AirPods Overview Updated March 19, 2021

Apple AirPods

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404 'AirPods' stories

October 2015 - October 2021

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

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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Top Stories

Read below for all of our coverage

AirPods Stories October 20

If you’re looking to buy truly wireless AirPods from Apple, you have more options than ever from which to choose. Apple’s lineup of truly AirPods currently consists of AirPods 2, AirPods 3, and AirPods Pro. Each of these are unique in their own ways, so head below as we recap all of the similarities and differences between the AirPods available today…

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AirPods 3 improvements include better in-ear detection

The just-launched AirPods 3 come with a number of improvements over the previous generation, including shorter stems, a new battery-case with MagSafe support, and Spatial Audio – but a report today notes there’s an additional small but useful enhancement…

AirPods Stories October 18

During the “Unleashed” keynote, Apple announced a brand-new AirPods 3. Even so, the company still sells the second-generation AirPods. Here’s how Apple’s wireless earbuds line looks now.

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During its October special event, Apple finally unveiled the third-generation of its popular wireless earbuds. AirPods 3 features a new design based on AirPods Pro, but this time with a universal fit and Spatial Audio support.

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After a year of potential release dates, it seems that AirPods 3 could finally be announced this Monday during the “Unleashed” Apple event. Here’s what we know so far.

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AirPods Stories October 13

Leaker claims AirPods 3 will launch during ‘Unleashed’ Apple event next week

Alongside the M1X MacBook Pro, Apple could unveil the long-rumored AirPods 3 as soon as next week. According to a leaker on Chinese social media network Weibo, Apple will finally release the third-generation AirPods.

There have long been reports that Apple is working on ways to effectively create AirPods hearing aids – adding capabilities to the in-ear headphones that would enable them to replace hearing aids for at least some people. Or, at least, blur the lines between earphones and hearing aids.

A new report today says that the Cupertino company is still actively working on this, and has other health-related ambitions for the devices …

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AirPods Stories October 5

Apple is rolling out a new firmware version for headphones powered by the W1 or H1 chip. This includes AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, AirPods (second-generation), Beats Solo Pro, and Powerbeats 4. Head below for details on how to check your firmware version.

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AirPods Stories September 24

The zombie-like remains of bankrupt wearables company Jawbone is suing Apple for patent infringement. The claim relates to the noise-cancelling features used in AirPods Pro and AirPods Max models.

Jawbone was once a successful company in the wearables and audio business, with its fitness bands sold in Apple stores …

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AirPods Stories September 14

It’s been almost five years since Nintendo released the Nintendo Switch. As it readies the new model coming up next month, the company finally addressed a long wish from its users: the ability to connect AirPods and other Bluetooth headphones to the console.

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AirPods Stories September 13

Tomorrow marks Apple’s annual September event, and all eyes are on the iPhone 13 and Apple Watch Series 7. Over the weekend, however, Ming-Chi Kuo reported that Apple is also planning to announce the long-rumored AirPods 3 refresh during the event. Based on the rumors we’ve seen so far, there’s a real possibility AirPods 3 could end up stealing the show.

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AirPods Stories September 10

We are just days away from the official announcement of the new Apple Watch Series 7, which is expected to have a brand new flat design. Meanwhile, reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo today shared some hints about what to expect for Apple Watch Series 8 in 2022 and also for future versions of AirPods.

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AirPods Stories August 27

With a successful AirPods line, it’s only natural for users to wonder when Apple will release a new generation of the AirPods, AirPods Pro, and AirPods Max. Head below as we roundup the latest rumors on when expect a new version of each of these products…

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AirPods Stories August 12

The Zens 4-in-1 Magnetic Wireless Charger was announced last month as a complete charging solution for iPhone 12, Apple Watch, AirPods, and iPad.

At $150, it’s not a cheap option, so raises the question: Is it worth it … ?

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Apple and Cornell University have published a new piece of research this week highlighting how researchers can estimate respiratory rate using breath audio obtained through wearable microphones such as AirPods and AirPods Pro. The paper was published by Apple and Cornell University researchers this month and spotted first by MyHealthyApple.

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AirPods Stories August 10

Apple has announced multiple new features for AirPods users with iOS 15, which includes Conversation Boost for AirPods Pro and true Find My support for the first time. While Apple mentioned that users will be able to locate lost AirPods with Precision Finding, iOS 15 will also link AirPods with your Apple ID to ensure that you can easily find them anywhere.

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AirPods Stories August 9

Apple Support app for iOS adds paired AirPods to your list of devices

The Apple Support app just got a new update with version 4.3, adding paired AirPods to the list of your owned devices.

AirPods Stories August 8

To boost COVID-19 vaccination with young people, Washington DC’s Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that the city would give away AirPods, gift cards, or a $25,000 scholarship for those who receive their first shot.

As reported by the Hill, people over 12-17 years old who get vaccinated at Brookland MS, Sousa MS, or Johnson MS will receive an AirPods with their first shot and a chance to win a $25,000 scholarship, iPad, and headphones.

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AirPods Stories July 21

A new report says that the long-rumored next-gen AirPods, with a design similar to the current AirPods Pro, will enter production next month. That’s likely to see them announced at the same time as this year’s iPhone lineup.

Speaking of which, the same report reiterates earlier ones that Apple will return to its traditional September launch for all four models …

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AirPods Stories July 19

Earlier today, the first real-world images of the MagSafe Battery Pack emerged, showing a closer look at the fit, finish, and size of the new accessory. Now, an image has emerged showing that the MagSafe Battery Pack can be used as a Qi charger for any accessory, including AirPods.

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AirPods Stories July 16

Fake AirPods cost Apple around $3.2 billion, estimates a report today, after US Customs and Border Protection revealed data on seizures in the past nine months.

It says that seizures of counterfeit headphones increased from $3.3 million worth in 2019 to $62.2 million worth between October last year and today – and that these are only a fraction of the total made…

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AirPods Stories July 12

AirPods originally launched back in 2016 and over the last five years, the lineup has grown to feature three distinct models. Particularly if you’ve had the original first-gen or second-gen AirPods for several years, they might be on the brink of death with the batteries wearing out. Let’s look at several options for what to do with old/dying AirPods beyond just paying Apple for replacements or buying a new pair.

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AirPods Stories July 10

As of now, the rumors about AirPods 3 are sparse. While many sources suggested that the product would launch in the first half of the year, it’s now clearer that Apple is saving its announcement for the upcoming months.

And when the company finally announces the AirPods 3, I don’t think Apple will kill its second-generation wireless earbuds and, as a matter of fact, will give more options for users to choose, as it did back in the day with the iPod line.

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AirPods Stories June 29

We’ve been hearing rumors about new MacBooks and AirPods for a while now, and more sources have pointed out that these products will be announced sometime later this year. According to a report from the Taiwanese website Economic Daily News, the company will indeed launch new MacBooks and AirPods in the second half of 2021.

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