Apple AirPods Overview Updated June 3, 2020

Apple AirPods

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

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312 '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 3

Growth in wearables is expected to slow dramatically this year for three reasons, all coronavirus related.

First, there is arguably less need for things like smartwatches while people are under lockdown at home. Fitness functionality is less relevant when gyms are closed and many people are unable to exercise as much as usual …

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AirPods Stories May 22

Apple has earned the award for Best in Show at the 99th ADC Awards for its playful and fun AirPods ad, “Bounce.” Apple also took home the award for Client of the Year and its partner TBWA\Media Arts Lab won Best Ad Agency of the Year.

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AirPods Stories May 20

A report today suggests that Apple may not include free EarPods in the iPhone 12 box.

While Kuo indicates that this is intended to boost sales of AirPods, I personally don’t think it would do that. What it will do is reduce pointless waste …

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According to the latest report from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple may not include the wired EarPods headphones in the box of the iPhone 12. This would naturally drive sales of Apple’s second-generation AirPods, as customers would no longer be getting free headphones with their new phones.

Kuo suggests that Apple may heavily promote or discount the AirPods this holiday season, with no new models of AirPods or AirPods Pro expected until 2021.

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AirPods Stories May 18

For people who have been calling on Apple to offer AirPods in different colors, HTC is listening. According to images that passed through regulatory agencies in the United States and Taiwan, HTC is preparing to launch a pair of black truly wireless earbuds that look very much like AirPods.

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AirPods Stories May 10

Apple’s VP of product marketing Greg Joswiak recently talked with Wired about the runaway success of AirPods. According to the Apple executive, the spread of AirPods throughout society has been “almost like wildfire.”

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