Apple’s AirPods 2 stay mostly the same and that’s not a bad thing

Same size, upgraded case and internals, the AirPods 2 stick to a winning formula. — Picture by Erna Mahyuni
Same size, upgraded case and internals, the AirPods 2 stick to a winning formula. — Picture by Erna Mahyuni

KUALA LUMPUR, May 30 — Apple’s AirPods has a trait most i-things have in common: they tend to grow on you and it’s rarely ever love at first sight.

There were plenty of jokes about AirPods, with memes aplenty and people declaring they wouldn’t spend money on them.

Yet in the end the AirPods have proven to be a success with Internet searches rising 500 per cent year-on-year and Apple’s CEO called them a “cultural phenomenon” — and it’s not even an exaggeration.

What was it like trying out the new AirPods? It was a comfortable, familiar experience which may or may not be a good thing depending on what you’re looking for.

Old faithful

Apple’s decided not to fix what’s not broken — the design is the same. Same fit, same feeling of them sitting comfortably in your ear to the point you forget they’re there, or worse, feel taking them out is pointless when they’re quite fine where they are.

The thing about the AirPods is they’re dependent on the shape of your ear. If you have an ear without a groove near your lobe where the earphones can nestle it won’t be a good fit and are pretty likely to slip.

If they didn’t fit last time, they won’t this time. If you liked the first-gen, is this worth an upgrade? Again, that depends.

Apple’s upgraded the chip to an H1, which means it’s faster, connects using the newer Bluetooth 5.0 standard and now lets you use Siri, hands-free.

The Siri integration makes Apple’s digital helper a lot more useful, making it convenient to just ask “Hey Siri call Mom” while on the road.

Battery-life is also a touch better — stretching to four hours as opposed to the around three-hours previously.

The most obvious addition is the new wireless case that looks like the old one but has slightly, barely discernible, thicker dimensions.

So long as you have a wireless case it’s as simple as placing it on the surface and charging.

Though the pairing to Apple devices was seamless — switching from one to the other easily — it’s a little more work with Android devices but not difficult. Just no Siri (duh) and not quite the seamless handover.

As for the sound, much has been made about the AirPods not fully blocking out sound but the things is they’re not made for that.

Being able to listen to music, take calls and yet still be aware of outside environment stimuli is, for some people, a feature and not a problem.

These are not, by any stretch, an audiophile’s wireless choice. I think the music quality is decent enough for background, pleasant sound to accompany your day-to-day.

The bass isn’t particularly strong but there is decent enough clarity at the higher-end of the spectrum without being too tinny.

Should you get this though?

If you still have your old pair and they’re working, you likely won’t need to upgrade. Not unless you’ve had it for a few years and the battery is beginning to show wear.

There truly is no contest as far as usability is concerned if you’re an Apple user. But Android users might be better off elsewhere.

These are really the best option for most Apple users but for those who exercise outside and are looking for water/sweat-resistance, Apple’s Powerbeats Pro costs just RM100 or so more.

Most people could likely live without the wireless version so you could save yourself some money there.

What the AirPods do have going for them that other brands don’t: a plethora of cute accessories such as cases and skins which are unfortunately all third-party as Apple doesn’t seem to be keen on making them.

The AirPods are already available at your nearest Apple distributor or online for RM699 (without wireless charging) and RM879 with the wireless charging case.

Related Articles