AirPods 2 vs. AirPods 1: What’s the difference (and should you upgrade)? iMore

When it comes to AirPods 2 vs. AirPods, as we said in our AirPods 2 review, the differences are small and, in some ways, not different at all (the color and style, for example). Because of the minor upgrade, it becomes even more challenging to decide what to buy. Should you upgrade from the first-generation? Should you get the Wireless Charging Case?

To be honest, we think you should consider the AirPods 3, which are the latest generation of AirPods. However, the AirPods 3 have a design that is more in line to AirPods Pro, so if you prefer the older design and fit of AirPods, then let’s break down the AirPods 2 vs. AirPods battle right now.

AirPods 2 vs. AirPods: The specs

AirPods 1 AirPods 2
Battery life (talk) 2 hours 3 hours
battery life (music) 5 hours 5 hours
Chipset W1 H1
Bluetooth version 4.2 5.0
Siri connection Double-tap to activate Voice-activated or double-tap
Wireless charging With additional Wireless Charging Case purchase With Wireless Charging Case
iOS system requirements iOS 10 or later iOS 12.2 or later
watchOS system requirements watchOS 3 or later watchOS 5.2 or later
macOS system requirements macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 or later macOS Mojave 10.14.4 or later
Apple TV support Yes Yes

AirPods 2 vs. AirPods: Should you upgrade from first-gen?

AirPods 2 and AirPods earbuds side-by-side

AirPods 2 earbuds (Image credit: iMore / Future)

The short answer here is yes, definitely. The original AirPods first came out in 2016, so as of right now, they’re about six years old. In that time span, there may have been a lot of battery degradation, and your first-gen AirPods may not be lasting as long as they used to when you first got them. I’d honestly be surprised it lasts more than an hour or two at this point. Plus, you won’t be able to find a new pair of original, first-gen AirPods anywhere these days besides places like eBay, and who knows if those are used or not (gross!)

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