Technology

Test: Apple AirPods 2 in the test

AirPods 2 im Test

Conclusion from 15. 05. 2019

The Apple Airpods 2 (MRXJ2ZM / A) did very well in our test – just like their predecessors. In the 2nd generation, the Airpods hardly offer any innovations or improvements. Sound, battery life and comfort hardly differ, but are still very good in the true wireless in-ear class. Wireless charging support may be useful for some users. And iPhone users can now wake Siri conveniently using a voice command. We still miss the possibility to adjust the volume on the headphones.

Advantages
Very good sound
Excellent battery life
Wireless charging with the Qi-Case
Disadvantage
No volume control on the headphones
Fewer features for Android users

From 155, 73 €: Find Best Price for Apple AirPods 2nd Gen (MRXJ2ZM / A)

The values ​​in the article refer to the test time of the product ( 15. 05. 2019 )) .

The ratings below show how it compared to the other products in the leaderboard.

test ratings (compared to all tested products in this category)

Apple Airpods 2 review: what's new?

In the test, we had to look twice to find a difference between the two generations of Airpods. Since they did not stand out soundly when listening for the first time and the Airpods 2 as well as their predecessors ( for the test ) in the Bluetooth menu of our Android cell phones are simply listed as “Airpods”, we asked ourselves briefly whether we really held the new model in our hands. (Yes, we tested it primarily on Android.) Whoever charges the Airpods will finally see the difference: The status LED of the first Airpods is hidden under the cover of the case, so that when you open it you can see how much charge is left; with Airpods 2, it is located on the outside on the front.

In addition to this optical detail, there are two more practical innovations: The Airpods 2 can be (just like the current iPhones) Charge the corresponding case wirelessly on each Qi charging mat (then the LED on the outside lights up briefly in orange), and Siri now listens permanently. Wireless charging is a nice feature, especially since the Airpods next to the Galaxy Buds are the first true wireless headphones that are really completely wireless to use. It is not a world-changing innovation, especially since it is the Airpods 2 also 40 Euro cheaper with conventional charging case. However, if you own the first-generation Airpods and want to charge them wirelessly, you can get the Apple Wireless Charging Case for sluggish 80 Euro.

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Externally, the Airpods 2 differ only in one detail from the predecessor: the status LED is now on the front. Image: CHIP / Martin Weiske

Wireless freedom: True wireless in-ear headphones in a large comparison test

Siri listens to Airpods 2

We find it a bit of a shame that the status LED only lights up orange briefly once, but then turns off again. The Airpods 2 therefore do not give the user feedback on when they are charged. Cool is the short display that pops up on an iPhone when you open the case and that shows how far the in-ears and the case are loaded.

We also see the new hands-free function as a rather cautious upgrade. Previously, iOS users had to tap the touch surface on their Airpods to activate Siri. Now Apple's digital assistant listens permanently and no longer requires physical contact. If you like to talk to Siri, you no longer need to take off your gloves or take off your hat. The voice control also works when riding a motorcycle under a helmet and proves to be particularly practical here; if you want to drive with headphones.

Siri can now be woken up by voice command. It is no longer necessary to tap the outside of an Airpod. Image: CHIP / Martin Weiske

Pleasant silence: noise-canceling over-ear headphones in the test

Good handling with restrictions

Unfortunately, the use of Siri is mandatory to adjust the volume when you are not getting your phone out of your pocket would like to. Because, unlike many other true wireless in-ear headphones, this cannot be controlled manually on the headphones. After all: Instead of having to call out cumbersome “Hey, Siri, make it quieter … Hey Siri, make it quieter … Hey Siri, make it quieter”, it is sufficient to instruct the volume level directly by calling “Hey Siri, volume 2”. In public, however, this should seem strange. The ability to adjust the volume, for example, by tapping and holding, would be quite useful, but is unfortunately not provided by Apple. We also understand this as a restriction for iOS users.

iPhone users can switch tracks by double-tapping on request, for play / pause you only tap once. Incidentally, the latter is the only control function available on Android; here the handling of the Airpods proves to be even more restricted. Automatic ear detection, which automatically plays or pauses music when you put the earplugs in your ears or take them out again, is not available on Android.

The battery case is extremely compact, but the Airpods run very long with recharging. Image: CHIP / Martin Weiske

Small and persistent: Airpods 1st generation in the test

Airpods 2 with a very handy case

Apart from that, the handling is excellent, because the case is tiny and can easily be put in your pocket. In addition, the Airpods are magnetically attracted, so you only need to let them fall in easily. In the case, they automatically switch off and go into the charging process. In our ears they sit very loosely, but securely. They are very inconspicuous to the wearer and feel like they are no longer present after a few minutes. However, some users have difficulty getting a firm hold, everyone has to try it for themselves.

The Airpods 2 can be charged wirelessly with the corresponding Qi-compatible case. Picture: CHIP / David Burger

Excellent battery life, still very good sound

The battery life of the Airpods is outstanding – regardless of whether it is the first or the second generation. The Airpods last just under five hours on one charge, which is great, but not the best. The Samsung Galaxy Buds for example manage over seven hours. If you – as usual – charge them over and over again via the battery case, you get short 25 hours of play time – an excellent value. The remaining term is also spectacular after only 15 minutes of charging: Then there are almost 3.5 hours of music enjoyment available. In everyday life, you only have to count on restrictions in extreme situations.

The sound quality of the Airpods 2 is largely unchanged compared to its predecessors. You can expect a warm, pleasant sound, but it does not come up with a precise, deep bass or a lively and detailed sound. The bottom line is that we still find the sound for a true wireless in-ear very good because it looks natural, is not annoying and is fun; You won't find any brilliance here, but given the intended use of these headphones, it doesn't matter.

Since the Airpods do not close the ear canal, they allow ambient noise to pass through clearly. You can hear road traffic, which can be beneficial, but it cannot be hidden. If you are out and about with the Airpods, you should also note that they are not officially waterproof. You should avoid an accidental water bath or a lively dance in the rain.

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