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Highly anticipated: Apple has launched the brand new AirPods Pro 2, the first revision of the successful wireless earbuds, with new features, improved performance, and even the return of "Memoji engravings" onto the charging case, if you're interested in that.
The first generation AirPods Pro were a major success, with estimates for 2020 sales reaching nearly 90 million units. Apple has decided to capitalize on this success and release the first revision/upgrade of the popular premium-priced wireless earbuds.
The earbuds come with a new H2 chip, which Apple claims improves audio bandwidth, which in turn allows for higher audio quality. The AirPods Pro 2 also have a new "low distortion audio driver" accompanied by a custom amplifier to power said driver. Apple states that AirPods Pro 2 have "more detail and clarity across a wider range of sound frequencies."
Apple also claims that the H2 headphone chip allows for improved Active Noise Cancelling that cancels out as much as twice the amount of noise compared to the previous generation. Transparency mode also returns, with the H2 chip allowing for a new "adaptive transparency" mode that checks for loud noises an astounding 48,000 times per second.
Users with a supported iPhone will be able to take a photo of their ear, and Apple claims that AI will be able to create an audio profile that works perfectly with the users' ear shape, improving Spatial Audio performance. Users with small ears will also be grateful for the new included XS ear tips, improving audio quality and isolation for them.
The force sensors found on the first-gen AirPods Pro have returned, however Apple is now introducing a touch sensor onto the earbuds, allowing users to swipe on the earbuds to perform various actions.
Battery life has also been improved, with Apple claiming a 33% improvement in battery life from the previous model, going from 4.5 hours to 6 hours. They also claim the charging case can now provide up to 30 hours of battery life for the earbuds, an improvement from 24 hours. Apple's specs sheet further indicates that the earbuds can charge for up to one hour of audio playback from just five minutes of charging.
The charging case is adding precision finding as well as a speaker integrated into it, to help users find their case if they were to misplace it. Magsafe, Apple Watch, and Qi-capable chargers all work to wirelessly charge the AirPods Pro 2, along with using the Lightning connector. It is disappointing to see Apple has not transitioned to USB-C for this generation. Maybe next time?
Pre-orders for the AirPods Pro 2 will begin on September 9, priced at $249. If it piques your interest, Apple will allow free "Memoji engravings" on the charging case if you so choose. The earbuds will be available starting on September 23.