Apple in March debuted second-generation AirPods, featuring several updates over the original massively popular wireless earbuds of the same name.

So what's improved in the new AirPods compared to the older model, and what's stayed the same? Read on to find out.

airpods2

Price of New AirPods vs. Old AirPods

Buying Apple's original AirPods was straightforward as they came with a single $159 price tag, but that's changed with the second-generation models.

The new AirPods still start at the same price, but customers now have the option to buy the earbuds with a Wireless Charging Case for $199.

airpods options 2019
Apple is also offering the Wireless Charging Case separately for $79, so if you already own first-generation AirPods you can buy the case and charge your earbuds using any Qi-compatible charging mat. The Wireless Charging Case still includes a Lightning port so you can charge your AirPods via cable if you prefer.

Apple's new AirPods can be ordered on Apple's website and will be available in Apple Stores and resellers from March 26, 2019. Apple no longer lists first-generation AirPods on its website, but you should be able to find them elsewhere online at a lower price now that the new AirPods are available.

Design of New AirPods vs. Old AirPods

Apple's new AirPods look identical to the first-generation models, save for a single LED on the front of the Wireless Charging Case. This light simply tells you the charging status of the AirPods when you place them on a Qi-compatible charging mat. On the standard charging case, which came with the original AirPods, the LED was inside the lid between where the two AirPods go.

Otherwise, both versions of AirPods have the same dimensions and weight, and both are only available in white.

Processor in New AirPods vs. Old AirPods

Apple's second-generation AirPods use a new proprietary chip called the H1, whereas the original AirPods run on the W1 chip.

Both chips are responsible for the earbuds' seamless one-tap pairing process, but Apple claims the H1 allows the new AirPods to connect to calls up to 1.5 times faster and generally provide a more stable wireless connection to devices like iPhones and iPads, while making them up to twice as fast when switching between active devices.

In addition, the H1 chip delivers up to 30 percent lower latency, which means you should experience fewer delays between onscreen events and their accompanying audio when playing games.

Using Siri With New AirPods vs. Old AirPods

One of the headline features of the new AirPods is the ability to invoke Siri handsfree when you're wearing them, thanks to Apple's new H1 chip.

airpods2heysiri
With the first-generation AirPods you have to double tap the earbuds before you can talk to the personal assistant, but the new models allow you to say simply "Hey ‌Siri‌" for it to register your spoken query or command. This is particularly neat if you wear them when your hands are busy or you want to exclusively control your music using ‌Siri‌ commands.

Battery life in New AirPods vs. Old AirPods

Apple's new AirPods offer the same overall battery life as the original AirPods, which is 5 hours on a single charge and over 24 hours of additional battery capacity in the charging case. According to Apple, the second-generation AirPods offer 50 percent more talk time due to the H1 chip.

In other words, the new AirPods get up to three hours of talk time per charge, compared to up to two hours with the previous generation. So that's something to think about if you'd be using them to take a lot of calls.


Bottom Line

Apple's second-generation AirPods aren't an earth-shattering upgrade over its original wireless earbuds, with the company seemingly holding rumored features like health monitoring, noise cancellation, and water resistance for the next generation, expected in 2020.

That said, new features like handsfree "Hey ‌Siri‌" activation and wireless charging are still welcome improvements, and even if you're not convinced they present a worthwhile upgrade over your first-generation AirPods, you still have the option to buy the new wireless case to charge your existing earbuds using a Qi-compatible charging pad.

Whatever you decide, be sure to check out our complete guide to AirPods to learn a lot more about what AirPods can do and how you can make the most of them, and read our roundup for more details on the new second-generation AirPods.

Ready to Buy Airpods or AirPods Pro?

Check our constantly updated guide for best deals on AirPods.

Related Roundup: AirPods 3
Buyer's Guide: AirPods (Buy Now)
Related Forum: AirPods

Top Rated Comments

noraa Avatar
41 months ago
Here we go again typical tactics since Tim Cook took over. New product instead of new features and upgrade from previous generation. It becomes a new product for a much higher price. I used to remember when a new product comes meaning with new features and the same price as previous. Making the older product discontinued but supported for a couple more years. SMH!
It's the exact same price as the previous generation and it has new features. Just in the mood to complain?
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
meboy Avatar
41 months ago
Basically no improvement at all..
Still no isolation/secure fit, silly looking, lacking sound quality, overpriced, really overpriced for wireless charging that should have been a free upgrade (especially compared to wired, the free AKG buds that come with Samsung's sound better and you can grab those for a few dollars on eBay)

