Apple AirPods Pro 2 Review: Comparison to Gen 1

Along with the iPhone 14 series (Hands-on), Apple introduced the AirPods Pro Gen 2 (Hands-on) at its September event. At first glance, it looked like a slight improvement compared to the first generation. So the design is similar. Of course, Apple wants to improve sound and ANC. There’s also a new price tag with the AirPods Pro 2nd generation. Apple wants you to pay heavily for new wireless earbuds. That hurts! But is it worth it? Let’s find out in this Apple AirPods Pro 2 review below.

Apple AirPods Pro 2 Review: Comparison to Gen 1

Apple AirPods Pro 2 Review


At first glance, the new AirPods Pro 2nd gen seems similar to the Pro 1. At a second glance, the difference is minimal. Apple also uses a very compact design for the Pro 2.

Apple AirPods Pro 2 Review: Comparison to Gen 1

The charging box of the top wireless earbuds measures just 60 x 45 x 21.5 mm and weighs 61.5 grams (including the truly wireless earbuds, 50.7 grams without earbuds). That makes them the most compact and best true wireless earbuds out there.

As usual, Apple uses a white high-gloss finish for the case as well as for the earphones themselves. Unfortunately, the AirPods Pro 2 still charges via Lightning (or wireless). USB C is still missing.

Comfortable wearing

The AirPods Pro 2 generation size may seem a bit strange at first, but in practice, it is incredibly comfortable! The truly wireless earbuds sit surprisingly comfortably and unobtrusively in the ears.

These are comparatively small and compact. It also helps to make the seat a little more relaxed. For us, the AirPods Pro Gen 2 are the most comfortable earphones currently on the market!

Apple AirPods Pro 2 review: Comparison of 2nd and 1st generation AirPods Pro

In this Apple AirPods Pro 2 review, we also compared the second-generation AirPods Pro more closely to the first generation to see what Apple has upgraded after three years.

Apple AirPods Pro 2 Review: Comparison to Gen 1

In the photo above, we didn’t note which is the newer and the older AirPods Pro (top and bottom), so many people might find it hard to tell the difference.

Apple AirPods Pro 2 Comparison to Gen 1

To distinguish, on the AirPods Pro 2 headset (below the ear), Apple has put the acoustic slot with noise cancellation on top.

Apple AirPods Pro 2 Comparison to Gen 1

Like this, the acoustic slot position of the first generation AirPods Pro is made longer (right).

Apple AirPods Pro 2 Comparison to Gen 1

The position of the foot of the headset and the bottom of the ear is made quite similar (on the left is AirPods Pro 2).

Apple AirPods Pro 2 Comparison to Gen 1

AirPods Pro 2 still uses the mechanism of removing/attaching ear tips like the previous generation. We noticed that the mesh in the eartips of AirPods Pro 2 is thicker.

Apple AirPods Pro 2 Comparison to Gen 1

As for the overall size of the headset, both are the same.

Apple AirPods Pro 2 Comparison to Gen 1

As for the charging case, AirPods Pro 2 has three additional speaker holes next to the Lightning port that emits a sound when charging / when searching through Find My / when connecting as well as when removing the headset and closing the lid. On the left side of AirPods Pro 2, there is another air outlet, many of you may mistake this hole for the microphone.

Apple AirPods Pro 2 Comparison to Gen 1

The back is no different, still has an aluminum hinge. However, the hinge on my AirPods Pro 2 is a bit loose, the finishing is not very good.

The charging case of AirPods Pro 2 can be placed on the Apple Watch charging dock. Those of you who use AW and have a charging dock available on the table, just put the AirPods Pro on and charge it. The previous generation AirPods Pro only supports MagSafe wireless charging (2021 version).

Apple AirPods Pro 2 Review: Comparison to Gen 1

Bluetooth 5.3 and higher battery life are notable points on AirPods Pro 2. In the future, supporting the new codec via Bluetooth 5.3 will help AirPods Pro 2 have better sound quality. Overall, these are still worthwhile upgrades for Apple after three years since the first generation AirPods Pro.


