AirPods Overview Updated March 19, 2021

Apple AirPods

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468 'AirPods' stories

October 2015 - January 2023

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

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AirPods Stories January 30

One of the steps Apple is expected to take in reducing its dependence on China is to have some AirPods made in India – in addition to those already made in Vietnam.

The company has already asked two of its AirPods suppliers to move some of that work to India, and it’s today reported that Apple has commissioned an Indian company to produce the plastic enclosures for the in-ear devices …

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The Apple Back to School promo has traditionally offered students a pair of free AirPods, in addition to the usual education discount. That changed in the US last year, with Apple instead offering gift cards worth up to $150 – but the company appears to have switched back to AirPods this year.

The 2023 Back to School promo has launched in a number of countries in the southern hemisphere, and Apple is offering a pair of AirPods, plus the usual additional discount on AppleCare+

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AirPods Stories January 18

Following the release of iOS 16.3 RC to developers and public beta users earlier today, Apple is now rolling out a firmware update for the second and third generation AirPods, AirPods Pro, and AirPods Max. Today’s updates follow firmware updates that were released for the AirPods family in November 2022.

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AirPods Stories January 2

Apple currently sells four different models of AirPods, ranging from the second-generation AirPods to the advanced AirPods Max. And while AirPods have become quite popular earphones, they’re not exactly cheap. But according to analyst Jeff Pu of Haitong Intl Tech Research, the company is now working on new “AirPods Lite” to compete with cheaper wireless earbuds.

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AirPods Stories December 26, 2022

Ready to sell or hand down your AirPods? Or maybe you want to fix an issue you’re having. Read along for how to reset AirPods and AirPods Pro and the separate process to remove AirPods Apple ID.

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AirPods Stories December 18, 2022

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 round up the latest rumors on when expecting a new version of each of these products…

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AirPods Stories December 5, 2022

Strong AirPods Pro 2 sales played a major role in Apple substantially increasing its share of the TWS (True Wireless Stereo) market, according to a new market intelligence report.

Apple substantially grew its already-strong lead over the rest of the market during Q3, as second-placed Samsung saw its Galaxy Buds shipments fall by 25% …

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AirPods Stories November 30, 2022

Belkin launches AirPods Cleaning Kit, claims to remove earwax plus restore acoustic performance

Belkin has launched an intriguing AirPods Cleaning Kit this week. Designed for gen 1, 2, or 3 of Apple’s hit earphones, the kit includes a solution that the company says not only removes earwax but also brings “your high-quality audio back.”

AirPods Stories November 14, 2022

Apple first launched free engraving with the 2nd-gen AirPods in 2019 and expanded the options to include emoji in early 2020. But did you know you can put your own face on AirPods with free Memoji engraving? Here’s where and how to access the option.

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AirPods Stories November 10, 2022

Following an update for AirPods Pro 2 earlier this week, Apple is now rolling out new firmware versions for the rest of its AirPods lineup as well. This includes AirPods 2, AirPods 3, AirPods Max, and the original AirPods Pro.

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AirPods Stories November 8, 2022

Apple has settled privately with the guy who says he thought of AirPods first before they were invented. The declaration was made just as jury selection was set to begin.

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Landing AirPods Pro 2 for Christmas might become a whole lot harder soon. That’s because Apple appears to have lost one of its two suppliers responsible for AirPods Pro 2 over a possible production issue.

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AirPods Stories October 25, 2022

The AAPL Q4 2022 earnings report lands on Thursday, when the company will reveal its financials for July to September. Analysts are expecting good news, based on strong demand for the iPhone 14.

As has been the case since 2020, Apple is not expected to offer any official guidance for the holiday quarter, but Wall Street will be listening carefully for any clues the company may provide …

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AirPods Stories October 13, 2022

AirPods Pro 2 are the classic example of Apple taking an already great product and improving on it in meaningful ways. Only the most studious AirPods Pro observer could identify the new Pros over the originals.

Yet, the total user experience has been upgraded in a way that clearly warrants a new version. In prior years, this strategy would be marketed by appending the letter S to an iPhone product name. While that naming scheme has fallen out of fashion, the spirit of the letter applies to second-generation AirPods Pro in the best way possible.

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AirPods Stories October 11, 2022

AirPods launched back in 2016 with AirPods Pro arriving in 2019. If you have had first or second-gen AirPods or first-gen AirPods Pro for several years, the batteries are probably wearing out. Let’s look at a range of options for what to do with dying old AirPods including replacing, selling, and recycling.

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AirPods Stories October 7, 2022

Following the release of iOS 16.1 beta 4 earlier this week, Apple today released a new AirPods beta firmware to developers. It’s unclear, however, what’s new in the update as Apple doesn’t provide details on AirPods firmware updates.

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With an in-ear design, AirPods Pro (gen 1 and 2) can become dirty more quickly than AirPods. But cleaning them is easy enough when you know what to avoid and what materials/tools are best. Read on for how to clean AirPods Pro and the charging case with step-by-step do’s and don’ts.

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AirPods Stories October 5, 2022

Some AirPods and Beats headphones are to be made in India for the first time, as Apple continues a gradual reduction of its dependence on China for product manufacturing.

AirPods production is predominantly split between Foxconn and Luxshare, and a report today says that Apple has instructed both companies to move some of their assembly work to India …

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AirPods Stories October 4, 2022

With the release of iOS 16.1 beta 3 last week, owners of the first-generation AirPods Pro and AirPods Max noticed that the update enabled the “Adaptive Transparency” option for these earphones. While it was unclear whether the feature was actually coming to older AirPods or not, Apple has now removed the option with iOS 16.1 beta 4, confirming that it was just a bug.

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AirPods Stories September 29, 2022

A new Apple patent application for iPhone reverse charging has been published today, further boosting speculation about when the Cupertino company will finally offer the wireless power sharing capability.

The application describes another possible application for the technology: placing two iPhones back-to-back to enable one to charge the other …

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AirPods Stories September 12, 2022

Apple made some changes to how AirPods integrate with the Settings app with iOS 16. Now, with iOS 16 now available to the general public, Apple is building on these updates with a new support document that finally provides release notes for AirPods firmware updates…

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AirPods Stories September 7, 2022

iOS already shows users alerts when a non-genuine iPhone or iPad part is detected. However, it seems that Apple is about to take the next step, this time with AirPods. With the release of iOS 16 RC to developers on Wednesday, 9to5Mac found out that the system will now alert users about counterfeit AirPods.

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Apple on Wednesday introduced the second generation of its high-end AirPods Pro wireless earbuds, and they come with multiple enhancements. At the same time, the company also made some changes to the entire lineup of AirPods. Read on as we detail what’s new for the AirPods lineup.

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Apple is upgrading AirPods Pro with a second version that includes an upgraded processor inside. The new H2 chip powers improvements to key AirPods Pro features including noise cancellation and battery life.

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