Apple’s New AirPods Feature Siri Support, Longer Battery Life, and Wireless Charging

AirPods 2 in action
Apple's new second-generation AirPods are now available online. (Photo: Apple Newsroom)

Apple has unveiled the successor to their first wireless earphones, the new AirPods 2. The new audio accessory has added more features that make it a better choice than the earlier model. Read on for details.

Following several surprise announcements regarding their new devices, Cupertino tech giant Apple has announced their second-gen entry into the wireless audio accessory market, the AirPods 2. In a press release, Apple said the new AirPods feature longer battery life, added handsfree conveniences, and to option to go wireless charging.

The new AirPods make use of a new H1 chip which Apple made specifically for the AirPods. This chip, which replaces the older W1 chip used in the first-gen AirPods and in the Apple Watch, allows the second-gen AirPods to do several things the older model cannot.

First, Apple promises that the H1 chip will allow for better audio performance and faster connectivity. Users will find it easier to connect their Apple devices to the AirPods and enjoy better sound and audio.

Second, the H1 chip gives the new AirPods some added juice. Users can now enjoy up to 50 percent more talk time compared to the first-gen model.

Lastly, the H1 chip gives the AirPods the hands-free convenience of "Hey Siri." That's right -- Apple's virtual assistant now works with the new AirPods. Users can make calls, change songs, adjust volume levels, or ask Siri for directions without having to push a button. Of course, the feature has to be set up before it can be used.

Apple also released a new wireless charging case for the AirPods. This charging case can be used with any Qi wireless charger available in the market. This feature comes at an added price, however. Users can simply ditch this feature and opt to buy the new AirPods with a standard charging case instead.

Interestingly, the wireless charging case is compatible with the first-gen AirPods. Those who own the older model can purchase the standalone wireless charging case and enjoy wireless charging convenience as well.

Earlier rumors said the new AirPods will feature fast charging capabilities. Apple hasn't said anything about that at the moment, and so this remains to be seen.

Pricing

Buyers can purchase the new AirPods with the Standard Charging Case at $159. The AirPods with Wireless Charging Case combo, on the other hand, costs $199. The Standalone Wireless Charging Case can be purchased for use on the first-gen AirPods for $79.

All of these are now available for order on apple.com and the Apple Store app. Those who want to get them in person can do so next week. As a bonus for buying online, buyers can add a personal engraving for free during checkout on apple.com and the Apple Store app.

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