Forget iPhone 15! USB-C AirPods Pro 2 might be the best new Apple product - better than AirPods Max?

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
Forget iPhone 15! USB-C AirPods Pro 2 might be the best new Apple product - better than AirPods Max?
I thought about it, and I have a hot take to make… I really think the upcoming AirPods Pro 2 with USB-C might become the easiest Apple product to recommend… ever.

I spent about four weeks with the AirPods Pro 2 after trying out the AirPods Max and after several years with my Huawei FreeBuds Pro, and I soon came to the conclusion that the AirPods Pro 2 are the only Apple product I'd pay full price for - because I did.

Incredible across the board, what really makes the AirPods Pro arguably the best Apple product since the iPhone is how low-key irreplaceable they become once you start using them.

Apart from how good the AirPods Pro actually are, what also contributes to that effect is the way our lives have evolved in the past few years. Just think about how often you see people with wireless earbuds when you’re outside - we listen to more music than ever thanks to music streaming services, we listen to podcasts (pre-recorded radio), and we take all sorts of casual and business calls - whether at home or outside where we often need noise-cancelling.

All of this helps make wireless earbuds arguably more ubiquitous than any other consumer electronics wearable in recent history, and it just so happens that the AirPods Pro stand at the forefront of the TWS revolution thanks to Apple’s pioneering role in this market.

So, let me break down exactly why the AirPods Pro 2 changed my perspective on wireless earbuds to such an extent that I don't imagine myself using any other pair of earbuds… or headphones!

Using Apple’s AirPods Pro 2 made me realize my beloved Huawei earbuds feel and sound like a toy

There’s no other way to put it - if you’re upgrading from an older, or cheaper pair of ANC earbuds, the AirPods Pro 2 are absolutely game-changing.

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I thought my Huawei FreeBuds Pro were a pretty good music/podcast companion for my daily walks until I tried the AirPods Pro 2. Of course, this is thanks to Apple’s incredible engineering, but also thanks to the natural progress in ANC earbuds tech in the past few years, meaning I’m sure newer flagship ANC earbuds from other brands will be better than my old ones too. But still… the difference is unfathomable:

  • The normal listening mode (without ANC turned on) on AirPods Pro 2 blocks out more noise than the ANC mode on my Huawei FreeBuds Pro does, which might sound crazy but it’s 100% true; it must be thanks to the AirPods’ better passive noise-cancelling (perhaps the eartips), but also due to how poor the Huawei FreeBuds Pro’s ANC is (I never realized that before)

  • The ANC mode on the AirPods Pro 2 truly makes my old Huawei FreeBuds Pro feel like a $20 pair of wired, non-ANC earbuds; it blocks out so much more noise that I now think I’ve never really used a pair of ANC earbuds before

  • The Transparency mode (which Apple earbuds are so famous for) truly makes it feel like you aren’t wearing a pair of earbuds; I can hear my surroundings and conversations with people pretty much as if I don’t have anything in my ears; it’s a feature many people might find unimportant at first but using it is arguably more impressive than the noise-cancelling the AirPods Pro 2 deliver

Incredible AirPods Pro 2 features that other reviews won’t tell you make Apple’s earbuds the best on the market

But here are a few more outstanding and super underrated AirPods Pro 2 features/advantages that many reviews don’t mention… I can reassure you that I would’ve bought the AirPods Pro 2 way sooner if someone told me about them!

AirPods Pro 2 sound amazing in all listening modes, which isn’t the case with most wireless earbuds

Unlike my Huawei FreeBuds Pro, the sound coming from the AirPods Pro 2 is consistent between all listening modes, which means you get exactly the same great sound with ANC on, ANC off, or Transparency mode. To my understanding, that’s thanks to the smart H2 chip in the AirPods Pro 2 that listens to what you’re listening to in order to balance out the sound for the different modes you’re in.

Coming from my old Huawei FreeBuds Pro that sound absolutely atrocious with ANC off and Transparency mode on, this is a massive upgrade - it means I no longer have to turn ANC on when I don’t need it just to get a better sound.

Spatial Audio is the best gimmick feature Apple has created in the past few years

Right… This one might be slightly controversial, because the audiophiles will tell you how treble and bass heavy Spatial Audio is, and how it isn’t great for listening to music… but I beg to differ. I mean, I do agree - by nature, Spatial Audio isn’t a balanced listening mode as it really does boost the high and low frequencies a bit too much - but that’s the point of it!

I’ve discovered that Spatial Audio can make it feel like you’re in the room with the artists when listening to certain tracks, which rely on vocals and acoustic instruments. Two songs I’ve discovered sound incredibly immersive with Spatial Audio come from Spanish artists C. Tangana (“Me Maten”) and Rosalia (“Delirio de Grandeza”). The instruments in the first track are already acoustic, but they truly come to life with Spatial Audio on, while Spatial Audio makes it seem like the artist in the second track is sitting and singing right next to you.

