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Compared: New AirPods Pro versus original AirPods Pro

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Apple announced the second generation of AirPods Pro at its "Far Out" event on September 7. Here's how it compares to the first generation.

Like the new Apple Watch SE, AirPods Pro 2 keeps most of the same features as AirPods Pro Gen 1 with a few notable upgrades.

The upgraded product includes a new H2 chip that powers more intelligent noise cancellation and three-dimensional sound. In addition, active Noise Cancellation now cancels twice as much unwanted noise, so nothing interrupts listening.

AirPods Pro Gen 1 versus AirPods Pro Gen 2 - Specifications

SpecificationsAirPods Pro (Gen 1)AirPods Pro (Gen 2)
Price$249.00
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$249.00
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Dimensions (inches)1.22 x 0.86 x 0.941.22 x 0.86 x 0.94
Weight (ounces)0.190.19
Case Dimensions (inches)1.78 x 2.39 x 0.851.78 x 2.39 x 0.85
Case Weight (ounces)1.611.79
Battery Life (earbuds)4.5 hours with ANC6 hours with ANC
Battery Life (with case)Up to 24 hoursUp to 30 hours
ConnectivityBluetooth 5.0Bluetooth 5.3
MicrophonesDual beamforming microphones,
Inward-facing microphone
Dual beamforming microphones,
Inward-facing microphone
SensorsDual optical sensors,
motion-detecting accelerometer,
speech-detecting accelerometer,
Force sensor
Dual optical sensors,
motion-detecting accelerometer,
speech-detecting accelerometer,
Force sensor
Touch control
Sweat and Water ResistanceIPX4IPX4
Active Noise CancellationYesYes
Spatial AudioYesYes

AirPods Pro Gen 1 versus AirPods Pro Gen 2 - Design and Dimensions

Physically, the AirPods Pro Gen 2 has not changed from the AirPods Pro Gen 1, other than a slightly heavier case at 1.79 grams, compared to 1.61 grams on Gen 1.

Both generations' earbuds measure 1.22 inches long, 0.86 inches wide, and 0.94 inches deep. Each case is 1.78 x 2.39 x 0.85 inches.

Apple AirPods Pro 2

Apple AirPods Pro 2


Apple AirPods Pro 2 have a new H2 chip, Adaptive Transparency, and Touch control on the stem.
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AirPods Pro Gen 1 versus AirPods Pro Gen 2 - Features

AirPods Pro Gen 2 features up to two times more active noise cancellation thanks to the H2 chip. In addition, a new driver and improved acoustic algorithms help ANC reduce unwanted noise.

Adaptive Transparency uses the H2 chip to minimize sounds faster at 48,000 times per second. As a result, it will improve the experience of walking through and past loud noises such as sirens or power tools.

AirPods Pro Gen 2 has new touch controls on the stems of the earbuds. Swipe up or down to adjust volume, press to play and pause music, answer and end calls, or hold to switch between Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) and Adaptive Transparency.

A redesigned inward-facing microphone in AirPods Pro Gen 2 works with voice enhancement algorithms to better recognize voices.
A redesigned inward-facing microphone in AirPods Pro Gen 2 works with voice enhancement algorithms to better recognize voices.

Personalized Spatial Audio with dynamic head tracking is a new feature on AirPods Pro Gen 2. It works with the TrueDepth camera on an iPhone to create a custom profile based on a person's head geometry. The profile syncs across devices.

Dynamic head tracking now brings three-dimensional audio to Group FaceTime calls.

Adaptive EQ tunes music to a person's ears in real-time, based on the fit of AirPods Pro. Inward-facing microphones measure what you're hearing, then adjust the low to high frequencies of a song.

AirPods Pro Gen 1 versus AirPods Pro Gen 2 - Battery Life

Battery life has improved in AirPods Pro Gen 2 with up to 6 hours of listening time with a single charge, though that drops slightly to 5.5 hours with Spatial Audio and Head Tracking enabled. The first gen could manage up to 4.5 hours of listening time from a single charge.

Additionally, using the case enables up to 30 hours of total listening time with Active Noise Cancellation enabled. The first gen could manage up to 24 hours of usage.

In both cases, charging the AirPods Pro in the case results in about an hour's worth of listening from five minutes of charge.

Battery life on the case is up to 30 hours, compared to 24 hours on AirPods Pro Gen 1. Gen 1 also gets up to 4.5 hours with ANC.

AirPods Pro Gen 1 versus AirPods Pro Gen 2 - Connectivity and Other Details

AirPods Pro Gen 2 has Bluetooth 5.3 instead of Bluetooth 5.0 on AirPods Pro Gen 1. In addition, the case for AirPods Pro Gen 2 includes the U1 chip with Precision Finding to help identify its location.

AirPods Pro Gen 2 includes a new XS silicone ear tip
AirPods Pro Gen 2 includes a new XS silicone ear tip

A built-in speaker for Gen 2-'s case helps people further zero into the location. A lanyard loop lets you attach your case to a backpack, handbag, or even around the user's neck so they can be easily reached.

The case for AirPods Pro Gen 2 can be charged either wirelessly using a MagSafe charger, an Apple Watch charger, or a Qi-certified charger, or with the Lightning connector. The first generation's Wireless Charging Case can take in power using Qi wireless charging or the Lightning port.

Gen 2 keeps the same sweat and water resistance as Gen 1 at IPX4 so that they can handle some sweat from workouts and light rain, but not submergence.

Apple also includes an extra-small silicone ear tip in the second-generation model, whereas AirPods Pro Gen 1 only had three. The four sizes are XS, S, M, and L.

AirPods Pro Gen 1 versus AirPods Pro Gen 2 - Pricing

AirPods Pro Gen 2 keeps the same price of $249 that its predecessor had, or $41.50 per month for six months with Apple Card Monthly Installments.

A purchase of AirPods Pro Gen 2 comes with six free months of Apple Music for new subscribers.

The price is the same as how much you would've paid for the first-gen AirPods Pro, pre-second-gen launch.

AirPods Pro Gen 1 versus AirPods Pro Gen 2 - What to buy

Getting the newest products is always an excellent option for new buyers that don't have to mind about the budget. While AirPods Pro have been on sale recently for as low as $169, the new ones at $249 provide the latest case that supports charging with an Apple Watch cable, that may reduce the need for an additional charger.

That is, if the person has an Apple Watch in the first place.

AirPods Pro Gen 2 case can be charged with an Apple Watch charger.
AirPods Pro Gen 2 case can be charged with an Apple Watch charger.

New audio options may also tempt existing AirPods Pro owners. They can adapt to various head shapes and feature more intelligent noise cancellation and superior three-dimensional sound.

And, the new extra small silicone ear tip will be good for small ear canals.

Existing AirPods Pro owners may not necessarily see much new in the second generation to warrant an upgrade. But for those looking at the AirPods Pro as their next personal audio purchase, there's more reason to go for the latest and greatest edition.