Ashwin Rajagopalan

The Macintosh with its palette of funky colours, the iPod, the AirPods… If you thought that these were mere gadgets, then you’re way off. Let’s go back to 2016, the time when the AirPods first debuted along with the iPhone 7. Back then we barely flaunted our headphones unless they were super premium. Now think of your gym or a busy street in New York City, and all those AirPods that have almost become a quintessential part of many iPhone owners’ disposition. That couldn’t have happened if the AirPods was just a piece of Tech. After more than two years Apple has refreshed the AirPods and it just got much better. While the AirPods have remained the preferred option for iPhone and Apple watch users, they also work quite well with Android devices.

We didn’t take to the AirPods instantly. Most of us thought the design was too quirky but that’s probably what worked for the AirPods. It’s why they stood out (literally). That design hasn’t changed in the second generation. It’s still the same design and it’s still housed in the dental floss type charging case that can slip into your tightest jeans. Practicality, its almost a given for the AirPods. They’re ultra-light and boast of incredible battery life. Having tested a variety of Bluetooth Ear buds over the last 18 months, I have to say that the AirPods handle calls much better than most of the competition. The new AirPods are powered by Apple’s H1 chip, that delivers better battery life especially when you use your AirPods extensively for phone calls.

When it comes to Ear buds, battery life is one of the key purchase drivers and the H1 chip further consolidates Apple’s dominance on this front. Although Apple doesn’t claim any big change in sound quality, I experienced a marginal improvement over the first generation AirPods. Pricier competitors like Bose’s SoundSport Free have an edge in the sound department. There’s no active noise cancellation option either; you have to tun up the volume to counter external sounds especially in crowded spaces.

Apple has also added wireless charging capabilities to the AirPods. You now have a choice of a wireless charging case (or you can buy the regular version) which adds wireless charging capabilities to the AirPods. Unlike some of its competitors that feature physical buttons, the AirPods rely on a bunch of intuitive touches and taps. Now Apple adds the convenience of hands-free Hey Siri, whether you need to alter the volume, make a call or play a song. This is one of the many cool touches that make the AirPods 2 almost a no brainer for iPhone users, especially if you don’t already own the first generation Apple AirPods.

The Second generation AirPods cost Rs 14,900 (with the standard charging case) or Rs 18,900 with the wireless charging case.

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