But still you will buy them..
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JTBing Avatar
41 months ago
Here we go again typical tactics since Tim Cook took over. New product instead of new features and upgrade from previous generation. It becomes a new product for a much higher price. I used to remember when a new product comes meaning with new features and the same price as previous. Making the older product discontinued but supported for a couple more years. SMH!
The price didn't change. Even with new internals. Also, old Airpods will work in the new wireless case. Are you lost? Because none of your complaints make any sense here.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
joueboy Avatar
41 months ago
Here we go again typical tactics since Tim Cook took over. New product instead of new features and upgrade from previous generation. It becomes a new product for a much higher price. I used to remember when a new product comes meaning with new features and the same price as previous. Making the older product discontinued but supported for a couple more years. SMH!
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Keniutek Avatar
41 months ago
Airpods 1.5 ;)
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
anthony13 Avatar
41 months ago
I can’t believe I can’t find the answer to this, but my simple question is, do they sound better? Do they support Bluetooth 5?
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iOS 16 mock for article

Gurman: iOS 16 to Include New Ways of System Interaction and 'Fresh Apple Apps'

Sunday May 15, 2022 6:14 am PDT by
iOS 16 will include new ways of interacting with the system and some "fresh Apple apps," Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has said, offering some more detail on what Apple has in store for the upcoming release of iOS and iPadOS set to be announced in a few weeks at WWDC. In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Gurman wrote that while iOS 16 is not likely to introduce a major face-lift to...
maxresdefault

Unbox Therapy Shares Hands-On Look at iPhone 14 Pro Max Replica

Monday May 16, 2022 4:40 am PDT by
YouTuber Unbox Therapy has shared a hands-on look at the iPhone 14 Pro Max using what he claims is a one-to-one replica created by third-party case makers with access to detailed schematics and dimensions for Apple's new upcoming flagship smartphone. As with the iPhone 13 Pro lineup, in 2022, we are expecting a 6.1-inch iPhone 14 Pro and a 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max, but this time the Pro...
RIP iPod Feature

RIP iPod: A Look Back at Apple's Iconic Music Player Over the Years

Friday May 13, 2022 2:25 pm PDT by
Apple earlier this week announced the discontinuation of the iPod touch, and because it was the last iPod still available for purchase, its sunsetting effectively marks the end of the entire iPod lineup. To send the iPod on its way, we thought it would be fun to take a look back at some of the most notable iPod releases over the last 21 years. Original iPod (2001) Introduced in October...
macOS Monterey 2

Apple Releases macOS Monterey 12.4 With Support for Studio Display Webcam Update

Monday May 16, 2022 10:10 am PDT by
Apple today released macOS Monterey 12.4, the fourth major update to the macOS Monterey operating system that launched in October 2021. macOS Monterey 12.4 comes over two months after the launch of macOS Monterey 12.3, an update that added Universal Control. The ‌‌‌‌‌macOS Monterey‌‌ 12.4 update can be downloaded on all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System...
iOS 15

Apple Releases iOS 15.5 and iPadOS 15.5 With Wallet and Podcast Updates

Monday May 16, 2022 10:00 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS 15.5 and iPadOS 15.5, the fifth major updates to the iOS and iPadOS 15 operating systems that were initially released in September 2021. iOS and iPadOS 15.5 come a little over two months after the launch of iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4. The iOS 15.5 and iPadOS 15.5 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in...
airpodsprodesign

Kuo: AirPods, MagSafe Battery Pack, and Other Apple Accessories Also to Switch to USB-C in Future

Sunday May 15, 2022 5:59 am PDT by
Earlier this week, well-known Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed that Apple plans to release at least one iPhone 15 model with a USB-C port in 2023. Now, in a follow-up tweet, he has claimed that accessories like AirPods, the MagSafe Battery Pack, and the Magic Keyboard/Mouse/Trackpad trio would also switch to USB-C in the "foreseeable future." Both the iPhone and all of the aforementioned...
apple tv 4k design green

Apple Releases tvOS 15.5 for Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K

Monday May 16, 2022 9:57 am PDT by
Apple today released tvOS 15.5, the fifth major update to the tvOS operating system that first launched in September 2021. tvOS 15.5 comes more than two months after the release of tvOS 15.4, an update that brought support for captive WiFi networks. tvOS 15.5 can be downloaded over the air on the Apple TV through the Settings app by going to System > Software Update. ‌‌‌‌‌‌Apple...