Here's Why I Upgraded to Apple Airpods Pro (2nd Generation)

Kelcie Gene Papp
Founder & Editor
June 5, 2024
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Nestled among my daily essentials, (in-between my iPhone 12 in its Otterbox, YSL Libre and due south of my Aesop hand balm) my Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) claim their spot. 

Three months past their introduction into my life, they've not just replaced my 1st generation Apple AirPods Pro but have transformed my daily routine.

Communicating intentionally is my art, work and passion—be it through written or spoken words, interviews or client meetings. And, my need for crystal-clear noise cancellation could not be more paramount.

And, science thinks it's important too. Stanford's insights into music and brain function underscore the profound impact of noise cancellation and spatial audio on mental well-being. The Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) don’t merely offer superior sound quality; they're a gateway to psychological stillness.

With the AirPods Pro (1st generation), the auditory experience at times felt akin to skimming the shallows—sharp, yet somehow feeling distant—this next generation invites you into the depths that the first edition could only gesture towards. 

It’s difficult to describe. 

Out of home, amidst tourists and trams, I’ve found something that keeps my amygdala happy and healthy. Apple’s AirPods Pro (2nd generation) is not just an upgrade, but a reinvention of how I navigate my world of constant communication. Allowing me to steer daily life with an unmatched sense of awareness and immersion.

And, it's the conversational awareness feature of the AirPods Pro (2nd generation) that truly sets them apart from previous models. This innovative capability ensures that while you're immersed in your own auditory world, you're never disconnected from the immediate environment. Unlike its predecessors, the AirPods Pro (2nd generation) can dynamically lower the audio for incoming speech, making spontaneous conversations seamless and ensuring you're always part of the circle of influence around you. 

It surpasses the first generation's capabilities, providing a level of engagement and responsiveness that truly reinvents the experience of wearing AirPods.

They're the silent partner in every interview, enhancing each word with clarity, allowing me to be fully present, and dive deep into the heart of every conversatiion without distraction.

This year, as I embark on a wellness journey (full article to come), walking the line between discipline and gentleness (figuratively and physically), these Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) are keeping me alert, present and mindful of my surroundings and myself. Adaptive audio keeps me connected, not just to my environment but to the subtle shifts within. 

This feature intelligently adjusts the audio based on your environment, ensuring that whether you're navigating the bustling streets or ensconced in the quiet of your home, the sound remains impeccable. By leveraging the H2 chip's capabilities, adaptive audio doesn't just alter volume but subtly modifies frequencies to enhance voice clarity and reduce background noise, crafting a personalised auditory environment.

Because, when you tune into the world while tuning out the noise, something interesting happens. Even when you’re relaxing on a hammock at an old-world, luxury Caribbean resort like Curtain Bluff.

And, it's in this intentional in-between that I find myself, existing audibly within everyday moments. 

Morning walks, focus mode during work, resting but not wanting to miss our inflight tea and coffee - these AirPods are essential. 

Should you upgrade to Apple AirPods Pro 2?

At £229 ($249/€279.00/A$399) three months into our journey together, the transition to the feels less like a choice and more like a natural progression. As I write this, I’m listening to Ludovico Einaudi's latest release, ‘Sense of Spring.’ And in a world so eager to speak, the value of listening has never been clearer. 

Nor has the uninterrupted flow of conversation and thought. 

When considering the Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) feature enabled, the AirPods Pro (2nd generation) provides up to 6 hours of listening time on a single charge. This means, theoretically, if each song on a playlist averaged around 3 minutes in length, one could enjoy nearly 120 songs of uninterrupted, high-quality audio with ANC on, all from a single charge - that's check-in plus flight time from London to Athens.

And, for those of us who crave the fullness of sound, the leap is profound. 

True sound quality is silencing the world to hear what matters. And, whether at home, the airport or on a train, the AirPods Pro (2nd generation) allows me to navigate with awareness and immersion everywhere.  The workflow? Filter the world, immerse, then gently return me to reality. 

Why upgrade from your first-gen AirPods Pros?  

Here goes: The AirPods Pro 2 aren't just an update; they're what you wished the first-gen were all along. Picture being tucked into your favourite playlist, with every detail fine-tuned just for you. 

Apple has truly cracked the case. 

And for those still questioning if it's worth shelling out $249 (£249, AU$399), here’s my honest opinion: keep in the forefront of your mind that you’re not purchasing new headphones.

You’re investing in sound and noise cancellation that will likely increase your productivity and peace tenfold.

Plus, the battery life gets a big boost - so what’s not to love? 

A request for product development? Can safe, in-ear, long-range wireless charging be made possible?

Photography by THE GOODS

Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) vs AirPods Pro (1st Generation)

At first glance, the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation)  and the original AirPods Pro might trick you into thinking they're twins. A continuity of form, both models share a strikingly similar aesthetic, even matching in weight at a featherlight 5.4 grams per bud. 

However, a closer look reveals the evolution hidden beneath the surface. Both models maintain the iconic silhouette and the light touch of 5.4 grams per bud, yet it's in the fine print where Apple’s AirPods Pro (2nd Generation)  begin to distinguish themselves.

Both versions come equipped with a wireless charging case, yet the AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) edge ahead with the introduction of the H2 chip, a powerhouse processor designed to enhance audio quality, boost noise cancellation, and ensure a more efficient power use. 

What is the H2 Chip? 

It's Apple's latest innovation, making every beat richer and every silence deeper, while optimising battery life for longer listening sessions. Stretching the limits of listening and talk time whether Active Noise Cancellation is engaged or not, and offering a more generous reservoir of charge within the case itself.

This leap in longevity is complemented by water resistance extended to both the buds and their case in the AirPods Pro (2nd Generation), offering a uniform shield against the elements. 

Are the AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) worth it?

Is the investment in AirPods Pro (2nd Generation)  justified? Absolutely. The crux of the AirPods Pro (2nd Generation)  lies not in its technology, but how it’s slipped deeper into my everyday moments. Becoming less an accessory and more a piece of me. The sound quality? It's as if every note carries more weight, more clarity. 

The silence they offer through noise cancellation? It's like stepping onto a quieter, calmer planet.

For the perpetually connected among us—whether it's straining to catch a client’s or colleague's mumbled words on Zoom, pace-setting to the perfect running playlist, or finding reassurance in a podcast on your daily walk—the AirPods Pro (2nd Generation)  offer much more than superior sound. They serve as a conduit to mindfulness, enhancing each moment with their refined features.

And, in their features lies a reflection of our own aspirations for connection, understanding, and enhancement of the world around us. Adaptive transparency mode, personalised spatial audio, and the ability to control the volume with a mere touch – these are not just technical achievements but affirmations of our desire to remain engaged with the world, even as we seek respite from its terseness.

For those of us embedded in the digital world - seeking clarity, focus, and peace of mind, the AirPods Pro (2nd Generation)  aren’t just another gadget to throw money at—they're essential for an interconnected existence.

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Kelcie Gene Papp
Founder & Editor