When Apple introduced its wireless headphones at the end of 2016 they did not convince everyone. Especially for its design, something strange to the naked eye. Time has shown that they have been a success: they are one of the firm's best-selling products (there's nothing more than going out to meet someone who wears them), there are dozens of copies and even users of Android phones because they are compatible with these terminals, although with limited functions.
At first glance, Airpods 2 are exactly the same as the first version. Not in vain, they have the same design, they are available in the same color … That's why they also share their ergonomics: during the day they are very comfortable to use due to their lightness, and they do not fall out of the ears regardless of the task that you are carrying out. Even if they are used in the gym or for sports; a use for which they are not recommended because they are not resistant to water or sweat.
But there is a substantial difference: they work thanks to a completely different chip very focused on improving the user experience; a change that is noticeable in the day to day, as we have been able to verify during our tests.
A specific chip
It is the H1 chip, designed specifically for headphones (hence the H, of headphones). Thanks to it, for example, you can use the voice command 'Hey, Siri' to start the phone assistant and manage music playback or ask any questions. The first few days is a bit confusing, because Siri takes a few seconds to react. That causes you to repeat the order when it is really not necessary. Controlled at this point, listen perfectly to the instructions thanks to microphones with external noise reduction that also make the conversations in hands-free mode very clear.
On the other hand, a better management of energy consumption is achieved, so that the headset battery reaches almost five hours of music playback. In addition, if they run out at the most inopportune time, they have a fast loading function that allows them to play three hours of music after only 15 minutes in the charging case.
This complement makes the autonomy extend up to 24 hours and is in two versions: a 'normal' and another compatible with wireless charging. We have tested the second one, compatible with the Qi standard: the same one used by a good part of the chargers and high-end phones compatible with this function. So it does not matter at all that Apple canceled the AirPower project. In wireless mode, charging occurs at a maximum of 5V, which means that it takes more than three hours to complete the process, compared to the two necessary when using the Lightning connector and the iPhone charger.
The hidden benefits
The use of the H1 chip also has less perceptible benefits, but they are appreciated on a day-to-day basis. One of them is the speed of the connection with the mobile device, which is instantaneous. Another, that there are no breaks in this link neither during music playback nor during calls. In addition, the latency has been reduced by 30%, according to Apple. This means that there is no delay between voice and image when playing or watching videos, for example.
The sound experience is very similar to that of the previous version, with very clear audio and a good volume to which we would ask for more powerful bass. An open design that does not isolate from the outside, as well as the absence of noise cancellation technologies, make everything that happens around heard. For some things it is very positive, although in terms of environments, the volume must be increased a lot to listen well.
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