Compared: New AirPods Pro versus original AirPods Pro

Posted:
in General Discussion edited October 5
Apple's second generation of AirPods Pro are now in customers' hands. Here's how the new model compares to the first generation.

AirPods Pro second-gen (left) and AirPods Pro first-gen (right)
AirPods Pro second-gen (left) and AirPods Pro first-gen (right)


The upgraded product includes a new H2 chip that powers more intelligent noise cancellation and three-dimensional sound. In addition, active Noise Cancellation now cancels twice as much unwanted noise, so nothing interrupts listening.

The updated AirPods Pro runs on an improved H2 chip, powering improved active noise cancellation, better audio, and longer battery life. They also have an improved case with helpful design tweaks and better tracking capabilities.




AirPods Pro Gen 1 versus AirPods Pro Gen 2 - Specifications

SpecificationsAirPods Pro (Gen 1)AirPods Pro (Gen 2)
Price$249.00
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$249.00
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Dimensions (inches)1.22 x 0.86 x 0.941.22 x 0.86 x 0.94
Weight (ounces)0.190.19
Case Dimensions (inches)1.78 x 2.39 x 0.851.78 x 2.39 x 0.85
Case Weight (ounces)1.611.79
Battery Life (earbuds)4.5 hours with ANC6 hours with ANC
Battery Life (with case)Up to 24 hoursUp to 30 hours
ConnectivityBluetooth 5.0Bluetooth 5.3
MicrophonesDual beamforming microphones,
Inward-facing microphone
Dual beamforming microphones,
Inward-facing microphone
SensorsDual optical sensors,
motion-detecting accelerometer,
speech-detecting accelerometer,
Force sensor
Dual optical sensors,
motion-detecting accelerometer,
speech-detecting accelerometer,
Force sensor
Touch control
Sweat and Water ResistanceIPX4IPX4
Active Noise CancellationYesYes
Spatial AudioYesYes

AirPods Pro Gen 1 versus AirPods Pro Gen 2 - Design and Dimensions

Physically, the second-generation AirPods Pro case has not changed much from the first-generation AirPods Pro, other than a slightly heavier case at 1.79 grams, compared to 1.61 grams on Gen 1. This is attributed to the added metal in the lanyard anchor that is now located on the right side.

The case also has a new speaker on the bottom, next to the retained Lightning port. It's used for tracking capabilities as well as new audio cues. When you place AirPods Pro down to charge, a chime will ring out.

Second-gen earbud (left) and first-gen earbud (right)
Second-gen earbud (left) and first-gen earbud (right)


The earbuds themselves look almost indistinguishable from one another. They're the same size and shape with only minor modifications.

Apple has upgraded the skin detection sensor found on the third-generation AirPods that is much more reliable in detecting your ears and not your pockets. This change means that the sensors on the earbuds are smaller, or were relocated.

Both generations' earbuds measure 1.22 inches long, 0.86 inches wide, and 0.94 inches deep. Each case is 1.78 x 2.39 x 0.85 inches.

AirPods Pro Gen 1 versus AirPods Pro Gen 2 - Features

AirPods Pro Gen 2 features up to two times more active noise cancellation thanks in part to the H2 chip. In addition, a new driver and improved acoustic algorithms help ANC reduce unwanted noise.

Those new drivers helped the audio quality too. There's richer bass and clearer audio across a wide range of frequencies.

Adaptive Transparency uses the newfound H2 chip to minimize sounds at up to 48,000 times per second and intelligently reduce loud noises. It will allow your surrounding noise to pass through but will decrease the volume when a siren, power tool, or other sudden loud noise is nearby.

Despite changes early in the iOS 16.1 beta process, adaptive Transparency mode requires the H2 chip and will not be coming to the first-generation AirPods Pro.

Both versions of AirPods Pro rely on Force Stems for physical controls. You squeeze them to play and pause music, answer and end calls, or hold to switch between Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) and Adaptive Transparency.

The second-generation AirPods Pro though has the ability to control volume as well. By sliding your finger up and down the Force Stem, you can adjust the volume independently of your iPhone or Apple Watch.

AirPods Pro in hand
AirPods Pro in hand


Apple also took the opportunity to upgrade in the microphones, providing more clarity during phone calls and recordings. This is due to the new hardware, as well as improved algorithms on the H2 chip.

AirPods Pro Gen 1 versus AirPods Pro Gen 2 - Battery Life

Battery life has improved in AirPods Pro with up to 6 hours of listening time with a single charge and ANC turned on. That drops slightly to 5.5 hours with Spatial Audio and Head Tracking enabled, though. The first gen could manage up to 4.5 hours of listening time from a single charge.

Additionally, using the case enables up to 30 hours of total listening time while the first-gen could manage up to 24 hours of usage.

In both cases, charging the AirPods Pro in the case results in about an hour's worth of listening from five minutes of charge.

AirPods Pro Gen 1 versus AirPods Pro Gen 2 - Connectivity and Other Details

AirPods Pro Gen 2 has Bluetooth 5.3 instead of Bluetooth 5.0 on AirPods Pro Gen 1. In addition, the case for AirPods Pro Gen 2 includes the U1 chip with Precision Finding to help identify its location.

