Home » Apple’s Airpods Pro 2 in the test: The perfect in-ears – but not for everyone

Apple’s Airpods Pro 2 in the test: The perfect in-ears – but not for everyone

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Apple’s Airpods Pro 2 in the test: The perfect in-ears – but not for everyone

With the silicone-free Airpods, Apple rolled out the market for wireless headphones. Since then, they have been one of the company’s key sales drivers. The true wireless headphones are also really good, as our review of the Apple Airpods 2nd generation shows. There we praise the simple operation, the good voice quality and the long runtime. We’re less impressed by the sound, the one-size-fits-all earbuds, and the lack of volume controls.

The Airpods Pro (test report) should also meet higher demands. In the test report, we like the balanced sound, the simple operation, the ANC (Active Noise Cancelling) and the high wearing comfort. However, the charging box scratches quickly, there is no support for high-res codecs apart from AAC and some functions are reserved for iOS users. For this test report we look at their successor, the Apple Airpods Pro 2nd generation and reveal whether the purchase is worthwhile.

The Airpods Pro 2 only have minor optical differences to the first Airpods Pro. A barely visible innovation is the small speaker on the bottom of the case. When the case is plugged in for charging – whether wired or Qi – there is a faint sound.

Thanks to the small speaker and Airtag technology, the Airpods Pro can now be found more easily by iPhone users using the Find My app. In addition to the speaker, there is now also a loop on the right side of the case. The eyelet somewhat breaks through the minimalism of the case, but overall it doesn’t bother and could perhaps even help you not to lose the Airpods Pro – provided you have purchased an extra strap for 15 euros.

Otherwise, most things have stayed the same. The case is immaculately crafted from white plastic, still somewhat prone to scratches, and the hinge continues to set the benchmark for resistance, holding power, and closing noise.

The Airpods Pro 2 are characterized by a high wearing comfort. Apple has only made minor changes compared to its predecessor.

Like the first generation of Airpods Pro, the new Apple earphones sit comfortably in the ear. They’re so comfortable it’s easy to forget you’re even wearing them. However, the wearing comfort can vary from person to person. The Airpods Pro 2 fit under a hat without painfully pressing earbuds in the ear. A new feature are the four attachments, including a particularly small version that ensures a secure fit in smaller ears.

The ventilation system of the Airpods Pro is also present in the new model. It prevents excessive pressure in the wearer’s ear. Without this measure, step reverberation would occur: Every single step while running would be perceived as a dull noise in the ear. Airpods Pro 2 do not have this problem, although Apple has reduced the number of openings for the ventilation system from two in the previous model to one in the new model.

The operation of the Airpods Pro 2 is strongly based on its predecessor: there is still a noticeable area in the handle of the earphones that is pressed to execute commands. A soft click is heard when a command is executed. A simple press answers a call, pauses or resumes the music. Double-clicking skips one song forward, triple-clicking skips back one song. By pressing and holding the pressure sensor, you can switch between ANC operation and transparency mode. The different modes are still not announced, there are only different signal tones for the two modes. Almost all the important functions are available and the overall controls are pleasant.

A real innovation is the ability to adjust the volume directly on the stick. The area that could only be pressed on the first generation now allows swiping up or down to increase or decrease the music volume. This is possible with both earphones.

An acoustic signal confirms the volume change. When the volume is reduced to 0 there is a pop sound, even at maximum volume there is a tone. The control works reliably.

ANC is designed to dampen disruptive ambient noise, for example when traveling by air, but also on public transport or on the road. In all situations, the Airpods Pro 2 convinced us with a high ANC performance, which clearly surpassed that of the previous model. The ANC technology in the new Airpods Pro is also pleasantly low-noise. The ANC intensity cannot be changed.

In transparency mode, ambient noise is digitally routed into the plugs. Ideally, they sound absolutely natural. The Airpods Pro 2 come pretty close to this goal and are pleasantly low-noise. Only the Bose QC Earbuds II (test report) are slightly better in terms of ANC and transparency mode.

The new model scores points when it comes to sound quality and surpasses the previous model. The Airpods Pro 2 play a little more powerfully, have a more intense bass range as well as stronger mids and better treble tuning, so that vocals and podcasts are always easy to understand. As with the previous model, the ANC activation fortunately hardly changes the sound.

The Airpods Pro 2 deliver good voice quality. Ambient noise is filtered out efficiently in most cases – but this does not always work perfectly.

With the aforementioned volume gesture, we can also adjust the call volume. However, the wiping noises can be heard over the microphone area for the conversation partner.

The Apple Airpods Pro 2 are compatible with Android smartphones. The connection is easy to establish as usual. You go into the Bluetooth settings of the Android smartphone, start a search, open the lid of the Airpods Pro 2 and hold down the button on the back of the charging box. The LED on the front will start blinking white and the Airpods should be recognized by the Android smartphone. Once selected and connected, they are ready to use.

Basically, the sound quality of the Airpods Pro 2 on Android is not much worse or different than on the iPhone. Nevertheless: On the iPhone 14 Pro, the Apple Airpods Pro 2 sound a bit higher resolution and sometimes a bit sharper and cleaner in the highs, but the difference is small.

However, there are limitations. Perhaps the biggest is that the ANC operating mode cannot be switched on Android. By default, the Airpods Pro 2 are in ANC mode. This cannot be switched off under Android, nor can you switch to transparency mode. To change the mode, you have to connect the Airpods Pro 2 to an iPhone and change the mode there. The last setting is saved by the Airpods and also kept on Android.

In the test, the Airpods Pro 2 show an impressive battery life of around six hours with ANC activated. Together with the charging cradle, this results in a total running time of 30 hours. After just ten minutes in the transport case, Airpods Pro 2 are recharged for more than three hours of use. These advances in battery life are remarkable. The first Airpods Pro lasted almost four hours when they were launched.

In addition to the Lightning connector on the bottom, the Airpods Pro 2 can still be charged wirelessly via the Qi standard – MagSafe is also integrated. A new feature is the ability to use an Apple Watch charger.

The Apple Airpods Pro 2 are high-priced but powerful true wireless headphones that offer a number of improvements over their predecessor. They deliver clear and balanced sound, efficient active noise canceling (ANC) and an impressive battery life of up to 30 hours when you factor in the additional charging provided by the case. Operation is simple, with the new ability to control volume right on the earbuds’ stem.

Still, the Airpods Pro 2 are not without weaknesses. The biggest limitation is their compatibility with Android devices. While they can technically connect to Android smartphones, some of their features, like toggling ANC mode, are only possible with an iPhone. The AAC codec on iOS is also better matched to the Airpods Pro 2 than on Android, so they sound slightly worse on Android.

Overall, the Apple Airpods Pro 2 are excellent earbuds for users willing to pay a high price for quality, comfort, and performance. They are particularly exciting for those who have already invested in the Apple ecosystem. However, Android users should consider the mentioned limitations before making the decision to purchase.

See also  the Pico G3 VR headset

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