Apple News

New H2 chip in the AirPods Pro 2

Don’t know where to begin with your new AirPods Pro 2? Let us use gestures to help you control these tiny but powerful buds!

The AirPods Pro 2 may not appear to be much different from the original AirPods Pro, but this new pair offers enough improvements — better audio, active noise cancellation, and slightly longer battery life — that they’re bound to be a big hit.

The new AirPods Pro 2 also have new volume control gestures, as well as ear scanning (via the iPhone’s TrueDepth camera system) for “personalized spatial audio.” When these are combined with the existing controls, those who are unfamiliar with the AirPods Pro may become perplexed. We’re here to assist you. Here’s a comprehensive guide to all of the AirPods Pro 2 controls and gestures.


Everything is in the stems.

When the original AirPods were released, many people mocked their design, but Apple, as usual, had the last laugh because many wireless earbuds have since adopted the stemmed look. There is a clear advantage to having stems. They offload some of the hardware components from the core earpieces, allowing them to be less bulky; they can house microphones closer to our mouths; and they allow for easier controls due to the stems’ ability to house touch capacitive panels.

  • A single button press initiates or stops audio playback.
  • Long pressing toggles between active noise cancellation (ANC) and transparency mode.
  • A double press advances to the next track.
  • The triple press returns to the previous track.

These controls have been in place since the AirPods Pro debuted in 2019, but the new 2022 second-generation models add a new action:

  • Swipe to change the volume.

If you go into the settings, you can assign specific actions to long presses. For example, I configured it so that long pressing the left stem’s panel activates Siri rather than switching between noise cancelation modes. You can also add a neutral listening mode that is neither ANC nor transparency mode in the settings.


Voice commands are also supported.

You can also call Siri by saying “Hey Siri” out loud. Because of the three microphones on each bud, the AirPods can pick up my command and summon Siri even when I’m outside on city streets.

Tracking of the head.

This isn’t a control feature per se, but the AirPods Pro 2 can detect head movements, which is useful when listening to Spatial Audio. When music is playing and Spatial Audio is enabled, you can turn your head and hear the audio shift from one side of your ear to the other, as if the music source were in a real-world space in front of you.

Controls for Phone Calls.

When wearing the AirPods Pro 2, you can answer and decline phone calls.

The phone is answered with a single press/squeeze on the stem.
The incoming phone call is declined by a double press/squeeze on the stem.
Once you’ve answered the call, you can end it with a single press/squeeze on the stem.

One feature that distinguishes the AirPods Pro 2 from other earbuds is that these gestures all work very well and have minor improvements in hardware or software. The haptic engine inside the stems, for example, is excellent, providing a tactile click whenever you press into it. Swipes will also produce an audible and satisfying click, as if you were physically flicking a switch.

When you consider the excellent sound quality and seamless connectivity with iOS devices, it’s clear why these are so popular. If the AirPods Pro 2 aren’t for you, there are plenty of other great wireless earbuds to choose from.

H2 Chip Energy.

Active Noise Cancellation – When compared to the original AirPods Pro, the H2 chip in the AirPods Pro 2 cancels twice as much noise.

Adaptive Transparency Mode – The H2 chip supports on-device processing that reduces loud environmental sounds such as a siren, construction work, or loud speakers at a concert without completely silencing noise.

Improved Acoustics – Apple claims that when combined with the new low-distortion audio driver and custom amplifier, the H2 chip provides a “exceptional acoustic experience.” The AirPods Pro have deeper bass and clearer sound across a wider frequency range.

Personalized Spatial Audio – Apple touted personalized spatial audio as an AirPods Pro 2 highlight, introducing the feature in iOS 16. This isn’t an AirPods 2 exclusive because it uses the iPhone’s TrueDepth camera, but it does work with the AirPods Pro 2.

Other features of the AirPods Pro 2 include touch controls for adjusting volume directly on the AirPods themselves, an improved skin detect sensor that more accurately turns playback on and off, and an improved battery that lasts for a total of 6 hours, up 1.5 hours from the previous-generation model.

The AirPods Pro case also has IPX4 sweat and water resistance, a lanyard loop, Memoji customization, Find My improvements, and a built-in speaker to help you find it if you lose it.