Using Precision Finding
Using Precision Finding


Both sets of earbuds can be added to the Find My app and tied to your Apple ID, but only the second-generation models support Precision Finding with the ultra-wideband U1. With this, you can locate your lost-yet-nearby AirPods just as you would an AirTag.

A built-in speaker in the new charging case helps people further zero into the location. It's quite loud and easy to hear, even if buried in a couch cushion.

Both first and second-generation AirPods Pro can be charged via Lightning, Qi, or MagSafe. The new 2022 AirPods Pro add support for Apple Watch chargers as well.

Just setting the charging case on any Apple Watch charging puck works now, which can be exceptionally handy depending on which chargers you have on hand at any given time.

Gen 2 keeps the same sweat and water resistance as Gen 1 at IPX4 so that they can handle some sweat from workouts and light rain, but not submergence.

AirPods Pro Gen 2 includes a new XS silicone ear tip
AirPods Pro Gen 2 includes a new XS silicone ear tip


Apple also includes an extra-small silicone ear tip in the second-generation model, whereas AirPods Pro Gen 1 only had three. The four sizes are XS, S, M, and L.

AirPods Pro Gen 1 versus AirPods Pro Gen 2 - Pricing

AirPods Pro Gen 2 keeps the same price of $249 that its predecessor had, or $41.50 per month for six months with Apple Card Monthly Installments.

A purchase of AirPods Pro Gen 2 comes with six free months of Apple Music for new subscribers.

AirPods Pro Gen 1 versus AirPods Pro Gen 2 - What to buy

Getting the newest products is always an excellent option for new buyers that don't have to mind about the budget. While AirPods Pro have been on sale recently for as low as $169.

New audio options may also tempt existing AirPods Pro owners. They can adapt to various head shapes and feature more intelligent noise cancellation and superior three-dimensional sound.

And, the new extra small silicone ear tip will be good for small ear canals.

Existing AirPods Pro owners may not necessarily see much new in the second generation to warrant an upgrade. But for those looking at the AirPods Pro as their next personal audio purchase, there's more reason to go for the latest and greatest edition.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 32
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,652member
    The Airpods Pro 1's ANC used to be better, but Apple reduced its effectiveness a fair bit. This was seemingly due ANC damaging the driver somehow, and causing rattling. APP 1 also shuts off the ANC if it encounters something that's apparently louder than the ANC can deal with, which is kinda annoying. That's a recent regression, never used to do that.
    byronl
  • Reply 2 of 32
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,712member
    The comparison that matters is the AirPods Pro 2 compared with the new Bose QC earbuds II and the Sony WF-1000XM4.

    Not that I worry too much, just preordered the Airpods Pro 2.
    maybe the APP1 ANC downgrades was to make the ANC in the APP2 twice as better? How do they measure that anyway?
    edited September 9 watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 32
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,652member
    entropys said:
    maybe the APP1 ANC downgrades was to make the ANC in the APP2 twice as better? How do they measure that anyway?
    The cynic would agree, and Apple has done similar before (removed the mic array on the iMacs for a few years, replacing it with just one, and then re-added them with fanfare on the 2020 model). Someone did a professional in-depth comparison for several of the FW versions, though I can't find the site now. 
    byronl
  • Reply 4 of 32
    But do they have a better microphone? I own the AirPods Pro and their mics are so terrible, people who are on on the phone with you get insane when I use them, I stopped using them for calling. That's not Ok for a product at this price.
    elijahgbyronl
  • Reply 5 of 32
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,712member
    Really, my previous APP1 were fantastic for calls. Even when vacuuming!
    I reckon that is the main thing they have over the Sony, which have better sound.
    edited September 10 uraharawatto_cobracanuckleheadnapoleon_phoneapart
  • Reply 6 of 32
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,453member
    Touch controls?  No thanks.
  • Reply 7 of 32
    So do the new version still fall out and require constant adjustment to get them to sort of fit?

    Because of the abysmal fit, I rarely use my AirPods Pro, the need for constant adjustments and sticking them back in.
    I tried all the ear piece sizes. Large has fewer problems.

    I got some neoprene replacements from Amazon which are much better. They stay in place more and comfort is better.
    Apple should really address that issue.
    byronlcanuckleheadbeowulfschmidtdewmetyler82
  • Reply 8 of 32
    So do the new version still fall out and require constant adjustment to get them to sort of fit?

    Because of the abysmal fit, I rarely use my AirPods Pro, the need for constant adjustments and sticking them back in.
    I tried all the ear piece sizes. Large has fewer problems.

