Easy way to spot differences between AirPods gen 1 and AirPods gen 2 | AirPods Buying Tips

Like it or not, Apple AirPods is today most iconic Bluetooth headset.

AirPods Gen 1 (first released back in 2017) and AirPods Gen 2 (first released in 2019) are almost identical – in fact Apple made them purposely to be physically identical.

If you intend to buy AirPods at Apple Store or any trusted Apple Authorized Reseller, you shouldn’t be worry – because they won’t lie/cheat you, however if you intend to buy either a brand new one but in non Apple stores or buy a second hand or used AirPods, here are tips and easy way to spot differences between the first generation of AirPods and the second generation AirPods so you know what you are buying and won’t get cheated.

Here’s how to differentiate between AirPods Gen 1 and AirPods Gen 2

Just for your information, there is only 1 version of AirPods Gen 1, however there are 2 versions of AirPods Gen 2, the one with wireless charging case and the one without wireless charging case.

At a glance, here are the differences. Detail explanation below.

# AirPods
Gen 1
AirPods
Gen 2
AirPods
Gen 2
with wireless
charging case
Part Number Contains MEF2Z Contains V7N2Z Contains RXJ2Z
AirPods Model Number A1523, A1722 A2032, A2031 A2032, A2031
Case Model Number A1602 A1602 A1938
Case LED Light IndicatorInside, at the top Inside, at the topOutside, at the front
Voice activated SiriNoYesYes

Here are the detail explanations.

1) Part Number

To see AirPods part number, get into the AirPods box, check at the bottom part of the box, there’s you’ll see Part Number.

Apple AirPods Gen 2 Box jilaxzone.com
At the bottom part of the AirPods Box, you can find the Part Number, Model Number and Serial Number

If Part Number contains MEF2Z, this is AirPods Generation 1.

If Part Number contains V7N2Z, this is AirPods Generation 2 with normal charging case.

If Part Number contains RXJ2Z, this is AirPods Generation 2 with wireless charging case.

2) AirPods Model Number

To check AirPods Model Number, here’s how to do it.

a) Sync the AirPods with the iPhone (or other compatible iOS device).

b) Once synced, go to Settings > General > About

c) Scroll down until you see the name of your AirPods.

d) Tap the name, and you’ll see the model number. 

Apple Airpods serial number jilaxzone.com
Sync the AirPods to your iPhone, then go to Settings > General > About, then check your AirPods Serial Number there

If the Airpods Model Number is either A1523 or A1722 , this is AirPods Generation 1.

If the Airpods Model Number is either A2032 or A2031, this is AirPods Generation 2 regardless you buy it with normal charging case or with wireless charging case.

Alternatively, if you can’t sync the AirPods to the iPhone, take one of the Airpods and check the underside of each AirPod, the model number is printed there.


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3) Case Model Number

To check the AirPods Case Model Number, here’s how to do it.

a) Open the case lid.

b) On the right inner side of the lid, take a peek, you should find the case model number on it.

If the Airpods Model Number is A1938, this is AirPods with wireless charging.

If the Airpods Model Number is A1602, this is normal AirPods case without wireless charging. Unfortunately you won’t be able to really differentiate if the case is coming from 1st gen or 2nd gen AirPods since they are physically identical – however you can always check the warranty. See below.

4) Case LED Light Indicator

To check Case LED Light Indicator, here’s how to do it.

a) Grab the AirPods case, open and close the lid to check where’s the location of the LED Light.

airpods wireless charging case vs normal charging case jilaxzone.com
Main differences between a normal AirPods Charging case with Wireless Charging Case. Image courtesy of Apple.com

If the LED Light Indicator is located on the front part of the case, that means it’s the wireless charging case.

If the LED Light Indicator is located inside the case, that means it’s the normal model with no wireless charging. However, like the Case Model Number, using the Case LED Light Indicator unfortunately you won’t be able to really differentiate if the case is coming from 1st gen or 2nd gen AirPods since they are physically identical – however you can always check the warranty. See below.

5) Voice Activated Siri

To check if the AirPods supports voice activated Siri, here’s how to do it.

a) Pair the AirPods to your iPhone. Once connected, try saying “Hey Siri”. If Siri responds, then skip the rest of the steps, otherwise please continue to the next step.

b) If “Hey Siri” is not responding to your call, ensure you have setup “Hey Siri”. By right, when you first setup a 2nd generation AirPods, you’ll be guided to setup “Hey Siri”. But just in case you missed or forgot about it, follow the subsequent steps.

c) Go to Settings > Siri & Search.

d) Turn on Listen for “Hey Siri”.

e) If prompted, follow the instructions to Set Up “Hey Siri”.

f) Also turn on the option to Allow Siri When Locked.

If after doing the steps, “Hey Siri” responds to you, this is AirPods Generation 2.

If after doing the steps, “Hey Siri” still not responding to your call, this is AirPods Generation 1.

Here’s how to check AirPods Warranty and know which gen is the AirPods

After all the checking you have done above, you may want to check the warranty. Not only you will get to know when the AirPods was bought (if it’s a second hand AirPods), you’ll also get to know the model – whether it’s the first gen AirPods or second gen AirPods.

To check the AirPods warranty, here’s how to do it.

a) Open the following URL on your browser: https://checkcoverage.apple.com.

b) Get the AirPods Serial Number. You can get it on these 3 places: on the box, on the case, or under Settings > General > About > <Your AirPods Name here>.

c) Key in the AirPods Serial Number on the check coverage page then key in the code, and hit Continue.

apple airpods check warranty and model
Easy way to know AirPods gen model is by checking the Apple Warranty Page

d) On the check coverage page, you’ll get the AirPods generation info as well as the estimated expiration date.

Now with these 2 info: generation model and estimated expiration model, you’ll have a better clarity if you would like to proceed buying the (second hand) AirPods or skip it.

How to check AirPods Battery Health – Rule of Thumb

Unlike iPhone, on AirPods so far there’s no battery health indicator telling how much capacity left it has.

cheap iPhone battery replacement jilaxzone.com.JPG
Feature that AirPods does not have until today – a way to check the battery health

However as a good rule of thumb, you can use the warranty as indicator of AirPods Battery Health. If you are planning to buy a second hand or used AirPods, try buying those within the warranty period – which means the AirPods is less than one year old, where battery capacity should be a lot better compared to AirPods age one year old plus.

Bring it all together

Now with this guide, buying AirPods shouldn’t be something you need to worry of.

In case you have any queries/doubts, don’t hesitate to shout it out on comment section down below.


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