Apple AirPods Overview Updated June 25, 2020

Apple AirPods

Apple's truly wireless wireless and cord-free earbuds now with Qi support

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318 'AirPods' stories

October 2015 - June 2020

AirPods 1 Features

AirPods are Apple’s wireless, cord-free in-ear headphones, and were unveiled alongside the iPhone 7 on September 7, 2016. Priced at $159 they were originally announced to be available in late October, 2016, but were delayed until December 13.

They have a very similar form-factor to the company’s wired EarPods, with the obvious omission of a cable and the addition of Bluetooth connectivity. Despite this, early reports suggest that they are better at staying in your ears.

They offer Apple’s latest wireless pairing system, based on the W1 chip. They pair instantly, and that pairing propagates across all your Apple devices via iCloud. The secret sauce behind the new pairing system turned out to be all in the W1 chip in the headphones themselves, so it works with Bluetooth LE devices all the way back to the iPhone 5.

AirPods 2 Features

In March of 2019, Apple released AirPods 2. The new version is available for $199 with the wireless charging case, or available with the standard case for $159. Existing version 1 owners can purchase the wireless charging case separately for $79.

Version 2 moved away from the W1 chip to the new H1 chip to deliver up to 50 percent more talk time compared to the first generation. The H1 should also speed up switching between devices, with Apple saying version 2 should now connect two times faster. Version 2 also includes ‘Hey Siri’ support as well.

AirPods Pro

In October 2019, Apple announced AirPods Pro. The Pro model features “Active Noise Cancellation and superior, immersive sound in an all-new lightweight, in-ear design.” The new in-ear design of the Pro model makes for better noise cancellation. Apple says that the Pro headphones are sweat and water-resistant rated for IPX4. The box includes three different sizes of ear tips, which should make them relatively versatile.

AirPods Pro vs. AirPods comparison

There are five major features that the Pro model has have that Version 2 don’t:

  • Active noise cancellation
  • Audio Transparency mode
  • IPX4 water/sweat resistance
  • Adaptive EQ
  • In-ear design with three sets of tips

How AirPods Pro and AirPods gen 2 compare

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AirPods Stories June 25

Apple leads Bose and Sony in preferred brands for wireless in-ear headphones

A survey of headphone purchase intentions among UK consumers found that Apple is the preferred brand when it comes to true wireless in-ear headphones, with Bose and Sony both ahead of Beats …

AirPods Stories June 23

Apple continues to expand its optimized battery charging capability. With iOS 14, Apple says that AirPods will now learn from your charging routine and wait to charge past 80% until you need to use them.

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AirPods Stories June 22

Yesterday, Kuo released his roadmap for Apple’s ARM Mac transition, which is set to be officially announced in just a few hours. And today, the TF Securities analyst continues his reporting with an update on AirPods.

Kuo believes that Apple will continue to sell second-generation AirPods through this year’s holiday season. The company will replace them with AirPods 3 in the first half of 2021. Kuo describes the AirPods 3 as featuring a new form factor design “similar to AirPods Pro”.

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AirPods Stories June 19

Battery check leads to discovery of fake AirPods entering the US from China

A package from China whose paperwork described the contents as lithium ion batteries was actually found to contain fake AirPods, when checked by US Customs and Border Protection officers …

AirPods Stories June 17

Apple Watch sales fell year-on-year during the first quarter, reports Canalys. The market intelligence firm estimates that shipments fell from 6M in Q1 2019 to 5.2M in the same quarter this year.

Apple’s market share also fell sharply, from 46.7% last year to 36.3% this year …

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AirPods Stories June 16

In May, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo raised the idea that Apple is not planning to include its wired EarPod earbuds in the iPhone 12 box, as it has done with all previous iPhone models.

Now, Wedbush analyst Dan Ives is also saying that he is hearing the same: “our checks that likely no wired EarPods will come in the iPhone 12 box/packaging”. Ultimately, this will help Apple drive sales of its wireless AirPods earbuds ever higher.

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