Apple on Wednesday announced a successor to the AirPods earphones, available to order starting today ahead of in-store availability next week.
Building on the magical experience customers of the original, the new AirPods deliver 50 percent more talk time, hands-free Hey Siri and the option of a new Qi wireless charging case.
Like the old model, the new earphones feature seamless pairing and quick setup via a popup card that appears on your iOS device when you bring the AirPods case near it and open the lid. After the earbuds are connected, they’re instantly available across all of your devices signed into the same iCloud account, including Apple Watch, iPad and Mac.
The new Apple-designed H1 chip with custom audio architecture, developed specifically for headphones, replaces the company’s previous W1 chip in the original AirPods.
According to the firm, H1 is responsible for the following features:
- Hey Siri
- An extra hour of talk time
- More stable wireless connection to devices
- 2x faster switching between active devices
- 30 percent lower gaming latency
- 1.5x faster connection time for phone calls
Phil Schiller, Apple’s marketing honcho:
AirPods delivered a magical wireless experience and have become one of the most beloved products we’ve ever made. They connect easily with all of your devices, and provide crystal clear sound and intuitive, innovative control of your music and audio.
The world’s best wireless headphones just got even better with the new AirPods. They are powered by the new Apple-designed H1 chip which brings an extra hour of talk time, faster connections, hands-free ‘Hey Siri’ and the convenience of a new wireless battery case.
Both the default charging case and the new wireless charging case hold additional charges for more than 24 hours of total listening time. The wireless case uses the Qi industry standard meaning that you can juice up its internal battery using any Qi-compatible charging solution.
The Qi case has an LED light on the front to give you the charge status with just a glance. And because it works with the original AirPods, existing AirPods owners can purchase the standalone Qi case. Apple is even providing a cool personalization option in the form of free laser engraving, a first for AirPods, available at no additional charge during checkout.
The new AirPods can be ordered today through Apple.com and the Apple Store app ahead of in-store availability starting next week. AirPods with standard charging case that does not support wireless charging are $159 in the United States. AirPods with the wireless charging case are available for $199. The standalone wireless charging case is $79.
Do you own the original AirPods? If so, are you planning to buy the new ones?
Let us know by leaving a comment below.