New AirPods 2019 vs original AirPods: all the differences

New AirPods 2019 vs original AirPods: all the differences
After a long wait, the new AirPods are finally here! The first generation is officially removed from the store, which means for new buyers there’s no decision to be made. However, owners of Apple’s earbuds might be wondering if it’s worth upgrading to the new model. To help them with that decision, let’s take a look at what the new pair has to offer!

The new chip


The big change in the new AirPods is coming thanks to Apple’s new H1 chip that’s replacing the W1 chip found in the first-gen earbuds. As usual, Apple isn't encumbering people with technical details about the new chip, instead, it’s just telling us what improvements we can expect to see because of it.

In the case of the new AirPods, Apple is promising a few improvements. First, two times faster switching between active devices, meaning when you get back home and want to switch from your iPhone to your MacBook, the transition will be even smoother.

Additionally, improvements have been made when it comes to phone calls connection speed, now 1.5x faster than before. We’re sure that’s what you’ve always wanted! But there’s more! The H1 is also helping to reduce the sound latency you might have experienced when playing games on your iPhone. With the new AirPods, Apple has shaved down some milliseconds to bring that latency down 30%.

What is going up, however, is talk time! A 50% improvement, according to Apple, for a total of 3 hours (was 2 hours before, if you don’t like doing math). If your prime use of the headphones was talking and not listening to music, then you’re in luck!

Of course, the new chip is also bringing “higher-quality sound” but there are no details exactly which aspect of the AirPods’ sound is now better, I guess we’ll have to wait and hear for ourselves.

If you’re not excited with these improvements, it’s understandable. Now it’s time to get to the more significant stuff!

New AirPods 2019 vs original AirPods: all the differences

Siri is now voice-activated


Before, you had to go through the extra effort of lifting your arm and tapping one of your AirPods if you needed Siri’s assistance, but now you can call her by just saying “Hey Siri.” After you have Siri’s attention, you can ask her to adjust your volume, play something specific or call one of your contacts. This might sound like a small change but the extra convenience could be really helpful when you’re carrying something in your hands or using your AirPods as a hands-free device when driving.

Wireless charging case


New AirPods 2019 vs original AirPods: all the differences
Probably the biggest new thing is the new wireless charging case. Since the new AirPods have an identical design to their predecessors, the case is compatible with both models, old and new, and is also sold separately for $79. Don’t think, however, that it’s coming standard with the new AirPods, you’ll have to pay $199 to get the combo. If you’re not keen on having the new case, you can get the second gen Apple earbuds with a standard charging case for the same $159 price.

Besides the wireless charging, it seems there aren’t any other benefits of the new case, it can store the same amount of power and give your AirPods about 24 hours of playback time over multiple charges. Popping the earbuds in the case for 15 minutes should give you 3 hours of battery life.

What we didn’t get


  • Longer music playback time - While there is an improvement in talk time, what most people would have liked to get is longer battery life when enjoying their favorite tunes, podcasts and other media. With AirPods 2019 you still get 5 hours of listening time just like before. It seems that will have to wait until the major redesign of the AirPods to get a bigger battery or just more efficient speakers.
  • Active noise cancelling - One of the new features that were rumored for the 2019 AirPods was ANC but that’s nowhere to be seen as well, a real bummer.
  • Black AirPods - Despite leaks promising that Apple fans will finally be able to buy black AirPods straight from the mothership, the white color option remains the only one available for now.


So, who are these for? Plain and simple: people that don’t have AirPods yet. If you have the original pair and insist on using wireless charging, then, by all means, buy the new case and go charge your AirPods on the back of your friend’s Galaxy S10. Otherwise, the improvements are just too minor to justify spending $160. Sure, maybe the sound will be better as well, but we doubt it will be $160 better. We're sure bigger changes will come to the AirPods eventually, but these are more like AirPods 1.5 rather than AirPods 2.

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24 Comments

1. midan

Posts: 2557; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

That hey siri sounds like a great upgrade and might be enough reason why some of the current AirPods owners would want to upgrade. Small things make a big difference when you do something so many times a day.

2. limporgyuk

Posts: 351; Member since: Nov 06, 2013

Who are you trying to convince? Touch controls, better sound and better fitting are also omitted

5. kiko007

Posts: 7469; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Better fitting? You realize everyone’s ears are different, right? How the hell can any company make “better fitting” earbuds?

