Apple already announced new iPads and new iMacs this week. And now to continue that onslaught of updated hardware, it just released the second generation of AirPods, and to go with them (or your originals), a wireless charging case.
Airpods with Better Battery and Hey Siri
We think the AirPods are great for convenience, especially if you’re an iPhone or iPad user. They travel well, turn themselves on, and pair more easily to your Apple devices than any other Bluetooth device. That’s in part thanks to the custom W1 chip Apple built to improve wireless connectivity. What we wish they had is noise isolation, wireless charging, and longer battery life.
Well, two out of three ain’t bad, and Apple delivered. The latest version of AirPods features a custom H1 chip that takes what the AirPods do well and improves upon it. Apple claims the new AirPods will connect to your devices even faster, and the battery will last longer. The second generation AirPods should provide an extra hour of talk time (the company calls this a 50% improvement), and switching between devices should be twice as fast as the original AirPods. And they have “Hey Siri” capability, which someone will use. Probably by accident.
A New Wireless Charging Case Adds Even More Convenience
Wireless charging is one of those features that you can live without until you have it. And once you have it, you won’t go back. The good news is Apple released a wireless charging case for AirPods along with the hardware update. The better news is, they’re compatible with the previous generation AirPods.
To no one’s surprise, the wireless charging case uses the Qi standard and will work with any Qi charging pads you have now. What you won’t hear about is AirPower, that continues to be an unspoken subject with Apple. You can buy the wireless case separately for $79 if you already have AirPods.
If you’re in the market new AirPods you can either buy the new hardware today with a standard case for $159, or with the wireless charging case for $199. If you don’t already have AirPods and you think you may want wireless charging case, it makes the most sense to buy them up front given there’s a $40 difference between buying it as a bundle or buying it separately.
That is unless you’d prefer to buy one of the several cheaper alternatives we recommended in the past.