New AirPods Sound Quality Debated as Orders Begin to Arrive Around the World

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Mar 26, 2019.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple's new second-generation AirPods are beginning to arrive to customers around the world, and some early adopters have turned to the MacRumors forums and social media to share their first impressions of the earphones.

    The new AirPods unboxed via Reddit user Lachlanhunt

    The new AirPods have the same outward design as the original and remain available in white only. Apple continues to include a one-meter Lightning to USB-A cable in the box with all second-generation AirPods.

    Hey Siri

    Powered by a new H1 chip, the new AirPods support hands-free Siri, enabling users to change songs, make phone calls, adjust the volume, get directions, and more by saying "Hey Siri." Siri can still be activated by doubling tapping one of the AirPods if enabled in Settings > Bluetooth on an iOS device.

    First impressions about the new Hey Siri functionality are mostly positive so far. MacRumors forum member Moxxham from Australia wrote that "Hey Siri seems to work really well," even with loud music playing in the background, while Reddit user Lachlanhunt found the feature "works reasonably well."

    Sound Quality

    First impressions about overall audio quality are both subjective and anecdotal, with conflicting opinions as to whether the new AirPods sound better than the original. Reports range from users not noticing any difference all the way to feeling like the new AirPods are a huge improvement for sound.

    MacRumors forum member Kiky disagrees with the above tweet:
    At the very least, MacRumors reader Vladislav Kuznetsov and many others agree that features like Siri and FaceTime calls sound clearer:

    On a related note, Apple recently seeded a 6.3.2 firmware update for the first-generation AirPods, and some users on MacRumors and Reddit are speculating that the update has led to improved audio quality and faster connection speeds on the first-generation AirPods. Evidence is anecdotal at this point.

    Early adopters are also noticing that the new AirPods switch more quickly between devices like the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac they are connected. Apple says the H1 chip makes switching between sources up to two times faster.

    As far as battery life is concerned, more time will be needed for a proper comparison between the new AirPods and the original pair.

    Apple says the new AirPods get up to three hours of talk time per charge, compared to up to two hours with the previous generation. Other battery life stats remain the same, with up to five hours of listening time per charge and more than 24 hours of total battery life from extra charges stored in the case.


    The new AirPods are available to order on and in the Apple Store app with a wired charging case for $159, the same price as the original AirPods, and with a wireless charging case for $199. Apple says both options will be available at Apple Stores and select resellers starting this week.

    MacRumors will be sharing our own second-generation AirPods hands-on video and impressions soon. Let us know your own first impressions in the comments section or by tweeting at us with a @MacRumors mention!

    Article Link: New AirPods Sound Quality Debated as Orders Begin to Arrive Around the World
  2. sundog925 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 19, 2011
    Legit the exact same in terms of sound quality, i mean cmon, its apple.
    they need a new "feature" for the real airpods 2.

    still, mine arrive tomorrow since you can't unflush a pod.
  3. mgollaher92 macrumors member


    Jun 14, 2016
    While I haven’t tried the new AirPods yet, I’m willing to bet all these people saying the sound is better just haven’t cleaned their gen 1s properly lol.
  4. ericg301 macrumors 65816

    Jun 15, 2010
    wonder if any retailers will offer a trade-in discount. "save 10% when you recycle your airpods with us" or something similar.
  5. oneMadRssn macrumors 601


    Sep 8, 2011
    New England
  6. mclarendude2 macrumors regular

    Mar 16, 2015
    Come on apple release watchOS 5.2 so our new airpods 2 can work with our series 4 Apple Watch please since the apple site says we need 5.2 for it to work
  7. donster28 macrumors 68000

    Oct 5, 2006
    Great White North
    The "placebo" train has arrived...get on board! ;)

    Seriously...your ears can hear differently sometimes. I've experienced this with all earphones, headphones and the Airpods. Sometimes you can improve the sound by blowing your nose.

