Apple outs 2nd generation AirPods with longer battery life, 'Hey Siri' and wireless charging

Apple outs 2nd generation AirPods with longer battery life, 'Hey Siri' and wireless charging

In 2017's iPhone announcement, Apple depicted a new wireless charging case for its AirPods that will go with its AirPower mat, but neither the wireless charger nor the case materialized. Until today, that is, as Apple just announced the long-rumored AirPods upgrade. Bear in mind that these are not the rumored AirPods 2 which may eventually come in the fall, but rather the wireless charging case announcement, plus a new chip that extends battery life significantly. Apple simply calls the buds second generation AirPods, and that's that.

Apple AirPods 2nd generation specs, features and battery

Longer battery life, always-on Siri, and faster connectivity

Apple AirPods 2nd-gen with wireless charging case

Apple AirPods 2nd-gen with wireless charging case

The long wait for AirPods update is over, and it is well worth it. The improvements implemented in the new pair are far from insignificant. The most important upgrade is swapping the W1 chip design that is in the current AirPods with an updated H1 Bluetooth connectivity chip, likely from the rank that provides the Bluetooth 5.0 connection in the Apple Watch 4. 

This homebrew silicon slashes the power draw of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity compared to W1, and improves latency, so we might be looking at longer battery life. Indeed, Apple promises 50% more talk time from the new AirPods though not an extension in listening times. On top of that, "switching between devices while listening to music on iPhone, Apple Watch or iPad is more seamless than ever with two times faster connect times." Cool.

Just as rumored, Apple's awesome cable-less Bluetooth earbuds now introduce a Siri agent that will always be listening for your "safe word" command. Another feature common in third-party headphones today that highlights how needed an update of the AidPods was.

Just by saying "Hey, Siri", the new AirPods can be commanded to call someone, play the next song, lower the volume or give you driving directions when paired with your iPhone. Аpple's Phil Schiller also mentions that the new H1 chip has "custom audio architecture" for a "revolutionary audio experience" and "improved synchronization," but the exact effects on the listening and connecting experiences remain to be determined when we grab a pair for review.

AirPods 2nd generation wireless charging case

At last, the wireless charging case is here

Apple's AirPods come with an optional Wireless Charging Case. It offers extra charges for more than 24 hours of total listening time and can be used with any Qi-compatible charging solutions. There is an LED indicator at the front to notify you of the charge status with just a glance, and any AirPods user can get the Wireless Charging Case, even for your first-gen buds.

Apple AirPods 2nd generation price and release date

Spring 2019 brings blossoms and AirPods alike, but will we see a price hike?

For some, the list of new features might have brought joy, but others probably saw a potential drawback from packing so much tech into the AirPods 2. We're talking, of course, about a potential rise in price. 

Thankfully, that is not the case, as the 2nd generation AirPods are still $159, though the Wireless Charging Case is $79 as a standalone extra. If you buy both, the price falls to $199 for the set, instead of $238.

As for the release date, Apple says "next week," but they are available for order immediately, and Apple will ship them when the clock strikes midnight on March 25th, just as rumored. The kicker is that there will also be a personal engraving available both for the AirPods and the charging cases for it, nice. Unfortunately, shortly after the pre-orders began, delivery dates slipped into April for the new AirPods plus the Wireless Charging Case, but hopefully, they will be normalized soon. Any takers?

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49 Comments

1. JCASS889

Posts: 432; Member since: May 18, 2018

def not worth the asking price, so many better sounding headphones for half the price.

2. hjl2345

Posts: 73; Member since: Aug 11, 2018

Yes that is true, but it does offer convience that is only unique for pairing with iPhones. I really didn't like the initial design of it, but when I got to experience it first hand, it was really good.

20. JCASS889

Posts: 432; Member since: May 18, 2018

I don't get this whole instant connect advantage, I have a pair of headphones that connect automatically to my phone as soon as I turn on Bluetooth. No other steps needed

22. palmguy

Posts: 955; Member since: Mar 22, 2011

1st world perceived problems/Apple's new reality distortion field. I turn on my Bluetooth headphones, the female's voice tells me device connected. Done.

29. BL4NKF4CE

Posts: 116; Member since: Aug 06, 2017

I think it has to do with switching devices. If you connect your Airpods to your iPhone, they automatically pair with all your iCloud Devices. IPad, Macbook, iMac. And the new H1 chip supposedly makes switching to a different device while even quicker. At least, that's what I got from the article.

32. Icent55

Posts: 60; Member since: Nov 02, 2017

But the 1st gen airpod can already do that

41. BL4NKF4CE

Posts: 116; Member since: Aug 06, 2017

I'm gonna quote myself "And the new H1 chip supposedly makes switching to a different device while even quicker." Keyword: quicker.

49. LAgurl

Posts: 66; Member since: Dec 05, 2018

quicker? so 10 seconds faster? not worth it

37. CandyBar

Posts: 43; Member since: Dec 08, 2017

If Siri has anything to do with it connecting, it's doomed. Has to be the worst AI in tech.