    I got some neoprene replacements from Amazon which are much better. They stay in place more and comfort is better.
    Apple should really address that issue.
    The issue is that there are too many different ears. Apple went for something which matches the widest possible user base. 
    I have no problem with AirPods Pro. They are the most comfortable earbuds (out of 20 pairs I tried). 
    bondr006StrangeDayswatto_cobranapoleon_phoneapartDrunemeton
  • Reply 9 of 32
    What’s the advantage of Bluetooth 5.3 compared to 5.0?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 32
    Any indication if the tips are interchangeable with the original?  I use foam tips to address the falling out issue mentioned.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 32
    foljsfoljs Posts: 386member
    BimBamBom said:
    But do they have a better microphone? I own the AirPods Pro and their mics are so terrible, people who are on on the phone with you get insane when I use them, I stopped using them for calling. That's not Ok for a product at this price.
    Huh? Never had any issue using them on the phone or online meetings, and nobody ever even mentioned it...
    edited September 10 bondr006StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 32
    urahara said:
    So do the new version still fall out and require constant adjustment to get them to sort of fit?

    Because of the abysmal fit, I rarely use my AirPods Pro, the need for constant adjustments and sticking them back in.
    I tried all the ear piece sizes. Large has fewer problems.

    I got some neoprene replacements from Amazon which are much better. They stay in place more and comfort is better.
    Apple should really address that issue.
    The issue is that there are too many different ears. Apple went for something which matches the widest possible user base. 
    I have no problem with AirPods Pro. They are the most comfortable earbuds (out of 20 pairs I tried). 
    I agree. I have never had a problem with my APP1's with fit or falling out. I also got memory foam tips that are so comfortable. I can wear these things for hours. I want to upgrade to the APP2's but I am thinking not gonna do it because already really happy with what I have.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 32
    foljs said:
    BimBamBom said:
    But do they have a better microphone? I own the AirPods Pro and their mics are so terrible, people who are on on the phone with you get insane when I use them, I stopped using them for calling. That's not Ok for a product at this price.
    Huh? Never had any issue using them on the phone or online meetings, and nobody ever even mentioned it...
    Same here. Phone calls are really good on my APP1's. I can hear great and no-one has ever complained about the quality of my voice, no matter what environment I'm in.
    byronlStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 32
    No thank you….no color options 
  • Reply 15 of 32
    entropys said:
    The comparison that matters is the AirPods Pro 2 compared with the new Bose QC earbuds II and the Sony WF-1000XM4.
    Not for those of us enjoying the ecosystem - no Bose or Sony buds are going to seamlessly swap between my devices based on which screen is active. This comparison is just what I wanted and one Apple doesn’t publish. 
    caladaniandewmewatto_cobramike1tyler82
  • Reply 16 of 32
    So do the new version still fall out and require constant adjustment to get them to sort of fit?
    Depends on your ears, obviously. No one product is perfect for every human on earth’s ears, but these seem to work really well for a lot of people. 
    watto_cobramike1
  • Reply 17 of 32
    BimBamBom said:
    But do they have a better microphone? I own the AirPods Pro and their mics are so terrible, people who are on on the phone with you get insane when I use them, I stopped using them for calling. That's not Ok for a product at this price.
    I've never had a single complaint with my AirPods Pro mic on calls. The biggest problem is the directional mics meaning if I'm washing dishes while on a call, the person on the other end hears very loud clanking of dishes and pots! But the quality of the sound has never been an issue. Makes me wonder if perhaps your's were defective in some way?
  • Reply 18 of 32
    crowley said:
    Touch controls?  No thanks.
    Why not? I've actually been hoping Apple would eventually add a touch-control volume slider since the first gen AirPods. It just seemed to make so much sense, especially with the stem. I'm pleased they actually did it!
    mike1mwhitetyler82
  • Reply 19 of 32
    So do the new version still fall out and require constant adjustment to get them to sort of fit?

    Because of the abysmal fit, I rarely use my AirPods Pro, the need for constant adjustments and sticking them back in.
    I tried all the ear piece sizes. Large has fewer problems.

    I got some neoprene replacements from Amazon which are much better. They stay in place more and comfort is better.
    Apple should really address that issue.
    I would agree but I did solve the problem by getting memory foam tips. No more falling out. Ever. And a better seal for ANC
  • Reply 20 of 32
    jcs2305jcs2305 Posts: 1,307member
    entropys said:
    Really, my previous APP1 were fantastic for calls. Even when vacuuming!
    I reckon that is the main thing they have over the Sony, which have better sound.
    Calls sound terrific of you are the person making the call and wearing the APP. Its the sensitivity of the mics ( Transparency mode )  that is horrible for the party you are calling! My GF walks a few miles after work daily and calls me ( I am still working ) while she is walking with the dog. Road noise on my end sounds like she is standing in the middle of a busy freeway! Dogs barking and playing along the path sounds like her head is in the middle of a dog fighting ring!

     I was on a call for work and the person on the other end asked where I was? He asked if I birds in the house with me as they were pretty loud and clear.. I took my APP off for a sec and couldn't hear the birds with my own ears hahaha! wow!

    I love everything about the APP but the hot mic in each ear is insanely disruptive for headphones at this price point. As an FYI I have had them replaced 2x because of the crackling issue that some mentioned earlier and also constant failed fit tests.  The hot mic I mentioned has been the same with all 3 pairs I have owned. If you carry on the call without any of the processing ( Noise Cancelling or Transparency ) the hot mic isn't gone but definitely reduced.

    dewme
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