Apple AirPods

Apple’s mysterious AirPods delay continues to puzzle us. Marking a rare public misstep, the company’s failed to make its first-ever Bluetooth earphones available in time for the critical holiday season because, as Apple said, it needed “a little more time before AirPods are ready for our customers.”

A person familiar with the product’s development told the Wall Street Journal on Friday that the problem with the AirPods stems from Apple’s efforts to “chart a new path for wireless headphones” and, specifically, resolve what happens when you lose one of the earphones or its battery dies on you.

Apple engineers wanted to overcome the fact that most other wireless headphone makers use only one earpiece to receive data from a host device via Bluetooth, then transmit the signal to the other earpiece.

Apple’s approach with the AirPods calls for dual Bluetooth connectivity: inside of each AirPod is Apple’s in-house designed W1 chip that manages battery life and “produces extremely efficient” wireless performance for a better connection and improved sound.

If one of the AirPods fails or gets lost, you can still use the other earpiece. The problem with this approach: both earpieces must receive audio at the same time to avoid distortion.

The person familiar with their development said Apple also must resolve what happens when a user loses one of the earpieces or the battery dies.

Kiril Trajkovski, co-founder of Earin, a wireless headphone competitor, opined that another challenge Apple is faced with may involve having a microphone inside the AirPods that can pick up a user’s voice while excluding background noise.

Now, the AirPods do have a built-in microphone in each earpiece because they use beamforming technology to filter out external noise and let Siri focus on the sound of your voice.

“Optical sensors and motion accelerometers work with the W1 chip to automatically control the audio and engage the microphone, giving you the ability to use one or both AirPods,” says Apple. “They also enable AirPods to play sound as soon as they’re in your ears.”

airpods-ad-siri-image-005

The AirPods are listed on Apple.com as “coming soon,” with Tim Cook promising earlier in the month that the product will start shipping “in the next few weeks”.

Will you be still purchasing your AirPods when they arrive or have you lost your patience and already bought a wireless headphones from a competitor?

Source: The Wall Street Journal

  • n0ahcruz3

    DOA… lol jk fanboys

  • malhal

    “distortion” is a strange thing to say, the issue is with synchronisation as a review of another manufacturer’s BT ear pods (SAVFY) on Amazon say. e.g. “Secondly, one of the earbuds piggybacks it’s signal off of the other earbud connected to your device which, at least with my pair, seems to cause the sound to intermittently ‘fade’ in the ‘slave’ earbud”. And the fact that BT does not support multicast audio and its recommended to use BT to one device and then use another wireless tech like FM to broadcast to the speakers, means it isn’t looking good for this product to ever be released. Even when launched next year, BT5 wont support dual speakers either.

  • I will waiting for the airpods!!

    • Alex Wilson

      You don’t really have much of a choice but to wait.

      • smtp25

        Or you know.. buy something else

      • Alex Wilson

        Or that.

  • Jon20

    This is starting to look worse for Apple. Now these things are going to have to blow people away because the hype from the delay should warrant an amazing flawless product. Still waiting…

    • TechnoBuff

      You are quite right.. this is the third delay since the purported launch date.
      Obviously this product was a prototype when it was announced..Apple had to announce a new product during that launch as there was nothing new during the iphone 7 launch

      • Jon20

        And the worst part about it is they can’t change anything on the design because it will look like they heard people’s comments about it and decided to change it which would be the real reason why they delayed it. I just hope they come in black or a space gray color option. Considering they delayed it so much it would really help their sales if they offer different colors because not everyone is going to want white.

      • therealjjohnson

        How is this the third delay? What were the other two launch dates?

      • Zack Morris

        I can think of two… supposed to ship in late October and Tim Cook was on record saying, a couple weeks back, they will ship in a couple weeks. So it’s definitely two delays now.

    • Alex Wilson

      This is what Courage looks like at Apple now. Way to go, remove the headphone jack, but don’t deliver on the reason you removed it in the first place.

  • Mike M. Powell

    I’d just refund all $$ n start from scratch, clearly not ready for the masses yet ._.

  • Scott Curry

    I can’t wait for these to be in the clearance bin because no one had any faith in them after being delayed 3 times…

  • Vince Reedy

    Do yourselves a favor and wait for the 2.0 versions. I’m thinking 1.0 will be beta.

    • Alex Wilson

      Bingo! What was true about Microsoft software is now true for Apple Software and Hardware, the release version is a public beta. At least your not paying for that Sierra upgrade though.

  • askep3

    If beats counts as a competitor then yeah, the solo 3s are a great deal at $220

  • Alex Wilson

    Oops, Apple Vapor Wear!

  • iDoktor

    Hope they will be available for Christmas!

  • lou111

    Does BeatsX have the same issue? There’re delayed too. BeatsX looks much more interesting imo, good compromise

  • therealjjohnson

    So is there an issue with them trying to perfect the product? Seems like if they released them before they were perfected the cries would be “why didn’t they just wait until they were perfected”

    • n0ahcruz3

      Well if they knew the product wasn’t ready, they shouldn’t have showed it at the keynote. They wanted to justify the removal of the jack by showing a half baked wireless earpods that doesn’t really have good sound quality and non ergonomic design that falls off easily. On top of that you’ll have to invoke siri just to skip a song.

      • therealjjohnson

        No. Just no. Apple isn’t the only manufacturer of Bluetooth headphones. I’ve been using Bluetooth headphones for 10 years+. Why would assume that this product specifically is the reason they were removed and not that technology over all?

        Also, a company can show off a product they are working on via a keynote if they want to. Who says they can’t? “Shouldn’t have shown them off” lol. It doesn’t matter what this comment section on a blog says, they will be released and sell very good. I’m already using the beats with W1 chip so I won’t be purchasing but to think “they shouldn’t have shown them off” is silly to me.

      • n0ahcruz3

        Lol just another fanboy response typical, ive read tech blogs that tested them and they said they weren’t that great. Sell good you say? They will be on “others” category during earnings call and apple wont disclose how much they sell.

      • therealjjohnson

        So you read a review on how something “sounds” huh? A prototype at that. Clown work.

      • n0ahcruz3

        Hahaha these are wireless earpods not headphones

      • therealjjohnson

        Huh? You thought we were discussing wired headphones? Of course this is about the “EarPods”. Go to bed.

      • n0ahcruz3

        Hahaha well its morning here in California, maybe you should go to bed

      • Zack Morris

        People aren’t upset they showed them off but rather missed two promised deadlines. If they presented them as in development that’s one thing but they presented them as a completed product with even a ship date. So it’s understandable to some degree people are annoyed.

      • therealjjohnson

        How are you talking about sound quality of a product that’s unreleased? This whole article is about how they aren’t done yet but you want to talk to me about the quality of the sound. News flash…you haven’t tested them out yet. And you cannot read a review on how something “sounds”. You’re just regurgitating talking points from blogs.

  • M_Hawke

    Aren’t ya’ all glad that Apple did away with the mic jack?

    • smtp25

      head phone jack? Samsung going the same way?