AirPods Overview Updated March 19, 2021

Apple AirPods

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372 'AirPods' stories

October 2015 - May 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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AirPods Stories May 1

A new rumor suggests Apple Music could announce a HiFi tier in the coming weeks as well as the launch of the third-generation AirPods alongside it. The rumor contradicts other reports that suggest AirPods 3 aren’t coming until the fall.

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AirPods Stories April 28

Apple has released an updated firmware version for AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro. The new firmware is version 3E751, and it comes seven months after the previous firmware version was released for AirPods and AirPods Pro users.

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AirPods demand is reportedly falling in the face of increased competition from other brands. A supply-chain report says that Apple is ordering suppliers to cut production by somewhere in the 25-30% range.

It says Apple is currently sitting on excess inventory in warehouses …

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AirPods Stories April 14

Amazon today introduced the second-generation of its Echo Buds while the Apple community awaits the introduction of AirPods 3. For the first-gen buds, Amazon only offered them in black, but this year they have added a white color… and the white case design very much borders on AirPods Pro/AirPods 3 territory.

Also just like AirPods, the new wireless charging case is an optional extra, priced $20 above the normal $119 price point. However, to be fair, that is where the similarities end, as the Echo Buds lack the stems that are currently AirPods’ trademark …

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AirPods Stories April 8

Along with Apple officially opening up its Find My app to third parties yesterday, Belkin started pre-orders for its new Soundform Freedom wireless earbuds. In addition to the Find My integration, the new earbuds have some impressive features like 36-hour battery life, in-ear design, Qi wireless charging, and more at just $99. Let’s dive in and look at the Belkin Soundform Freedom vs AirPods and AirPods Pro.

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AirPods Stories April 7

Now that Apple’s Find My program has officially launched with a range of third-party accessories, we’re left wondering what Apple’s own plans are for first-party products. AirTags have been rumored for years now, but Apple has just announced a licensed Chipolo tracker. Another accessory introduced today is a pair of black wireless earbuds from Belkin with built-in Find My tech. These obviously compete with AirPods. So what does the future hold for AirPods and AirTags?

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