Apple AirPods Overview Updated August 10, 2020

Apple AirPods

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

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321 'AirPods' stories

October 2015 - August 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 August 10

Stereo headphone inventor Koss last month sued Apple, alleging infringement of five patents on wireless headphones. The lawsuit targets both AirPods and Beats wireless headphones.

Apple is now hitting back with a six-point countersuit. Five of the counts ask for a court to rule that Apple has not infringed each of the five patents listed in the original lawsuit, while a sixth one claims that Koss has no right to sue anyway …

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AirPods Stories August 5

Samsung has launched a slew of products at its virtual Unpacked event today including its latest smartphones, smartwatch, fully-wireless earbuds, and more. The new devices offer some compelling features ahead of Apple unveiling the iPhone 12 and new Apple Watch later this year.

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AirPods Stories July 24

Koss, the US company which created the first-ever high-fidelity stereo headphones, is suing Apple, accusing the AirPods maker of infringing five patents on wireless headphones. The claim is made against both AirPods and Beats wireless headphones.

Much of the court filing reads like an extended ad for the company’s achievements, and the specific claims suggest that the company is making a rather ambitious play …

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AirPods Stories July 23

How to connect AirPods to Mac manually and with one-click pairing

Whether you just got a pair of AirPods or AirPods Pro or have had them for a while but just haven’t used them with your Mac, follow along for how to connect AirPods and AirPods to your Mac. We’ll also look at how to set up seamless one-click or keyboard shortcut pairing with a Mac.

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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