That being said, most tracks might sound a bit too harsh with Spatial Audio on (especially if you consider yourself an audiophile), but then you can just turn it off, so who cares.

If you lose/misplace your earbuds, the high price of the AirPods Pro 2 will be worth it

Although I thought I’d never use this feature, it turns out that finding your AirPods Pro 2 (when you’ve lost/misplaced them) can be another game-changing feature that I feel deserves to be talked about more.

Apple’s excellent Find My app works flawlessly to help you locate your AirPods with precision tracking, and the sound (you can play to locate the earbuds) coming off the AirPods case is very loud, allowing you to find your AirPods even if they are stuck underneath a pile of clothes. It’s a time-saving feature that allows you to quickly locate your earbuds and keep doing what you’re doing instead of having to look for them and miss your bus, or the birth of your child. I’m exaggerating but you get the point.

AirPods Pro 2’s battery life is amazing but the reason why that’s the case will surprise you

The battery life you get with the AirPods Pro 2 can be far greater than you expect if you’re coming from an old/cheaper pair of earbuds, and the reason isn’t just the excellent endurance itself but something I mentioned earlier…

The fact that the passive noise-cancelling of the AirPods Pro 2 is so good (make sure you use the right eartips for your ears) means I need to use ANC about 50% of the time when taking a walk and listening to music/podcasts, as opposed to 100% of the time with my old pair of Huawei earbuds. And since ANC uses a good deal of extra power, this saves a ton of battery every day/week, which results in having to charge my earbuds a lot less often.

AirPods Pro 2 can actually produce bass frequencies other wireless earbuds can’t produce

Very few (if any) reviews will tell you that, but I recently discovered that the H2 chip in the AirPods Pro 2 also allows Apple’s earbuds to adjust the bass dynamically as you adjust the volume. This assures you get the same clear bass levels even if you turn the volume down, which isn’t the case with other pairs of earbuds (or even headphones for that matter) that bring the bass level down with the volume until you get to a point where you can’t hear the bass (when your volume is too low).

You will love adjusting your volume by sliding up/down the stem of the AirPods Pro 2

This one’s a nice perk rather than a game-changing feature, but the haptic feedback you get when adjusting the volume using the stems of the AirPods Pro 2 is a very tiny detail that makes the design of the earbuds feel much more thoughtful and premium.

But the real star of the show is the ability to adjust your volume through the stems in the first place. If you haven’t used earbuds that can do that before, you’ll quickly realize this is a feature all wireless earbuds must have. It means you no longer need to take out your phone to tweak your volume. As a matter of fact, my old Huawei FreeBuds Pro happen to have this feature too, which is why I already loved it.

USB-C and improved connection to the MacBook would make AirPods Pro 2 the perfect pair of wireless earbuds - even better than the AirPods Max

In the end, after spending four weeks with the AirPods Pro 2, I’m sad to tell you that I returned them to Amazon. But don’t worry - that’s because I know Apple is about to release a new pair of AirPods Pro 2 with a USB-C charging case, and I really want to have those instead of the ones with the Lightning port.

As you can tell by my “alternative review” of the AirPods Pro 2, I absolutely love these earbuds, and the new USB-C charging port would be the cherry on top of an already awesome slice of cake, which I’d gladly pay $250 for. Are they expensive? Definitely. But they are worth every penny.

After using the AirPods Pro 2 (switching from my Huawei FreeBuds Pro):

  • I don’t want to buy earbuds that don’t sound consistent in all listening modes
  • I don’t want to buy earbuds that don’t have Spatial Audio (yes, it’s that awesome for the right songs)
  • I don’t want to buy earbuds that don’t have precision tracking (so I can find them when they are lost/misplaced)
  • I don’t want to buy earbuds that don’t let you adjust the volume through the stems (it’s more convenient than you think)
  • I don’t want to buy earbuds that don’t have the same (incredible) level of ANC as the AirPods Pro 2
  • I don’t want to buy earbuds that don’t have the AirPods' Transparency mode (which almost works too well to be true)

In case you’re wondering, the AirPods Pro 2 aren’t exactly perfect. My only major cricisizm (other than the Lightning port that’s going away soon) has to do with bad connection issues, which definitely caught me by surprise, considering how seamlessly Apple’s products usually interact with each other.

They don’t drop connection or anything, but they often fail to connect to my MacBook automatically when I switch from my iPhone or take them out of the case. I don’t know if this is a conscious decision on Apple’s part (because I always get a pop-up on my MacBook, which I can press to connect), but I really hope Apple can fix/change that.

Anyway, as I said in the beginning, I really do think the upcoming AirPods Pro 2 with USB-C might become the easiest Apple product to recommend… ever. They really are one of the best pieces of tech Apple’s ever made too. Change my mind!

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