Apple AirPods 2nd Generation Earphones - In-ear Headphones
Category: Audio > Earphones

Apple AirPods 2 (2nd Gen) Earphones Review

The Swift Summary



  • Superb build quality
  • Improved battery life (for talk time)
  • Access Siri with your voice
  • Improved audio
  • Faster better connectivity
  • Audio sharing
  • The price
  • No noise cancellation

Features list for the Apple AirPods (2nd Generation) in-ear headphones

  • Wireless Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity
  • New faster Apple H1 headphone chip
  • Built-in microphone
  • Activate Siri with your voice or a double tap
  • Up to 3 hours talk time
  • Up to 5 hours of listening time
  • More than 24 hours of battery charge can be held in the case
  • Auto on, auto connected
  • Audio sharing
  • Playback controls by tapping
  • Comes with charging case (either wired or wireless)
  • 1 year manufacturers’ warranty

Swift Thoughts


In keeping with the Apple design philosophy the Apple AirPods are a combination of simplicity and pure functionality. Form follows function with no extraneous details.

Audio Performance

For such a small audio device the Apple AirPods are truly impressive. Your natural instincts might say that something so small cannot compete with larger over-ear headphones, but I can guarantee you’ll be surprised. The unique H1 chip delivers crystal clear audio with a perfect balance of high and lows. A rich bass is always a welcome inclusion as its often lacking in lower cost alternatives.

Whilst there is no active noise cancelling and sound isolation isn’t perfect, the rich wide sound stage really helps to minimise any external distractions.

Build Quality

We’re talking Apple here. Expect excellence.


The Apple AirPods are surprisingly comfortable. Once you start using earphones for the first time, ditching the headband and enveloping ear pads of traditional headphones, you’ll never want to go back.

The AirPods only come in one size, but should fit most people. If you want adjustable sizes you’ll need to upgrade to AirPods Pro.


In my experience the Apple AirPods worked seamlessly with Mac, iOS, PC and Android devices. Pairing to devices was a doddle and without issue. Having said that, I wouldn’t expect 100% of the features to work on all non-Apple environments.

Charging is simple and intuitive. Make note that there are two types of AirPod charging case. One is wired and the other is wireless. I explain the differences further below.

I also love their auto sensing features. The audio pauses automatically when you take them out of your ears.

Swift Scores

Audio Performance
Build Quality
Battery Life


Q: How big are they?
A: 40.5mm long, 16.5mm wide, 18mm deep and weight about 4 grams each.

Q: How quick do they charge?
A: You get 3 hours of listening or 2 hours of talk time with 15 minutes of charging.

Q: What version of Bluetooth do the AirPods 2 use?
A: Bluetooth version 5.0.

Q: Do they come with an Apple warranty?
A: Yes. You can choose to take them back to Apple rather than the original retailer.

Q: Will they work with my TV (non-Apple TV)?
A: Yes, more than likely, especially if your TV supports Bluetooth. Even if your TV does not support Bluetooth you can use this Bluetooth transmitter for TVs.

Q: Will they work with my iPhone 5s?
A: Yes. But you will need to have the latest version of iOS installed.

Q: Will they work with my Huawei Pro 30?
A: Yes.

Q: Are they suitable for exercising in?
A: Absolutely. Unlike other earphones these have a firm fit and will stay in even during intense workouts!

Q: What’s the wireless range like?
A: The Apple AirPods 2 can connect to devices up to 14 metres away (approx. 45 feet).

What’s in the box?

  • Apple AirPods 2
  • Charging case (wired or wireless)
  • Lightning to USB-A charging cable
  • User manual

You want it? We’ve found it.

Apple AirPods 2 are available in a few options, see below.

Apple AirPods with charging case (2nd Generation)
Apple AirPods 2 (with charging case)
Apple AirPods with wireless charging case (2nd Generation)
Apple AirPods 2 (with wireless charging case)

Useful accessories for your Apple AirPods 2

iKnowTech AirPods case covers

These waterproof silicone protective skins are the perfect cover for your Apple AirPods case. Prevent your AirPod case from begin scratched, bumped or damaged. Available in sixteen colours for every taste.

