AirPods Pro 2
AirPods Pro 2 use the H2 processor for improved Active Noise Cancellation, Adaptive Transparency, and longer battery life. The earbud design stays the same, but the charging case gets several quality-of-life improvements like Find My functions.
● H2 processor
● 6-hour battery with ANC
● Up to 30 hours with the charging case
● 2x better ANC
● Adaptive Transparency
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Apple unveiled the AirPods Pro 2 during the Far Out Apple Event on September 9, 2022. The updated Apple headphones offer improved audio quality and functionality in the same first-generation design.
This model replaces the original at the same $249 price point. For the purposes of this guide, we refer to this product as AirPods Pro 2, but Apple simply calls them AirPods Pro (2nd generation) in marketing.
AirPods Pro 2 Features
The H2 processor is at the center of the new feature set of AirPods Pro 2. It offers high-bandwidth connectivity thanks to Bluetooth 5.3 and improved audio processing.
There wasn't any word on official support for lossless audio, but rumors are promising. Apple could be working on a version of lossless that would work with Bluetooth 5.3.
For now, users get access to 48kHz audio over SharePlay.
The earbuds have a new low-distortion audio driver and a custom amplifier powering it. Users should notice a wider range of frequencies that offer clearer audio and more detail.
Spatial Audio is still a tentpole feature and benefits from the improved processing power as well. Gyroscopes in the earbuds determine head position so users can "move" through the 3D audio space.
ANC and Adaptive Transparency
Active Noise Cancellation is improved thanks to the H2 with twice as much noise canceled. Algorithms work with multiple microphones to determine what audio needs to be blocked.
The new Adaptive Transparency feature uses the same microphones and algorithms to eliminate unwanted audio while letting other sounds in. For example, a loud vehicle or construction noise would be canceled out while a person's voice would be allowed through.
The H2 processor analyzes sound 48,000 times per second, so fast changes in environmental noise can be processed near instantly.
With the ear tip fit test, users can determine if a chosen ear tip size is providing a suitable seal. A new feature of iOS 16 also allows users to scan their ear using the 3D dot projector found in Face ID-equipped iPhones.
Apple introduced a new feature for AirPod Pro 2 during WWDC 2023 called Adaptive Audio. It acts as an intelligent middle between Transparency Mode and Active Noise Cancelation.
For devices running iOS 17 or later, it shows up as a new third option that users can select when pressing and holding on the AirPods stem. It blocks external noise intelligently based on the environment, ducking audio when a user begins talking and allowing nearby voices in to help get the user's attention.
Like Active Noice Canceling, Adaptive Audio only works with both earbuds in.
Design and controls
The AirPods Pro 2 have the same bulbous earpiece, short stems, and changeable ear tips. Apple included a smaller ear tip size for a better range of fits.
As before, a quick squeeze on the stem will play or pause audio. Squeeze and hold to switch audio modes between ANC and Transparency modes.
The stem is touch-sensitive now, too, so swipe up or down to control the volume.
Proximity sensors will determine if the AirPods are located in the person's ear or not. When removed, audio playback will be paused and then resume again when placed back in the user's ear.
The microphone is located at the bottom of the stem. It uses beamforming to isolate the user's voice for calls and commands. "Hey Siri" can be used to control audio playback, give Apple Home commands, or activate a Shortcut.
Charging Case and battery life
A single charge will provide up to 6 hours of battery life. The Charging Case has enough power to allow up to 30 hours of total listening time before needing a charge.
The Charging Case can be charged via Lightning, MagSafe, and the Apple Watch charger. It magnetically aligns with the chargers to ensure proper alignment.
There are multiple changes to the Charging Case to address previous user complaints. The case can be located via Find My, and thanks to a speaker cutout, it can play a chime to help find it nearby.
The Charging Case also has a U1 chip. So, iPhones that also have U1 can pinpoint the case's location within a few feet.
Apple also added a lanyard hole for attaching a lanyard without the need for an extra case. While Apple doesn't sell a lanyard, it is a standard hole that will work with most lanyards.
Apple is rumored to be moving to USB-C in future iPhones, possibly even the iPhone 15 due in 2023. By offering both Lightning and wireless charging for the Charging Case, Apple is minimizing frustrations with the potential port transition.
AirPods Pro 2 review
Everything about the second generation of AirPods Pro is new besides the design. The sound is improved, the ANC and Transparency modes got a boost, and battery life is even longer.
We feel that AirPods Pro 2 recapture the magic we felt with the original AirPods and their successors. It is delightful to switch between listening modes and hear our favorite songs in Spatial Audio.
The H2 processor is responsible for most of the new updates. For example, it samples incoming audio at 48,000 times per second to adjust Adaptive Transparency on the fly.
Since the stem is still here, Apple took advantage of it and made it possible to control volume with a gesture. While this gesture can be tricky to master, it is useful when you've only one free hand to adjust volume.
The MagSafe Charging Case also got a bevy of updates to address some obvious user concerns. It can play a chirping noise from a built-in speaker and has a U1 chip for precise finding via Find My.
We'd have liked it if Apple included different color options or USB-C in the case, but these aren't deal breakers. Lossless is also still a hopeful feature since these earbuds support Bluetooth 5.3.
Anyone who hasn't purchased AirPods Pro recently should consider an upgrade to the new set. They offer improved features across the board, and Apple users get a lot of ecosystem benefits.
Read the full AirPods Pro 2 Review from AppleInsider and see why we gave it a 4 out of 5.
AirPods Pro 2 pricing
Apple kept AirPods Pro 2 priced at the same $249 and removed the original set from sale. They are only available in white, but third-party companies offer various cases to customize the Charging Case.