Let us now return to our Apple AirPods Pro 2 review. The ANC on AirPods Pro Gen 2 is just amazing. We cannot say it any other way. We don’t think we’ve ever heard of such a strong and good ANC. Even compared to over-ear headphones, the ANC is incredibly good and remains one of the best.

The AirPods Pro 2 not only manages to hide the usual humming or noise from the motor or fan. But even the voices from outside are almost silent. Someone can be standing right in front of you and talking to you, and you wouldn’t realize it.

It’s impressive how well the ANC works without generating white noise or a feeling of pressure. Apple just raised the bar a notch here.

Transparency Mode

In addition to ANC, the AirPods 2 Pro also offers a transparency mode. It does the exact opposite of ANC. Here, outside noise is amplified so, that you can continue to hear your surroundings.

Like ANC, Apple is world-class here! The quality of Transparency Mode is simply outstanding. One might think that some flaps open in the earbuds, and the sound comes from outside. Apple is in a completely different league here.


Apple earbuds have always been very convenient and comfortable to use. However, these usually only showed weaknesses with sound. The old AirPods Pro looked great, but admittedly not quite as well.

With AirPods Pro 2, Apple has added in! And with the success, we don’t want to say that the AirPods Pro 2 sound unbeatable, but they are clearly among the top models.

Important, this Apple AirPods Pro 2 review was done in conjunction with the iPhone 14 Pro.

Let’s start with the highs. The highs of the AirPods Pro 2 are super clear, extremely high resolution, and very beautifully brilliant. Although these are a bit on the sharper side, they are not overly pointed or piercing. We would rate the highs as pretty much perfect for us!

The mids of the AirPods Pro 2 are unremarkable. These aren’t bad, and the earphones don’t sound “thin” either, but Apple doesn’t put a special focus on the mids. Voices are reproduced well, although the AirPods Pro 2 tends to have a slightly cooler undertone.

Of course, the difference with the old AirPods Pro is the bass. The AirPods Pro 2 has a bit more bass than its predecessors. As a result, the earphones sound good livelier, and more dynamic. The bass quality is excellent! It is deep and rich. The bass volume goes up a bit, but AirPods aren’t bass bombers. They have good bass levels and are fun.

In general, we’d like to say that Apple has struck the right sound signature here. The earphones sound lively, dynamic, and fun without going to extremes. We think 99% of all users will love this sound signature!

Added to this is the incredibly good resolution of the AirPods Pro 2. They sound detailed and sharp, even compared to other high-end models.

In short, other earphones can keep up with the AirPods Pro 2 (or slightly ahead of them) in terms of sound, but Apple is high-rated here, and the AirPods Pro 2 is confident in terms of sound!

Apple AirPods Pro 2 Review: Comparison to Gen 1

With a straight line, the earphones would reproduce audio signals 1 to 1 without coloring or “falsifying” them. However, this is only common with studio/reference headphones. You can roughly divide the diagram into three areas, left = lows/bass, middle = middle and right = high. If one part is higher than another part, that frequency range is sonically more pronounced than another. For example, if the left frequency curve is very high, this means a bass boost. Although it is not possible to break the sound down to just the frequency curve, this still provides neutral information about the sound.

Final line

It almost hurts to say this, but the Apple AirPods Pro 2 is worth the money. $249 is an incredible amount for earphones, but you’ll get them for $223 on during the Prime Day sale. While on, it is still priced at £249.

Let’s start with a very important point for us that many other TWS earphones neglect: wearing comfort. The Apple AirPods Pro 2 sits incredibly well and stays comfortably in the ears. The fit is perfect, and the earbuds are wonderfully small and compact.

Apple’s ANC was good with the AirPods Pro but is a notch better with the AirPods Pro 2. Again, we haven’t heard better ANC in earbuds. It is more comparable to high-end headphones than to other earphones.

So far, however, one could complain about the sound quality. The AirPods Pro was never bad, but there was room for improvement here. The AirPods Pro 2 sound was perfect! These have a lively, very high-resolution sound with great bass.

So if you have an iPhone, you will get the full benefit here. $249 is a staggering amount of money for these earbuds, but the AirPods Pro 2 is hands down the best true wireless earbuds we’ve heard from TWS earbuds!

About Ankeet Solanki

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