Elago Dust Guards

With a lot of magnets inside the AirPods case they will eventually accumulate iron and other metallic dust over time. The Elago dust guard acts as a buffer to reduce unwanted particles from entering and potentially scratching or blemishing your precious AirPods. There are different versions for the wireless and non-wireless AirPod charging cases.

Wireless charging case only for AirPods

If you already own a pair of Apple AirPods and want to upgrade to wireless charging you can order the wireless charging case on its own.

What’s the difference between Apple AirPods gen 1 and 2?

The major difference is the built-in processing chip inside. Apple AirPods 1 use a W1 chip whilst the new AirPods 2 use a faster, more powerful H1 chip. Other differences include upgraded Bluetooth and new Siri functionality.

But what does that actually result in?

The improvements

  • Faster device pairing
  • Faster device switching
  • Improved, more stable wireless connection
  • Improved synchronisation (lower latency)
  • Better audio and voice
  • Increased talk time from 2 to 3 hours
  • Siri can now be voice activated (as well as double tapping)

So what has NOT changed between Apple AirPods 1 and 2?

  • They look identical
  • The battery life for listening is the same (up to 5 hours)
  • Both are Siri compatible
  • Both come with charging cases
  • Each are compatible with the new wireless charging cases
  • Both have Apple TV support

What’s the difference between the non-wireless and wireless charging cases for Apple AirPods 2?

The term “wireless” might be a little misleading here. Essentially both cases will charge your Apple AirPods without needing to plug the case in. As long as the case itself has enough charge to charge the AirPods placed inside.

The difference between the standard and wireless case is that the wireless AirPod case has the ability to be charged without a wire using Qi-based wireless charging. This might sound confusing but it basically means you can place the wireless case on a charging mat or other Qi-certified charging device and it will charge up your case with no wire coming out the case.

The standard AirPod charging case comes with a lighting to USB cable that charges the case via wire in the usual way.

On full charge your case will hold up to 24-hours of battery life. This equates to 24 hours of audio or 18 hours of talk time. On a single full charge your AirPods will have 5 hours of audio or 3 hours of talk time.

How does audio sharing work with Apple AirPods?

A new feature that comes with Apple AirPods 2 is the ability to share your audio with another pair of AirPods. Using a technology similar to NFC (Near Field Communication) you simply bring the second pair of AirPods close to the device you want to share with. With a tap the AirPods will automagically connect. Plus each set of AirPods can adjust their volume independently.

AirPods Compatibility

Is my iPhone compatible with Apple AirPods?

The following is a list of Apple iPhones that are officially compatible with Apple AirPods (2nd generation). Please note that the audio sharing feature is not supported with the iPhone 7 or below. In addition compatibility also requires you to have the latest version of iOS installed.

  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 8 Plus

  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone SE
  • iPhone 6s
  • iPhone 6s Plus
  • iPhone 6
  • iPhone 6 Plus
  • iPhone 5s

Other Apple devices compatible with Apple AirPods

iPads which support Apple AirPods

  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (all generations)
  • iPad Pro 11-inch
  • iPad Pro 10.5-inch
  • iPad Pro 9.7-inch
  • iPad (5th gen. onwards)
  • iPad Air (all gens)
  • iPad mini (2nd gen. onwards)

iMacs compatible with Apple AirPods

  • iMac 21.5-inch (from late 2012)
  • iMac 27-inch (from late 2012)
  • iMac Pro (from 2017)

MacBooks which support Apple AirPods

  • MacBook 12-inch (from early 2015)
  • MacBook Air 11-inch (from mid 2012)
  • MacBook Air 13-inch (from mid 2012)
  • MacBook Pro 13-inch (from late 2012)
  • MacBook Pro 15-inch (from mid 2012)

Other devices

  • Mac mini (from late 2012)
  • Mac Pro (from mid 2010)
  • iPod touch (6th gen. onwards)
  • Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K
  • All Apple watches