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

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

48. Xxtoxicskittlexx

Posts: 194; Member since: Jun 11, 2018

$79 for a wireless charging plastic case. Yikes!!!

47. darkkjedii

Posts: 31796; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

So after 2 1/2 years, the new AirPods only have hey Siri, no black ones, a new chip (duhhh), and wireless charging, which is not only optional, but also more money. And where the hell is AirPower? Oh well, the Galaxy S10 will charge them ;).

45. Foxgabanna unregistered

I'll stick with my first gen. It's not that much of a chose to just plug them in via lightning cable.

40. Xavier1415

Posts: 237; Member since: Feb 26, 2012

this is ridiculous lol

38. monkeyb

Posts: 417; Member since: Jan 17, 2018

I could not find Bluetooth 5 stat anywhere on their page. Am I missing something? I wonder why they did not mention that.

36. aljosamitrovic

Posts: 16; Member since: Sep 28, 2018

Not worth it. Keep doing zero improvement, Apple, way to go.

33. briankeithmays

Posts: 46; Member since: Dec 18, 2013

Waste of money! It doesn't sound better than the first pair. $40 for a wireless charging ase that should come with it. BS

30. Vancetastic

Posts: 1948; Member since: May 17, 2017

Looks like these will fall out of my ears too. Oh well.

27. kozza3

Posts: 778; Member since: Oct 17, 2012

Of course they charge more for a feature that should have been included in the beginning

25. surethom

Posts: 1768; Member since: Mar 04, 2009

NO ear COATING then No thanks, i personally know 5 people including myself that at least 1 always falls out of ears.

26. jmill75

Posts: 127; Member since: Jul 22, 2009

I bench, squat, run on the treadmill. This has never happened. Never saw anyone else at the gym picking there's off the ground either. Must be 5 special people or you just like to complain...hmmm

24. jmill75

Posts: 127; Member since: Jul 22, 2009

Android user here. I do love my Airpods. But, nothing here makes it worth upgrading to the new version. I will happily keep my current gen ones.

23. Rager722 unregistered

Seriously.. no black color?

16. surethom

Posts: 1768; Member since: Mar 04, 2009

OMG how many articles can anyone produce on a rumour. Only on an apple product could that happen.

14. surethom

Posts: 1768; Member since: Mar 04, 2009

Need a rubber coating so they can stay in my ears.

8. Slowpoke

Posts: 23; Member since: Sep 30, 2015

They do have middle of the road sound quality surprisingly. And they dont fall out of most peoples ears even when tilting the head dramatically, jogging, work out in the gym. But for a few people they fit terrible. Why people love them is that you can use one of the pair at a time for phone calls. Some of us are on the phone a lot. If the battery gets weak then pull the other ear bud out of the charging case and it activates (even in mid call) and put the dying bud in the charging case. All without pressing any buttons. Ready for music? Put the second bud in and it automatically converts to stereo. Oh, and it doesnt use one of those awful micro-usb plugs for charging.

7. japkoslav

Posts: 1553; 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: 169; 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: 1553; 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.

44. Foxgabanna unregistered

This don't make sense

28. kozza3

Posts: 778; Member since: Oct 17, 2012

Buy an Apple Watch and get most of those features but on your wrist!

43. Foxgabanna unregistered

Here's a thinker!

6. LikeMyself

Posts: 631; 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.

1. JCASS889 unregistered

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

2. hjl2345

Posts: 119; 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 unregistered

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: 991; 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: 164; 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: 82; Member since: Nov 02, 2017

But the 1st gen airpod can already do that

41. BL4NKF4CE

Posts: 164; 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.

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