Buy for Faster Switching and Better Connectivity
AirPods include a new H1 chip that enables some of the features I already mentioned, but that is not all. This chip is also responsible for the AirPods 2 connection speeds.
Apple says that AirPods switch between devices twice as fast as the original models. They tested this with the iPhone and iPad Pro. This is a great upgrade if you use your AirPods with a range of devices. Apple doesn't say how fast the switching is when you bring a Mac into the mix, which has been the most troublesome switching that I've had to deal with on the original AirPods.
The new AirPods also connect 1.5X faster to your iPhone when you want to use them on a call. Apple tested this with AirPods and an iPhone XS Max, measuring the time it took to transfer a call from the iPhone to AirPods.
For users that switch devices or take a lot of phone calls, this is a major upgrade and even enough of a standalone reason to buy the newest AirPods.