Going Back to the 2nd Generation AirPods in Some Situations
As you might have been able to surmise from my posts on this site, I primarily use Apple hardware and software. I do have a couple of linux servers, and a Raspberry Pi, but my day to day computer is a Mac . I have been using Apple products since 2005 when I purchased my first iPod, the 1st generation iPad Nano. In the interim time, I have purchased innumerable iPods, iPhones, Macs, iPads, and Apple headphones. Back in 2016 with the release of the 1st generation AirPods, I purchased a pair eventually purchased a pair of 2nd generation AirPods in March of 2019, and a 3rd generation in October of 2021.
The first and second generation AirPods had the same shape, but the 2nd generation provided things like "Hey Siri”, improved Bluetooth support and an "Announce Messages” features. In order to perform any actions wit the first and second generation AirPods you had to tap on the AirPod itself. Many found this disconcerting to do. The 3rd generation AirPods were an entirely different shape, included Spatial Audio and Head Tracking, controls on the stems instead of tapping the AirPods, and a charging case that is Qi compatible. You can read my review.
I should explain when I use which headphones. Throughout most of the day I am using my Beats Solo Pro, again you can read my review of those. I use the Beats Solo Pros because they are comfortable for all day usage, and even after 3 and half years, they still have all day battery life. Since I use the Beats Solo Pros most of the time, I have been using the 3rd generation AirPods when I go out for a walk or while I am out running errands. I do like the small size of the 3rd generation AirPods so they fit in my pocket, they are not heavy, so when out exercising it is not a problem to carry them the entire time.
One thing mentioned in my review of the 3rd generation AirPods is that they did not fit in my ears, at least when compared to the 2nd generation AirPods. Initially this was not a problem, but over time it has become increasingly annoying having to readjust the right headphone over and over. So about six weeks ago, I opted to use my 2nd generation AirPods on my walk. Immediately after putting them in my ears, I realized why I liked these better.
First, they fit better. I do not have to adjust them once I put them in, this is a big plus. Secondly, the sound is louder, including more bass, when compared to the 3rd germination AirPods when set to the same volume level. I suspect that this is due to the 2nd generation fitting better and the sound being directed into my ear canal instead of bouncing around. So, it looks like I am going to use my 2nd generation AirPods instead of my 3rd generation at least while exercising. When I am out running errands, I do still bring my 3rd generation AirPods along and use those. The reason for this is first, to still be able to use them, but secondly I do not spend a lot of time in any one store while out running errands, so the amount of time that I have to fiddle with them is minimized.
What I would like to see is Apple rename have a line of AirPods (maybe AirPods Air?) that retains the shape of the 2nd generation AirPods but includes some features of the 3rd generation AirPods, even if the only change was being able to use the stems of the AirPods to activate functions. This arrangement alone would be a nice upgrade. If Apple also had an option for a wireless case and USB-C instead of lightning, it would be a welcome upgrade. I am doubting that we will see this, but it would be nice to have, particularly for those whose ears are the wrong shape for being able to comfortably use the 3rd generation AirPods.