The perfect replacement for AirPods Max

I once wrote that I’m not a fan of in-ear headphones. I’ve always preferred the “universal fit” design of regular AirPods. But while I had a great time using my AirPods 3, I still had to carry my AirPods Max with me in some situations – especially when I was going on a plane trip. Turns out, AirPods Pro 2 are the perfect replacement for the AirPods Max that I didn’t know I needed. And here’s why.

First, let’s recap what’s new in the second-generation AirPods Pro. They basically have the same design as the first generation, but now with the H2 chip, which according to Apple improves noise cancellation and delivers even higher fidelity sound combined with a new driver and amplifier.

There’s also a new charging case that is water resistant and basically acts like an AirTag thanks to the built-in U1 chip. But how did all this convince me to put my AirPods Max in the drawer?

Something between AirPods 3 and AirPods Max

As I mentioned before, I prefer the fit of the regular AirPods. But they’re certainly not the best for when you’re in noisy environments like a coffee shop or inside an airplane. After all, AirPods 3 don’t have Active Noise Cancellation.

At the same time, while Apple has done a great job improving the sound quality of the AirPods 3, they clearly don’t have the same level of bass as the AirPods Pro, not to mention AirPods Max. I could ditch my AirPods 3 and just use my AirPods Max everywhere, but they’re too big and heavy. So that’s why I’ve always kept both AirPods 3 and AirPods Max.

On my last trip from Brazil to Europe, I had to take some really long flights. As usual, I was wearing AirPods Max – but they get extremely uncomfortable when you wear them for nine hours straight. And in that scenario, AirPods 3 were simply not an option due to the lack of ANC. That’s when I decided to give the AirPods Pro 2 a try.

AirPods Pro 2 sound like mini versions of AirPods Max

Over the past few months, I had been getting a little disappointed with AirPods Max. More specifically, Active Noise Cancellation no longer sounds as effective as it used to – and I’m not alone in this. It seems that Apple changed something in the AirPods Max firmware that affected the ANC feature. Some speculate that this happened due to a patent dispute, but we can’t be sure of that.

At the same time, Apple claims that the Active Noise Cancellation in the AirPods Pro 2 has been significantly improved thanks to new hardware. And when I put the new AirPods Pro in my ears for the first time, it was like I was wearing my AirPods Max when I bought them.

The work Apple has done with the ANC feature in the second generation AirPods Pro is just impressive. Even in a crowded airport, I could barely hear anything. It was exactly what I was looking for. But since we’re talking about headphones, sound quality is also extremely important. And the AirPods Pro 2 don’t disappoint in that aspect.

Music sounds even more immersive, and the bass level is very satisfying. Of course it’s not the same as you get when using AirPods Max or other premium headphones, but still the quality is quite impressive for earbuds of this size. There’s a good balance between high and low frequencies, which is something I appreciate in a headphone.

Comfort is everything

I still have a weird feeling about wearing in-ear headphones. Even so, the second generation AirPods Pro 2 convinced me to put my AirPods Max aside when I was traveling from Qatar back to Brazil on a 15-hour flight. Unlike when I traveled using the AirPods Max, I could barely feel that I was wearing headphones with AirPods Pro.

That’s when I became convinced that AirPods Pro 2 are the only AirPods I need. ANC worked very well during the entire flight, and I didn’t have to choose between comfort or sound quality. Even when there was no music playing, the noise of the airplane didn’t bother me.

And for those who never liked the fit of the first generation AirPods Pro, the second generation of the earbuds now comes with a new extra small tip included in the box.

AirPods Pro 2: The perfect replacement for AirPods Max that I didn't know I needed

There are a few other small details that also made me enjoy the experience of using the second generation AirPods. The new case with built-in U1 chip and speaker is extremely useful for when I lose them at home, which happens more than I’d like; now I can search for them using Precision Finding, just like I do with an AirTag.

The fact that the charging case now works with the Apple Watch charger in addition to the MagSafe is also great. This means that I can charge my iPhone and AirPods at the same time using MagSafe Duo. I also like the option to turn the volume up or down using gestures on the stem of each AirPod. The gesture is not exactly intuitive, but it gets the job done.

Should you buy AirPods Pro 2?

If you’re looking for headphones with good sound quality and impressive noise cancellation, the second generation AirPods Pro are certainly one of the best options you can buy right now. Honestly, at this point, I wouldn’t recommend anyone to buy AirPods Max except if you really want an Apple headphone with wired connection support for some reason.

Apple sells the second generation AirPods Pro for $249, but you can already find it at lower prices at stores like Amazon.

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