Tech Review: Apple AirPods 2

(2 minute read with Review Video - scroll to bottom))

Apple AirPods 2 have finally landed in South Africa following sub-par critics reviews, now this is not to say that the second generation wireless earphones were not well received but you must understand that since the initial launch in 2016 of the revolutionary lifestyle earpieces many had very high expectations!

Many factors driving the anticipation was due to numerous rumours which included but not limited to: new colour options for one and yes, that alone may have not been well received because the new headsets didn’t physically change - you literally can lay the first and second generation next to each other and not spot a difference at all.

The earbuds however have system changes including a faster processing chip which powers new features like the hands-free “Hey Siri” support so you literally can call the magical digital genie without pressing any buttons while you’re wearing the earphones.


Fast Fact: First generation AirPods have been discontinued so don’t expect a cheaper alternative now that there’s a new edition.

Fortunately for me, my birthday was around the time the new AirPods released so my wife was generous enough to get me a pair which I mostly use for gym and needless to say, I am one hell of an athlete within the health club with my weekly regime including Cross Fit activities (i.e. Burpee Supersets, Box Jump Squats, Muscle Ups etc.) high intensity sprints on the Treadmill and cycling machines - my pair actually arrived during my Grid Games regional competition so it was the perfect opportunity to test their capabilities.


What I love about AirPods:

  1. They stay in place! Yup! You read that correctly even with my varied exercise regime, the revered music outlet has never popped out of my ears!

  2. The storage/carry case is practically minuscule so it shouldn’t add any weight to your backpack, purse or gym bag.

  3. The AirPods are constantly charged by the case because this has always been an issue for me. Have you ever begun your workout only to realise that your music device has no juice? This is not likely to happen because every time you return them to their case, you receive a friendly pop-up with the charge status of both the earphones and the carry case.

  4. Automatic pauses when you remove the earphone(s) from your ear and resumes play once returned to your ears.

  5. You don’t even have to use both pods at the same time, this is a cool way to conserve their battery if you have a long way home on the Gautrain etc.

  6. Bonus: They’re compatible with a plethora of Apple Devices.


What I don’t like about AirPods:

  1. Why would they include the Wireless Charging case when Apple stopped all R&D for an AirPower (Apple’s own wireless charge pad) however if you are fortunate enough to have an aftermarket wireless charging pad at home or even better in your car then you can turn this negative to a very big positive - mind you, the wireless charging case increases the price by ±R1000 depending on purchase outlet.

  2. Disappointed that playing music directly from the Apple Watch dreadfully depletes the Watch battery at a much faster rate than normal because it continuously seeks iPhone connectivity. Prior to getting the AirPods I kept the Watch on airplane mode during my workouts.

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  • H1 Chip: faster processor than previous generation

  • Bluetooth 5: faster connection speeds compared to previous generation with all your Apple devices

  • Hands-free ’Hey Siri’: previous generation required some tapping

  • Wireless Charging Case (optional)

Look, these are exceptionally cool as a lifestyle accessory especially if you, like myself, have an Apple ecosystem so you can literally use them on my MacBook, iPhone and when I don’t have both on me (or my phone battery has depleted) from my Apple Watch, yes, you can store music directly on your Apple Watch (Series 2 like mine has 2GB storage and the latest Series 4 has 8GB of storage you can use).

Coming from big cumbersome Bluetooth headphones, I am extremely happy with my AirPods however if you already own the first generation, I really don’t see any reason to upgrade at this point and rumours are that Apple is planning on launching the third generation AirPods in September with the annual iPhone line-up refresh which will also be available in different options.

If you prefer not to read, check out the quick video review round up, including unboxing with highlights from one of my training sessions below.

Have AirPods or would like to get a pair? 

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