AirPods 2 hands on

AirPods 2 hands on: Best iPhone truly wireless headphones get better

Benjamin Mayo has a great piece on his experience with the new AirPods:

You definitely notice that the new AirPods connect faster and switch between devices much more quickly than the older generation. You can throw them in your ears and it takes only a beat to change to the Mac when you select the audio source from the menu bar. The switching isn’t instantaneous but rather than 5-8 rotations of the loading spinner in Control Center, now you only get 2 or 3. It makes a big difference.

The lower latency is also noticeable. When I’m bored, I play Crossy Road on my phone, mindlessly swiping the chicken around the cars. When wearing first-gen AirPods, I would always leave Crossy Road on mute as the delay between performing the action and hearing it in my ears was simply too much. The AirPods 2 improve on this substantially such that playing with music and sound effects enabled is now bearable given the reduced sound lag.

And on Hey Siri:

The addition of always-on Hey Siri is a surprisingly big leap for the product. Speaking to the air is much more natural than the double-tap gesture. For public settings, there’s still the self-consciousness barrier to being okay with talking to yourself whilst walking down the street. In the privacy of my own home, I have no qualms saying Hey Siri and talking to the air to skip a track or change what I’m listening to. iPhone, iPad, HomePod, Watch. I have so many devices listening for the ‘Hey Siri’ trigger around me and yet the inclusion of the feature in the new AirPods does not feel redundant.

Up to now, I had been mostly relying on the ‘Raise to Speak’ functionality of Siri on Apple Watch for my voice command requests. Now that the AirPods are at my beck and call when they are in my ears, I see myself preferring that route to Siri over anything else. You can safely talk to your AirPods and not worry about every other device waking up to your command. Having AirPods mean causes the paired device to become the leader and every other Siri client defers to it. The AirPods ‘Hey Siri’ even beats the HomePod in the order of priority.