. The ‘Hey Siri’ feature in my current pair is smooth and responds to my voice (more on this later).
Thirdly, and most importantly, the cost. If as a Siri user I wasn’t this fussy, I did have the option to go for the standalone upgrade of just the wireless charging AirPod case. Which is priced at $79. Now consider this: AirPods with a standard charging case are selling for $159 while those with wireless charging case are coming at $199. You might be able to save a 20 by going for an Amazon Prime deal, but I’d say it still makes sense to invest in AirPods 2 and get some cool extra few features while still bagging the wireless. Sell the old pair, buy a better sound.
Now for coming back to your basic dilemma.
Should I buy AirPods In 2020?
If you’re thinking “should I get an apple AirPods Pro” Here’re the reason why the Apple AirPods especially the AirPods Pro is worth investing in.
Should you? Oh yes. This one’s kinda a hands-down winner. Here’s why the Apple AirPods are worth it in 2020:
1. Talk To Siri
Like I said earlier, one of the best reasons to invest in AirPods 2 is this simple convenience – you won’t ever have to tap your ear again to control volume or make a call. Heck, you can send a text message by opening your mouth and saying ‘Hey Siri’. This one’s a life-saver for regular Siri users.
It’s the H1 chip that enables the Siri feature here too, but also keep in mind the Siri Shortcuts. This is where you get to personalize and use the new hands-free Hey Siri feature to its optimum potential. Think Spotify, all you need to control it now is to say it; no tapping, nodetaching of the iPhone from the pocket and no dislodging of your Apple Watch.
Possibly the most convincing reason to buy, and a pretty good reason to consider swapping your first-gen AirPods for a swanky new pair.
2. Long Live The Battery
Speaking of the H1 chip, thanks to it the AirPods 2 battery life is twice as long for phone calls now. That’s a big boost in convenience (not fun when the battery is dying and then you need to be next to a standard charging case too, is it?). Besides, I’ve experienced the shrinking talk time on my earlier pair of AirPods and the new set has turned out to be a great investment.
As far as talking goes, AirPods 2 promise three hours of talk-time on full charge. With another 15 minutes of charging you get an additional two hours as well. That’s a swell deal and a much-needed improvement.
For listening, AirPods 2 boast five hours of battery life, with an additional three hours with 15 minutes of charging. Fully charged, we’re talking 24 hours of nonstop music playing in the ears. It is for this long battery life that I don’t regret the new pair at all.
3. Quick Connects
You know those few seconds that stretch on to hours in the head while you wait for your earbuds to switch from one device to another? I remember the silent eternity that went into connecting from iPhone to MacBook Pro with the original AirPods. This isn’t the case with the new AirPods thankfully.
Apple claims AirPods 2 switch between devices at twice the previous speed. Also (and this is the best part), they have been tested and are certified to connect 1.5X faster to the iPhone whenever it goes ringing or vibrating.
All this means you really needn’t lose precious time every time you pause a movie on your iPad to attend to a work call. Again, here too it’s the H1 chip doing the magic, and this convenient little magic is what makes AirPods 2 a cool buy.
4. Going Wireless
And we come back to the wireless conundrum. If you’ve recently bought a pair of first-gen AirPods perhaps this isn’t the feature to upgrade for, but if it’s a new pair you’re looking for then the wireless does promise a big change.
The original AirPods work like this: You place the AirPods in the case, plug it in with a Lightning cable and they start charging. Whereas AirPods 2 let you do the same without the need for carrying that extra cable around. You simply put the AirPods into the charger, place the charger on the usual Qi wireless charger you use for your iPhone and a little LED indicator comes on to give you the good news of the deed being done.
As mentioned before, the wireless charging case can be bought as a standalone upgrade for $79, which is a viable expenditure if you just invested in first-gen AirPods. But of course it makes more financial sense to just buy AirPods 2 and move on to easier things like asking Siri what the battery life is and then charging without an unnecessary cable.
5. Tune Into The Game
Gamers have their own stakes in the new AirPods. Whether you are battling PUBG or fighting zombies in Fortnite, whether on an iPad or iPhone, the AirPods 2 come with a unique new upgrade: 30% less latency when gaming.
This means the very pleasing echo of a punch doesn’t come split seconds after you’ve delivered it; you hear sounds much closer to when they are actually happening in the game. Essentially, you get a better gaming experience that feels less like a bulky video game screeching off a TV screen.
Not the only reason to invest in AirPods, but then is there an excuse to passion for gaming?
Are AirPods 2 worth it?
All said and done, what we’re looking at is an investment that greatly improves portability and sound – the two things that spare you the burden of heavy headsets and cables. There’s a counter argument that wireless charging (for now) takes longer to charge than with a cable, but it’s your call whether a few minutes matter more than the convenience of it.
Here’s an account of the pros and cons of AirPods 2:
Should I upgrade To The Apple AirPods Pro?
Complicating decisions further is the availability of AirPods Pro. It’s got best sound as far as AirPods go, and that’s a good enough reason to stop and ponder over this before you go ordering your earbuds.
The going rate for AirPods Pro is $249, while AirPods 2 are $50 lesser and the first-gen AirPods are $90 cheaper. 90 is a whopping extra sum to be shelled out for this brand-new upgrade, but then I must admit I’m tempted too. I listen more than I talk, and for that reason alone the sound quality becomes a need more than a mere want.
What makes AirPods Pro tempting are the dual features that I know would change my experience of sound. First is noise cancellation, which really should have been given to us long ago! Nothing quite annoying as balking kids or yappy commuters for neighbors, which is why the sealed ear tip starts to matter. It promises more immersive sound.
Second is the transparency mode, i.e. the hear-through feature. Say you’re waiting at a tube station and want to be tuned into the announcements; this is when you can just turn on the world without having to pull the AirPods out of your ears.
These new features come at the cost of battery life though: 4.5 hours of listening time as opposed to the 5 hours in regular AirPods. You’ll need to disable the new features to get more listening time, so that’s one consideration. Others include the bonus of three sizes of soft, tapered silicone tips for customized fit, and the slight minus point of a wider case (I quite like the regular AirPods’ leaner square shape).
Bottomline? An upgrade would be very beneficial for sound lovers. The question is now only whether you go for AirPods 2 or AirPods Pro. Here’s the lowdown for the latter: