On September 7, Apple announced their new flagship true wireless stereo (TWS) earphones – the AirPods Pro 2. And like all products of Apple, it’s sleek, beautiful, and a want for those that are in the Apple ecosystem.
But is it a great buy? And are there other similar alternative earphones to choose from?
Is the AirPods Pro 2 a Great Buy?
To answer the first question directly, no, the AirPods Pro 2 isn’t a great buy. But it’s a good buy.
The reason for this is its price point. Apple positioned the price of this product right where all other flagship TWS earphones are, which is around $250. At this price point, almost all TWS earphones have the same functionality, build, and features. And the only thing that separates these earphones is the sound quality and their supported codecs.
Now that the elephant in the room is out of the way, let’s briefly talk about the build and other features. The AirPods Pro 2 has a similar build to its predecessor, a hard plastic body, metal vent grilles, silicone tips, an IPX4 rating, and a MagSafe charging case. The only difference this time is the new processor and a larger battery capacity that Apple has installed.
For its sound, initial measurement graphs and impressions from those that have been given early access to the product have similar feedback-the sound is very similar to the previous 1st Generation AirPods Pro. Well, that is a good thing since the measurements taken from its predecessors hit the “Harman target”, the sound signature which almost everybody likes.
Overall, the AirPods Pro 2 is a good buy because it has a decent build, a lot of great features, and a likable sound signature at a decent price point.
As previously mentioned, there are a lot of other alternatives to the AirPods Pro 2. But we’ll only talk about the current best-sounding TWS earphones.
Galaxy Buds2 Pro
The Galaxy Buds2 Pro is the top competitor to the AirPods Pro 2. They have similar prices, similar build quality, and similar features. Its release date is very close to that of the AirPods Pro 2, just a month earlier, suspiciously close if I may say.
The only main difference is that these earphones favor the Android and Samsung Galaxy ecosystems. So, if you’re already in the Apple ecosystem and want to max out the features of this earphone, then it may be better to buy the AirPods.
Regarding its sound quality, its sound signature is a bit similar to the AirPods albeit just a bit better. And the measurement graphs and initial impressions have proven it. In fact, Crinacle, the most acknowledged sound quality reviewer on the internet, has claimed in his recent YouTube video that these earphones are currently the best-sounding true wireless stereo (TWS) earphones.
These Sony TWS earphones are a bit pricier alternative to the AirPods, which is around 30 dollars more. And this was released earlier this year, in January.
Like the AirPods, it’s also made from high-quality plastics including its case. And it also has similar features like Active Noise Cancelling, various smart controls, and an IPX4 waterproof rating.
And like the Buds2 Pro, this favors the Android ecosystem for it to be maximized because Sony earphones use LDAC (a codec that enables wireless devices to stream in high resolution which results in better sound quality). Unfortunately, Apple does not support any other codecs besides AAC.
Now, the sound quality of the Sony WF-1000XM4 is very different than the AirPods. Impressions and measurement graphs reveal that the low-end frequencies of the WF-1000XM4 are boosted, meaning that it’s bass-heavy. So, if you prefer your music to have more bass frequencies, then these earphones are for you.
This true wireless stereo earphone is the cheapest alternative (only $150, so it’s cheaper by $100) to the AirPods Pro 2 without sacrificing much. It was released back in May 2020, but like the recent competitor earphones, it has Active Noise Cancelling, smart controls, and an IPX7 waterproof rating.
Although cheap, there are two minor disadvantages that might be deal-breakers. The first one is the size. Unlike the recent AirPods or Galaxy Buds, the AKG N400NC is bulky. So, if you have small ears then this is not for you.
The second is the codec supported. Unfortunately, it only supports SBC and AAC. If you’re an Apple user, this is really not a problem. However, if you’re an Android user that supports higher codecs, then this can become a deal-breaker as it affects the sound quality.
In summary, the AirPods Pro 2 is a good buy-a decent build quality, a lot of features, and a fair price point. So, if you’re already in the Apple ecosystem it’s a really good choice to buy one instead of opting for alternatives.
However, if you’re an Android user, opting for other TWS earphones might be a better choice as you’re able to fully maximize the features and wireless codecs.
And if you’re in it for the sound quality, it’s better to demo the units personally and listen to each unit carefully. Then, decide what earphones sound best to you.