There are a new set of AirPods in town. Apple recently launched the third generation of its iconic AirPods totally wireless earphones (TWS), with a new design and better battery life. However, while the newcomers have grabbed all the headlines and come with some of the latest and greatest tech around, we feel that their predecessors, the AirPods (2nd generation) remain a great value for money proposition.
Much more affordable than the other AirPods
Their biggest attraction, of course, is their price. While they are officially priced at Rs 12,900, they are often available at much lower prices – in fact, during some of the recent online shopping festivals, their price dipped well below Rs 10,000. Some portals even offered them at close to Rs 8,000 and well, several offline stores are offering them at Rs 10,900 even now. Compare that with the Rs 18,500 of the AirPods (3rd generation) and RS 24,900 of the AirPods Pro (although they are available for close to Rs 20,000 right now).
The lower price does mean that the AirPods (2nd generation) do not have many of the features that the newer AirPods do. Their design is the old, classic AirPods one, with buds at the end of a stick (EarPods without the wires, is what everyone called them, remember?), they have no ANC and no spatial audio, their charging case does not support wireless charging and they are not sweat and water resistant. Also, their battery life is slightly lesser than the new AirPods – 5 hours as compared to 6. So, why on earth are we calling them a good deal?
And still very good performers
The answer is simple: because at close to Rs 10,000, they still comfortably outperform most of their competitors. Yes, even those who come with better battery life and ANC and other bells and whistles. The biggest reason for this is their ease of use. Yes, they work best with iOS and Mac OS devices, but even with Android, they are far more dependable than other TWS. There are hardly any bugs, the audio quality is excellent (and not bass-heavy like most), and the 24-hour battery life with the case might not be the best, but it is still more than many of its competitors. One area where we think they are on par with the new AirPods and even the AirPods 3 is in call quality – the comfort of making calls from the AirPods remains unmatched and the second generation of AirPods showcases this.
Finally, while the design might seem old fashioned to some, it is among the few that in TWS that is on-ear rather than in-ear – and many people do not like buds that dig into their ear canals. Yes, they fall off (no matter how many ads of dancing people Apple makes), but they also fit almost every ear – there are no tips to mess around with and change for a “better fit” (a proper fit bit they are, pun intended). And they remain utterly light – you can wear them for hours without feeling any discomfort at all!
Budget of Rs 10,000? These are still TWS champs
So, suppose you get an AirPods (2nd generation). In that case, you get perhaps the most reliable and easy to use interface (we think it is easier to use than the AirPods Pro with those touch panels), perhaps the best call handling in TWS, very good sound, good battery life and of course, the legendary Apple quality (which generally ensures good resale value). Yes, there are some very good options out there like the OnePlus Buds Pro, the Oppo Enco X, the Jabra 75T and the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live, but as a complete package, the AirPods (2nd generation) still are more than a match for them all.
No, we are not saying the AirPods 2 are perfect. We wish they had features like ANC and dust and water resistance, but even without them, they are excellent if you have an iOS device and very good if you have an Android one, especially when their price gets to within the region of Rs 10,000. Of course, they are not as good as the new AirPods or the AirPods Pro. But then, they do cost much lesser. And still, perform so well.