50. QWIKSTRIKE

Posts: 1457; Member since: Mar 09, 2010

My Jabra elite active 65t connects to my Note 9 as soon as I take it out of the charge case. They don't have that silly look as if something is dripping from your ear. Rofl.

39. Onespot

Posts: 48; Member since: Mar 15, 2018

Yeah, because you are an apple fanatic

3. yonith

Posts: 221; Member since: Sep 11, 2012

Strange how every one of its competitors use an in ear design whereas these kind of just rest on the outer portion of the ear.

4. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1158; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

It makes you wonder what use the noise cancellation even has. One of the most heard complaints about those Airpods is how badly they fit in ears and how easy they fall out. What good is noise cancellation when you've got so much ambient noise leaking past the poorly fitted Airpods. Form over function, the Apple way.

5. toukale

Posts: 605; Member since: Jun 10, 2015

Its amazing how the folks who do not own the product complains the most on blogs. Why is that? There is such a thing as return, if you own a product and do not like it, just return it and get your money back. Why some here have issues with others deciding what's best for them with their own money is beyond me.

10. midan

Posts: 2557; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

They are jealous

46. blingblingthing

Posts: 842; Member since: Oct 23, 2012

You don't need to own a product to complain about it. You don't need to build your house on sand to determine it's a bad idea. You don't need to buy a car with a history engine issues to confirm if it's true. You can easily compare the two and see the pros and cons. Apple sells hyped products. There is just about always a capable product for reasonably less.

51. MrHate

Posts: 313; Member since: Feb 09, 2015

You definitively DO need to own or at least have used the AirPods before you can speak about it. Same for any other headphones. You can't judge them just by looks and assume things out of your ass.

9. midan

Posts: 2557; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

"One of the most heard complaints about those Airpods is how badly they fit in ears and how easy they fall out" You propably mix this with earpods, people actually say opposite about AirPods, they are surprised how well those stay in ear. The reason is because they are wireless, it makes huge difference.

35. surethom

Posts: 1587; Member since: Mar 04, 2009

1 just kept falling out, its a bad decision for Apple to not add a coating to these.

11. bigsimpd

Posts: 163; Member since: Jan 13, 2012

Exactly I was a Jaybird man.One night while I was charging them and pulled the earbuds out of the Iphone box and was amazed how well they sounded never ever used them and had phone over a year.After that went to Bestbuy and purchased the air pods best decision I made sound quality and always charged up and the easy pairing is unbeatable.Jaybirds are in the box now lol

15. j_grouchy

Posts: 163; Member since: Nov 08, 2016

I much prefer this style. I cannot STAND the in-ear type that I have to shove into my ear canal. They are uncomfortable and it amplifies all the sounds in my own body...breathing, chewing, swallowing. I don't want to hear that!

34. surethom

Posts: 1587; Member since: Mar 04, 2009

Yes thats a good thing apart form no coating so fall out of my ears, Google pixel use the same design, i wish more did, i really hate the in ear canal design.

17. japkoslav

Posts: 1373; Member since: Feb 19, 2017

Half the asking price? Don't be ridiculous! You can get better TWS for tenth of the price. Pairing "argument" is really funny, since you pair your headphones once ... and never again.

31. BL4NKF4CE

Posts: 116; Member since: Aug 06, 2017

It's because they're banking on the fact that airpods users have more than one apple device, and if you pair these with one of your Apple devices they're automatically paired with all devices your iCloud account is connected to.

19. Peaceboy

Posts: 640; Member since: Oct 11, 2018

Android fans be like. But you really don’t know seamless integration between apples devises do you? As for me I don’t really care about the price they are offering as long as they are the best for what I need.

42. Foxgabanna

Posts: 576; Member since: Sep 11, 2016

Eh I don't know Airpods sound pretty damn good for what you get and the battery life is really good. They shine especially with an iPhone. But the Pixel 3 they sound very good as well.

6. LikeMyself

Posts: 629; Member since: Sep 23, 2013

Why do they not include wings with these? Wings cost dirt cheap on AliExpress etc. They should include a pair considering this price.

7. japkoslav

Posts: 1373; Member since: Feb 19, 2017

Give me decent sound quality and I will consider buying them. Inteligent way to control volume and skip track would be great, but I know they won't be brave to implement it. Decent sound quality.

12. bigsimpd

Posts: 163; Member since: Jan 13, 2012

You can skip track have to set it up in your settings for the airpods.And you can pause as well however you prefer the double tap to be its on you

13. japkoslav

Posts: 1373; Member since: Feb 19, 2017

I know, I mean full controls - volume, skip, etc. + If they are decent, I will not use them with iPhone, maybe iPad Pro ... but probably with my "daily" driver. Decent sound is my primary demand, the rest I could try to live with.

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