Nearly three years after the launch of the first-generation AirPods Pro, Apple unveiled a second-generation model alongside the iPhone 14 lineup and several new Apple watches. Although the second generation AirPods Pro have a similar design to their predecessor, they improve on features such as active noise cancellation, in-ear detection, and battery life, while offering new functionality such as adaptive transparency, volume adjustment, touch controls, and precise search .
The first-generation AirPods Pro has now been discontinued by Apple and third-party resellers are dropping prices. As such, some customers may be weighing whether to buy the discounted first generation AirPods Pro or buy the second generation version.
The two AirPods Pro generations share most of their features, so should you consider buying or sticking to the first generation AirPods Pro to save money? This breakdown also serves as a way to see all the differences that the new AirPods Pro bring to the table.
AirPods Pro (1st generation)
- active noise cancellation
- High dynamic range amplifier powering a high-excursion, low-distortion speaker driver
- H1 chip
- bluetooth 5.0
- Optical IR sensor for in-ear detection
- force sensor control
- IPX4 sweat and water resistant earbuds
- Up to 4.5 hours of listening time with active noise cancellation enabled
- 24 hours of total listening time with active noise cancellation using the MagSafe charging case
- MagSafe Charging Case with Find My
- MagSafe Charging Case Compatible with MagSafe Charger, Qi Wireless Charging Mat and Lightning
- Three Silicone Ear Tips (S, M, L)
AirPods Pro (2nd generation)
- Active noise cancellation (2x stronger)
- Transparency and Adaptive Transparency
- New low-distortion audio driver and custom amplifier for rich bass and clear sound
- H2 Chip
- bluetooth 5.3
- Skin-detect sensor for in-ear detection
- Force sensor and touch controls for volume adjustment
- IPX4 sweat and water resistant earbuds and charging case
- Up to 6 hours of listening time with active noise cancellation enabled
- 30 hours of total listening time with active noise cancellation using the MagSafe charging case
- MagSafe Charging Case with Built-in Speaker for Find My, Precision Tracking and Lanyard Loop
- MagSafe Charging Case Compatible with Apple Watch Charger, MagSafe Charger, Qi Wireless Charging Mat and Lightning
- Four Silicone Ear Tips (XS, S, M, L)
Overall, the second generation AirPods Pro offer minor upgrades over the previous generation with valuable enhancements across the board, but there should be some new features. Some users who use their AirPods Pro heavily may be able to justify an upgrade to the second generation model due to the wide array of improvements, but this will not be the case for all existing users.
Many users who have recently purchased an AirPods Pro may not be able to justify an upgrade to the second generation AirPods Pro at the present time, unless they specifically recommend adaptive transparency, touch controls for volume adjustment, or Apple TV. Don’t want features like watch charger compatibility. Users who bought their AirPods Pro in late 2019 or early 2020 may see another reason to upgrade, especially if their current device’s battery has dropped significantly. These customers will benefit from the plethora of refinements offered by the second generation model.
If you’ve been interested in buying the AirPods Pro for a while, now is also a good time to pick up the first generation models at a huge discount, but it should be remembered that they are almost three years old now. Likewise, it’s worth bearing in mind that the AirPods Pro are among the most discounted Apple products, so waiting to buy the second generation model for a few months can result in significant savings.