The AirPods Pro 2 are here, three years after the original launched, sporting a refreshed look and updated feature set.
The 2nd Gen Pro buds have been mooted for quite some time, so, if you’re looking to upgrade your older AirPod Pro are you better off jumping to the new model or should you stick with the current model for a little while longer?.
Price and availability
The new AirPods Pro 2 have a price of $249 / £249 / €299 / CA$329 / AUS$399. They’re available to pre-order September 9th and go on sale on September 23rd.
The RRP for the original bud was tweaked in 2021, the UK received a £10 price cut which made them £239 / $249 / €279 / CA$329 / AU$399. Look online and you’ll find them less than £200 at retailers.
The original AirPods Pro marked the biggest change in appearance with Apple’s true wireless range, adopting ear-tips for a more secure fit in the ear. The new AirPods Pro retains the same design ethos, though Apple have made a few tweaks.
Those tweaks include a new smaller ear-tip (XS size) for better fit with smaller ears, as well helping with comfort levels and passive noise isolation to ward off external noises before the active noise cancellation kicks in.
Apple is sticking with the force sensor stem design for playback and accepting calls, but the biggest change here is the inclusion of a capacitive touch measure sensor so volume can be changed with a swipe up or down. You couldn’t change the volume onboard the earbud with the previous model.
There were plenty of rumours about what features the AirPods Pro 2 model could sport, but with the announcement out of the way we now have a clearer idea of what they offer.
Noise cancellation for the new model is described as being “double the ANC” performance thanks to the advanced computational audio processing of the brand new H2 chip.
The transparency mode has been upgraded to Adaptive Transparency, which can react in real-time to sudden spikes in external noise so high decibel sounds don’t put you off your stride.
Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos with head tracking is boosted by the Personalised Spatial Audio that was announced alongside the AirPods 3. Battery life has been extended with six hours available from the earphones and up to 30 hours in total; six hours more than the original model.
Also getting an upgrade is the MagSafe charging case. It has a lanyard loop to keep the case close by and there’s now a built-in speaker that emits a noise to either help locate them with the Find My Precision finding technology, or provide an idea of current battery levels.
As we said said in our review of the AirPods Pro, while the earphones weren’t “the best earbuds in this category, they’re not to be dismissed and produce a sound that’s excellent across many different genres of music along with podcasts and audiobooks. They also sound a lot better than AirPods.”
We haven’t heard the latest model just yet, but Apple says the AirPods Pro 2nd Gen feature a low distortion driver that sounds similar to driver found in the Beats Fit Pro. It has a custom amplifier and the combo of the amplifier and driver results in what Apple says is more detail and clarity across the frequency range.
It’d be too early to draw any conclusions about whether the new AirPods Pro are better, at least from a sound perspective but there appear to be improvements in terms of design and noise cancelling, while the price is the same.
And at a time when wireless earphones are getting more expensive, the fact that the AirPods Pro 2 stay at the same price can’t be, ahem, discounted.
We’ll be offering a fuller verdict once we get the AirPods Pro 2 in for review.
Specification of AirPods Pro (2019 and AirPods Pro 2nd Gen