Still great

AirPods

New and improved

AirPods 2

When the original AirPods were introduced, they were met with mockery and contempt. But they're now one of the most popular iPhone accessories on the market. They offer terrific functionality, decent sound, and excellent integration with Apple's lineup of mobile devices.

$150 at Amazon

Pros

  • Ease of use
  • Decent sound quality

Cons

  • Limited battery
  • Easy to lose

The AirPods 2 look exactly like the first generation AirPods, but there's a lot of new stuff under the hood. For one, AirPods 2 features "Hey Siri" support. The updated wireless headphones also feature a new H1 chip, which promises faster connect times and improved battery life.

$199 at B&H

Pros

  • Improved battery life
  • Faster connect time

Cons

  • Still the same design

The latest AirPods are a great option for iPhone owners, offering notable changes over the original version. But are the updates enough to warrant an upgrade for existing AirPods owners?

The updates will make a difference in the long run.

On the surface, the changes introduced by AirPods 2 don't seem like a lot. But they could make a difference in the long run, especially if you use your AirPods while talking on the phone.

Apple claims that its new H1 chip delivers up to 50 percent more talk time compared to the original AirPods, which is a significant improvement. If you use AirPods to take conference calls, an extra hour of talk time is big.

The H1 chip also supports hands-free Hey Siri functionality. The new feature will allow AirPods 2 users to easily invoke Siri to make a call, get directions, and more. While it isn't difficult to invoke Siri using the original AirPods, nothing beats a hands-free experience.

Finally, Apple says that AirPods 2 includes improved synchronization. The experience of connecting AirPods to an iPhone or iPad already feels magical, but Apple claims that it'll be more seamless than ever with AirPods 2. Anytime the friction of switching between devices is improved is a win in my book.

Although no one change stands out as major over the original AirPods, the sum is greater than their parts. AirPods 2 will provide existing AirPods owners with an improved experience that will make a difference in the long run.

Don't want to upgrade? Get the Wireless Charging Case

If you're content with Apple's first generation AirPods, you should still consider upgrading to the new wireless charging case. Doing so will take you one step closer to a completely wireless future, which is where Apple is headed. Just plop the case down on a Qi-compatible charging mat and your AirPods will have juice in no time.

The new wireless charging case doesn't added extra functionality to the AirPods per se, but it does make charging much more convenient. Speaking of convenience, Apple's new case features an LED indicator on the front to signify that your AirPods are charging.

With Apple's AirPower wireless charging pad reportedly imminent, getting the wireless charging case for your AirPods is a no brainer.

Wireless upgrade

AirPods 2

The new guy

The new AirPods may not feature a major redesign, but there are plenty of new features that make them worth checking out, including Hey Siri support and improved battery life.

Added convenience

AirPods Wireless Charging Case

Look ma, no wires

If you insist on keeping your old AirPods, you can give them a boost by purchasing the Wireless Charging Case, which will work with any Qi-compatible charger.

This post may contain affiliate links. See our disclosure policy for more details.