AirPods 2.0: Expensive doesn’t always mean better

May 28, 2019 — by Angelina Chen and Amanda Zhu

AirPods have become the most popular wireless Bluetooth earbuds in the world, with over 16 million pairs sold since they were released in late 2016. Three years later, Apple released the highly anticipated Airpods 2 on March 29, a release that disappointed many people who were hoping for bigger changes from the first model.

The new AirPods cost the same as the first generation version, $159, and come with the option of purchasing a wireless charging case for $79.

Unlike the first generation of AirPods, the second generation enables Siri voice activation with the command, “Hey Siri.” The newer version also supposedly has longer battery life and a chip that provides faster and more stable wireless connection to devices.

Since the new AirPods look almost identical to the originals, Apple reviewers and aficionados are wondering if they are any better. The only noticeable visible difference is the charging dot in the case and the silver on the case becoming white. Reputable Apple product reviewers like EverythingApplePro, Unbox Therapy, Apple Explained and Marques Brownlee have all emphasized the lack of a real upgrade.

“[The second generation AirPods] sound like the first generation, look like the first generation and basically behave like the first generation,” said Lewis Hilsenteger, who is better known as his YouTube name Unbox Therapy.

With the wireless charging case costing $79, many people aren’t rushing to buy the products.

Sophomore Kirthana Jeyasankarane, who owns the first version of AirPods, does not think it is necessary to buy another pair just for barely detectable changes.

“I would not buy AirPods 2.0 because you are paying extra for wireless charging, which can be inconvenient since I would have to bring the charging pad everywhere,” she said.

However, Justine Ezarik, or iJustine, a YouTuber who often reviews Apple products, expressed a contrary view. In a video, she tested the new AirPods’ faster ability to connect to devices and praised the wireless charging feature.

“It’s interesting because I don’t think I ever expected to like these as much as I have liked them,” iJustine said.

Nonetheless, she is in the minority when it comes to Apple’s new AirPods, and Apple diehards will be looking for more in the third version of the product.

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