    It also depends on how much earwax is in there so's subjective unless we see an actual scientific sound comparison.
  8. Packers1958 macrumors 65816

    Apr 16, 2017
    South Dakota
    People want to believe when they buy the new model it's better than the old model so they convince themselves it's actually better, when in fact it's likely just the same.
  9. Fidgetyrat macrumors 6502

    Jan 29, 2008
    Any potential for Bluetooth 5 being the anecdotal cause of the debate? Is it possible that using these on an iPhone 8+ will sound better than Bluetooth 4 devices?

    Just because there is a debate doesn't mean it's not possible and purely placebo. There are actual hardware changes going on here.
  10. Siannath macrumors member


    Nov 21, 2012
    Lima, Perú
    Can you have "Hey Siri" disabled on the new AirPods? Will battery life improve when disabled?
  11. Greenlee macrumors member


    Aug 28, 2017
    I have Airpods 1, do retailers like Best Buy or Target offer trade-in credit towards Airpods 2?
  12. IRockThat828pScreen macrumors regular


    Jan 15, 2019
    Never understood why people liked these overpriced toothbrushes. You can get a great pair of bluetooth over ear headphones for like 80$
  13. DoctorKrabs macrumors 6502a


    Jul 12, 2013
    There's no change in the speaker quality. It's just that the AirPods everyone has had already have clogged with ear wax and the new ones are clean, so they sound loud and clear. This has gone in since EarPods and the same design is still present. These new ones will degrade the same way.
  14. pradeepbabloo macrumors member


    Mar 1, 2016
    I am waiting for some "noise cancellation" AirPods-like headphones from Apple.
    AirPods are good, but in a crowded place its as useless as wearing shades at night!
  15. pmore macrumors regular


    Jul 4, 2018
    Why do people keep obsessing over "audio quality" in a bluetooth earphone? It sounds alright for out and about like every other earphone.
  16. appleguy123 macrumors 604


    Apr 1, 2009
    15 minutes in the future
    Probably a lot of new AirPods owners have old AirPods with 1-2 years of wax built up inside them.
  17. Fidgetyrat macrumors 6502

    Jan 29, 2008
    I have the same Hesh 3 you have in your signature and my AirPod2s are sitting on my porch. Too many times I wish I just had a small set to pop in without having to carry those bulky things around.

    Each has valid use cases.
  18. jbryant705 macrumors member

    Jan 18, 2011
    You know, I've actually tried to clean mine a few times with a q-tip and rubbing alcohol but I still don't feel like they're as good as they used to be. Have any tips?
  19. btrach144 macrumors 68000


    Aug 28, 2015
    Bluetooth 5 could provide better call quality.

    1st gen was bandwidth limited with two way audio for phone calls so it had to compress the audio. While I doubt music will sound better, there’s a chance call quality could improve for V2.
  20. dannyyankou macrumors G3


    Mar 2, 2012
    Scarsdale, NY
    The AirPods page on Apple's website talks about lower latency and higher quality sound, so maybe it is better.
  21. nortonandreev macrumors 6502a


    Jan 11, 2016
    Sheffield, United Kingdom
    I got the AirPods 1 when they were released and the battery life got really bad lately, so I was waiting for the second gen before buying new ones. I can confirm the sound quality is much better and the sound is louder. However, this might be due to the fact that the another pair I have is 2 years old (and yes, I have been cleaning them regularly so that’s not a concern. I can’t tell if it’s better than what the gen 1 was when I bought them and it’s hard to compare if you don’t have new units from both gens to compare side by side.
    Also, as someone mentioned, it probably depends if your device supports Bluetooth 5 and what’s is the quality of the music you are listening to.

    I am pretty happy with the new ones so far, will see how it will go. :)
  22. PastaPrimav macrumors 6502

    Nov 6, 2017
    I'll take the word of the people who hear the difference over the people who don't any day. There are people that think a 64 kbps mp3 sounds fine too.
  23. adamjackson macrumors 68000

    Jul 9, 2008
  24. nathan_reilly macrumors member


    Apr 2, 2016
    *edit* I guess its a matter of preference but its kinda like walking around an art gallery with dirty or tinted glasses
  25. Khedron macrumors 65816

    Sep 27, 2013
    Is it true that "Hey Siri" can't even pause a track if you don't have an internet connection to send a report to Apple?

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