Apple AirPods 2 are here but are they worth US$199 with optional wireless charging case?

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Apple is calling its AirPods the “world’s most popular wireless headphones” which I’m not sure is entirely accurate.

Back in January, we reported on rumors of the Apple AirPods 2 coming with “Hey Siri” capabilities and yesterday Apple announced that very thing. Along with “Hey Siri” Apple also announced battery-life has been increased from 2-hours to 3-hours and you have the option of a wireless charging case. For those who want to keep their first gen AirPods you can buy a wireless charging case for US$79.

Apple is calling its AirPods the “world’s most popular wireless headphones” which I’m not sure is entirely accurate. Apple says the new H1 Chip was developed specifically for the Apple AirPods 2 and delivers better performance, connectivity, and of course “Hey Siri” capability.

“AirPods delivered a magical wireless experience and have become one of the most beloved products we’ve ever made. They connect easily with all of your devices, and provide crystal clear sound and intuitive, innovative control of your music and audio,” said Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “The world’s best wireless headphones just got even better with the new AirPods. They are powered by the new Apple-designed H1 chip which brings an extra hour of talk time, faster connections, hands-free ‘Hey Siri’ and the convenience of a new wireless battery case.”

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But are the Apple AirPods 2 with the optional wireless charging case worth US$199? I realize that everyone’s idea of worth and value is going to be wildly different but you do have to ask what sort of value has Apple brought to the 2nd gen product over the 1st gen?

I have to say that I’ve never been a fan of AirPods in general because they are not very comfortable for me. Of course, comfort isn’t a problem for many others and that’s just fine. But beyond an increased battery-life of an hour, “Hey Siri” and a wireless charging case, is there anything else worth your money?

Wireless charging isn’t that big of a deal and honestly “Hey Siri” is already on other true wireless headphones much cheaper than the Apple AirPods 2. Just take a look at the JLab Audio JBuds Air headphones which can be used with Siri and have more battery-life along with IP55 sweat resistance, something Apple’s AirPods do not have. Plus the JBuds Air only cost US$49 which is an insane price difference.

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The biggest advantage Apple has with AirPods is the marketing behind their seamless connectivity with your iOS and Mac devices, thanks to the H1 Chip. Sure, Apple’s solution looks more elegant and eliminates one maybe two steps. But other more affordable true wireless headphones remember your device so you only ever have to pair them once.

So is that savings of a minute or two when first pairing worth the extra money? Well, that’s just something we all have to decide for ourselves. I think there are better more affordable alternatives out there that sound better and cost less.

What do you think? Do you think AirPods are worth the money? Or do you think they’re overpriced? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter, or Facebook. You can also comment on our MeWe page by joining the MeWe social network.

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