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Airpods 1 vs. Airpods 2: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on February 20, 2024
AirPods 1 are Apple's original wireless earbuds with standard features, while AirPods 2 offer improved connectivity, battery life, and hands-free "Hey Siri" support.

Key Differences

AirPods 1, released in December 2016, were Apple's first foray into wireless earbuds, featuring easy pairing with Apple devices. AirPods 2, launched in March 2019, retained the original design but included the H1 chip for faster connectivity.
The battery life of AirPods 1 offers up to 5 hours of listening time, while AirPods 2 improved this slightly, also providing faster charging times. AirPods 2's case can also be charged wirelessly, an option not available with the original AirPods 1.
AirPods 1 require a double-tap to activate Siri, whereas AirPods 2 introduced hands-free “Hey Siri” functionality, allowing for more convenient voice commands without needing to use your hands.
In terms of sound quality, both AirPods 1 and AirPods 2 offer similar audio performance. However, the improved H1 chip in AirPods 2 provides more stable and faster wireless connections to devices.
The latency during gaming and video playback was reduced in AirPods 2, offering a better synchronization between audio and video. AirPods 1, while still functional, had slightly higher latency compared to their successors.

Comparison Chart

Release Date

December 2016
March 2019


W1 Chip
H1 Chip for faster connectivity

Battery Life

Up to 5 hours listening time
Slightly improved battery and charging

Siri Activation

Requires a double-tap
Hands-free “Hey Siri” support

Wireless Charging

Not available
Wireless charging case option


Higher latency in gaming/videos
Reduced latency for better sync

Airpods 1 and Airpods 2 Definitions

Airpods 1

Apple's first generation of wireless earbuds.
I bought AirPods 1 for their seamless integration with my iPhone.

Airpods 2

Earbuds supporting hands-free "Hey Siri" activation.
With AirPods 2, I can activate Siri by just saying Hey Siri.

Airpods 1

Earbuds with up to 5 hours of listening time per charge.
My AirPods 1 last through my entire workout session.

Airpods 2

Wireless earbuds featuring the H1 chip for improved performance.
The H1 chip in AirPods 2 provides better connectivity and battery life.

Airpods 1

Earbuds requiring physical interaction for Siri activation.
To use Siri on my AirPods 1, I need to double-tap them.

Airpods 2

The second generation of Apple's AirPods with enhanced features.
AirPods 2 connect faster to my devices than the previous version.

Airpods 1

Wireless earbuds using the W1 chip for Apple device connectivity.
AirPods 1 utilize the W1 chip for quick pairing with Apple devices.

Airpods 2

Earbuds with reduced latency for gaming and video playback.
Watching movies with my AirPods 2, the audio sync is perfect.

Airpods 1

Apple's initial wireless earbuds without wireless charging.
I use a lightning cable to charge my AirPods 1.

Airpods 2

Updated AirPods offering an optional wireless charging case.
I charge my AirPods 2 wirelessly, which is very convenient.


Can AirPods 2 be charged wirelessly?

Yes, AirPods 2 have an option for wireless charging with a compatible case.

What distinguishes AirPods 2?

AirPods 2 are the improved version of Apple's earbuds with enhanced features.

What is the battery life of AirPods 1?

AirPods 1 offer up to 5 hours of listening time.

What chip is used in AirPods 1?

AirPods 1 use the Apple W1 chip.

What chip does AirPods 2 use?

AirPods 2 are equipped with the Apple H1 chip.

Is the battery life better in AirPods 2?

AirPods 2 have a slightly improved battery life compared to AirPods 1.

Do AirPods 1 have wireless charging?

No, AirPods 1 do not support wireless charging.

How do you activate Siri on AirPods 1?

Activate Siri on AirPods 1 by double-tapping one of the earbuds.

What are AirPods 1?

AirPods 1 are Apple's first generation of wireless earbuds.

Is "Hey Siri" available on AirPods 2?

Yes, AirPods 2 support hands-free “Hey Siri” activation.

What is the release date for AirPods 2?

AirPods 2 were released in March 2019.

Do AirPods 1 support spatial audio?

No, spatial audio is not supported in AirPods 1.

Is the sound quality different between the two models?

The sound quality is similar, but AirPods 2 may have a more stable connection.

When were AirPods 1 released?

AirPods 1 were released in December 2016.

Are AirPods 2 worth the upgrade from AirPods 1?

The upgrade is worthwhile if you need improved connectivity, battery life, and wireless charging.

Can I use AirPods 1 with an Android device?

Yes, AirPods 1 can be used with Android devices, but with limited functionality.

Do both models come in different colors?

Both AirPods 1 and 2 are available only in white.

Are AirPods 2 heavier than AirPods 1?

No, both models are similar in weight and design.

Can I track my AirPods 1 if I lose them?

Yes, using the 'Find My' app, you can track both AirPods 1 and 2.

Are AirPods 2 better for gaming?

Yes, due to reduced latency, AirPods 2 are better for gaming.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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