Apple.com was down for a little while, which usually means that something new is on deck. Many fans weren’t disappointed when the site returned.
Apple’s AirPods are getting a serious upgrade with the much-anticipated wireless charging ability just one of the improvements announced Wednesday by Apple.
First, the basics.
The new AirPods will be powered by a new H1 chip, offer 50 percent more talk time, the ability to activate Siri by voice, and be available with an optional wireless charging case.
The announcement marks the second generation of the popular wireless in-ear headphones.
“The world’s best wireless headphones just got even better with the new AirPods,” said Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, Phil Schiller.
The updated hardware boasts a new chip, the H1, which Apple claims will make connecting AirPods faster and easier than ever before, especially useful for users who frequently switch between which device is paired to AirPods at a given moment.
In addition, new “Hey Siri” functionality, which will activate the digital assistant in response to the voice command, allows you to change songs, make calls, adjust audio volume, or get directions through talking alone.
As far as charging is concerned, the second generation AirPods will be available with a standard charging case or the new wireless charging case, which is compatible with any Qi charging system. An LED light on the case confirms that charging is taking place.
Customers who already own first generation AirPods can upgrade to a wireless case by purchasing the case alone. Each case can now hold enough power for up to 24 hours of listening time between charges.
Pricing and availability is as follows.
- AirPods with standard charging are $159.
- AirPods with a wireless charging case are $199.
- The standalone Wireless Charging Case is $79.
Each is available to order on apple.com or the Apple Store app now and will be in Apple Stores next week.
Additionally, AirPods can now add customized personal engraving to either charging case at no additional cost. Simply choose your wording during checkout, either on Apple’s website or through the App Store app.
“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,” Schiller said.
Even as competitors begin to bring similar devices to market, Apple’s AirPods remain the most popular wireless headphones worldwide.