13. Brewski

Posts: 661; Member since: Jun 05, 2012

By not making ones that fit like sh!t to begin with...

19. wickedwilly

Posts: 540; Member since: Sep 19, 2018

By providing accessories that help fit the basic IM to the different ear types, you know as most suppliers do.

22. limporgyuk

Posts: 351; Member since: Nov 06, 2013

Have you never watched a review of the airpods, everyone (who isnt' an apple fanboy) complains about the poor fitting and the poor sound quality.

11. vincelongman

Posts: 5611; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Apple doesn't need to add any new features to get existing users to upgrade There's already people upgrading as their battery can't last over 2 hours any more Simply wait another 6-12 months and their batteries will be trashed, people will struggle to get over 1 hr battery That's why I refuse to get completely wireless earbuds. The battery tech isn't here yet

3. Mreveryphone

Posts: 1791; Member since: Apr 22, 2014

$200 just for wireless charging a new chip and a assistant that is no help... Galaxy Buds offer more sound better at a better price point and look better in the ear...

7. adecvat

Posts: 600; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

They are in-ear, this is con.

9. apple-rulz

Posts: 1875; Member since: Dec 27, 2016

Apple has a chip in your brain, that is why you are obsessed with them.

4. gjkiii

Posts: 38; Member since: Oct 25, 2013

Really? Extra money to have wireless charging ? How very Apple of Apple.

6. phoneguynh

Posts: 17; Member since: Oct 31, 2018

"If you have the original pair and insist on using wireless charging, then, by all means, buy the new case and go charge your AirPods on the back of your friend’s Galaxy S10" (Author of this article). -- Wow sounds like the most biased statement I have ever heard in my life. Just saying..... What does a Galaxy S10 have to do with AirPods????

17. Valdomero

Posts: 635; Member since: Nov 13, 2012

They're making controversy stating that the iPhone is unable to charge their own company's earphones which Samsung can.

8. drunkenjay

Posts: 1640; Member since: Feb 11, 2013

Not a worthy upgrade. thought there would be huge changes since the upgrade cycle was long but it's only wireless charging that is the biggest thing. I do prefer the galaxy buds personally since airpods always felt loose.

10. surethom

Posts: 1588; Member since: Mar 04, 2009

Still no non slip coating, this limits 10s of thousands of sales or greater.

12. sirohunter

Posts: 188; Member since: Sep 23, 2017

So disappointed. Was expecting all these "new" features plus some more colors and a new design since my current AirPods go off my ear when I'm jogging. So frustrating.

14. Rocket

Posts: 614; Member since: Feb 24, 2014

meh!!

15. apple-rulz

Posts: 1875; Member since: Dec 27, 2016

I ordered them because to me the minor upgrades are worth it, but I definitely can understand why people are frustrated that Apple didn’t do more with this version.

16. Rocket

Posts: 614; Member since: Feb 24, 2014

18. darkkjedii

Posts: 30786; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

So after 2 1/2 years, the new AirPods only have hey Siri, no black ones, a new chip (duhhh), and wireless charging, which is not only optional, but also more money. And where the hell is AirPower? Oh well, the Galaxy S10 will charge them ;). Keeping my first gen.

20. wickedwilly

Posts: 540; Member since: Sep 19, 2018

Still overpriced, poorly designed and mediocre sounding wireless headphones. After over two years I would expect a lot more from such a poor initial product.

21. mackan84

Posts: 167; Member since: Feb 13, 2014

Just dont get why charge it wireless on the back of the phone I would need duck tape to be able to use the phone at the same time. I only have standing cradles for charging wireless and it would probably miss the coils in the middle. And charge $50 extra for it. Never, I’m happy with my gen 1.

23. mel0524

Posts: 53; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

In your ear buds is the fastest way to get brain cancer too, just insert it in your ear next to your head then do it every min,hr,days,months, 365 days a year and your good to go! Lol

24. behold--me

Posts: 679; Member since: Jun 22, 2009

Announce a wireless charging case for the second gen, then instead of bundling it with the air pods (at the same price) they make customers pay extra to get it. That's such an apple thing to do lmao what a joke. Yeah some argue that apple makes quality products, but at what cost? These are stupid expensive.

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