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

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Apr 12, 2001
7,166
8,354
0
19
www.macrumors.com



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.

HOLY CRAP the sound quality on the 2nd Generation Air Pods is WAY BETTER than the 1st gen. Listening to some Daft Punk, it's a hell of a change, and here I wasn't even expecting a real jump in sound quality. SHeeeeeeeesh - Gaijinhunter (@aevanko) March 26, 2019

MacRumors forum member Kiky disagrees with the above tweet:
When listening to music, I could not make out any discernible difference between my AirPods 2 and my wife's original AirPods. I bought the AirPods 2 mainly for the gym and casual wireless listening. They will replace my Jabra's which have lousy latency issues and fatigue my ears after 30 mins or so.
At the very least, MacRumors reader Vladislav Kuznetsov and many others agree that features like Siri and FaceTime calls sound clearer:

Got new AirPods! Much better sound quality in FaceTime and Siri. Faster switching between devices. Worth upgrading from first gen only if your battery is dying. - Vladislav Kuznetsov (@v1597psh) March 26, 2019

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 Apple.com 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
 
  • Like
Reactions: MrUNIMOG

ericg301

macrumors 65816
Jun 15, 2010
1,224
599
0
wonder if any retailers will offer a trade-in discount. "save 10% when you recycle your airpods with us" or something similar.
 

donster28

macrumors 68000
Oct 5, 2006
1,588
593
0
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 yeah...it's subjective unless we see an actual scientific sound comparison.
 

Fidgetyrat

macrumors 6502
Jan 29, 2008
258
222
0
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.
 
  • Like
Reactions: roncron

Greenlee

macrumors member
Aug 28, 2017
72
103
0
I have Airpods 1, do retailers like Best Buy or Target offer trade-in credit towards Airpods 2?
 

DoctorKrabs

macrumors 6502a
Jul 12, 2013
676
824
0
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.
 

Fidgetyrat

macrumors 6502
Jan 29, 2008
258
222
0
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.
 

jbryant705

macrumors member
Jan 18, 2011
72
73
0
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.
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?
 
  • Like
Reactions: TheDreaded26

btrach144

macrumors 68000
Aug 28, 2015
1,601
3,519
0
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.
 
  • Like
Reactions: MrUNIMOG

nortonandreev

macrumors 6502a
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. :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Khedron

Khedron

macrumors 68000
Sep 27, 2013
1,750
3,364
0
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?