Apple’s New AirPods: Are They Worth The Upgrade?

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Apple has just recently unveiled its latest wireless earphones. Although they are informally known as AirPods 2, Apple just calls them AirPods. The most probable reason for that being that they aren’t really much different from their predecessors. Around 2 months ago, we got to know about some predictions regarding these new earphones. They included cool new specs like Health Tracking and Water Resistance. Needless to say, we’re pretty disappointed.

However, it’s not like Apple has ripped us off. For the new AirPods do come with some new features that can help set you apart from the owners of the previous ones. Let’s have a look at how these make the new AirPods stack up in the wireless earbud department.

Image: Apple

Design

Design-wise, these are almost completely similar to their predecessors. The dimensions, materials and even most of the hardware is the same. This was really surprising and also disappointing for most of us, especially coming from Apple. The tech giant was always considered one of the most revolutionary brands out there with devices that are unique with careful attention to detail.

That, however, isn’t the case with the new AirPods. The only way you can physically tell the two generations of earbuds apart is by the Wireless Charging indicator on the case of the newer ones. That’s it.

Specifications

While the new AirPods disappoint in the design department, they do get to redeem themselves with some new tech. The notable one being the addition of a Wireless Charging case. Previously, the case and the earphones could only be charged via the Lightning Port at the bottom.

The new case retains the Lightning Port which probably further hints that Apple really won’t be going for USB-C on their next iPhone. The new AirPods use the same batteries as the previous ones. However, the battery life has significantly been improved. This is courtesy of the new H1 chip, that’s not only power-efficient but also improves connectivity.

Apple claims a total listening time of 5 hours, which is about an hour more than previous units that had the same battery. This also makes the new AirPods in par with their main competition, the Galaxy Buds, which have similar battery life and the ability to wirelessly charge.

The last new feature in the new AirPods is the Hey Siri recognition, which seems to be convenient. However, it is to note that this feature does rob of some battery life when it’s activated. It is directly linked to your phone’s Hey Siri detection, so if you were to turn either of them off, you’d lose the other.

Price

If you choose to go with the Wireless Charging Case, it will set you back $199, which is expensive considering the similarly specced Galaxy Buds only cost $129. Though it doesn’t surprise us since Apple has always gone by the rule of charging more for less and this is no exception. If wireless charging isn’t your thing, then good news, you can save $40 and get the new AirPods with a regular charging case that uses a Lightning Port.

This does strip you of some bragging rights, but hey, just owning AirPods are cool enough. Lastly, if you already own the previous generation AirPods and want to get the ability to wirelessly charge them, you can get just a wireless charging case just for $79.

Verdict

If you’re a pretentious tech freak, who compulses on owning the latest and greatest, then by all means, buy the new AirPods. However, if you happen to possess some common sense, then you’d know by now that there are better options out there, like the Galaxy Buds, that cost way less. If you already own the previous generation AirPods, then there’s no need to upgrade. You may just get the $79 wireless charging case if you really do need that extra convenience feature.

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