Apple’s Wireless AirPods Get a ‘Gen 2’ Upgrade

Photo of Apple's Generation 2 AirPods

Apple, Inc. announced today that it has upgraded its popular AirPods wireless headphones, with a new Generation 2 model featuring technology that offers more talk time, quicker connects, a hands-free ‘Hey Siri’ capability, and a new wireless charging case.

See more on the new Apple AirPods…

Almost as ubiquitous as the bright white-wired earbuds featured in their famous silhouette ads for iPods starting back in 2003, Apple’s AirPods are quite popular with Apple fans. Although many in the industry were skeptical of this first attempt by Apple for a wireless earbud – given the general consensus of the poor sound quality of the typical Apple-branded earbud – the company has generally proved skeptics wrong…at least in terms of market acceptance.

Now the company moves on to a new Generation 2 of AirPods with several upgrades that look good on paper. Like the first gen version, Apple says this model “builds on the magical experience customers love.” I’d call that hyperbole, but I’m amazed at the number of people I see using AirPods as I travel around the country. So it seems as though some kind of magic is at work.

Are AirPods ‘Magical’?

Part of the “magic” the company claims relates to ease of use – an Apple hallmark. Even in this new announcement, the company puts more emphasis on “efficiencies,” quicker connects, new voice control and other non-audio quality related additions and improvements for an enhanced user experience. They don’t talk so much about sound quality.

The new Generation 2 AirPods utilize a new H1 chip, which the company says is “Apple-designed.” The H1 chip is said to be “specifically designed for headphones” and delivers performance efficiencies, faster connect times, more talk time, and enables hands-free ‘Hey Siri’ capability.

photo off Apple's new Generation 2 AirPods
Apple’s new Generation 2 AirPods

“AirPods delivered a magical wireless experience and have become one of the most beloved products we’ve ever made. They connect easily with all of your devices, and provide crystal clear sound and intuitive, innovative control of your music and audio. The world’s best wireless headphones just bot even better with the new AirPods. They are powered by the new Apple-designed H1 chip which brings an extra hour of talk time, faster connections, hands-free ‘Hey Siri’ and the convenience of a new wireless battery case.”

Phil Schiller, Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing

Better…Faster…Longer Lasting

The company also says the H1 chip enables 30% lower latency performance which will improve your experience whether you’re listening to a podcast, music, or playing a game. The chip is so much more efficient compared to their previous version that users can expect two-times faster connect time when switching between devices, 50% more talk time, 5 hours of listening, and up to 24 hours of listening time with a fully charged carrying case.

For voice control fans, users can now easily use ‘Hey Siri’ to effortlessly changes songs, make a call, adjust volume, or even get directions.

Photo of user and Applie Gen 2 AirPods
Thanks to a new H1 chip, Apple says the Generation 2 AirPods quickly and effortlessly switch synch between Apple devices

Optional Charging Carrying Cases

Apple is now offering two options for carrying cases – a standard charging case, or a new wireless charging case, which offers wireless charging when used with Qi-compatible charging solutions. Need a quick charge? No problem, charge AirPods for just 15 minutes and you’ll get up to 3 hours of listening or 2 hours of talk time.

Apple says that with a super simple one-click setup, users of iPhones and Apple Watches are all set to go, as the AirPods will auto-connect.

AirPods Pricing and Availability

AirPods are available now on the Apple website and will be available in Apple Stores starting next week. AirPods with a standard charging case sell for $159 MSRP, and for $199 with the wireless charging case. The wireless charging case can be purchased separately for $79.

Apple is also offering users the ability to have their case (either standard or wireless) engraved for free during checkout on Apple.com or in Apple Stores.

To learn more, visit: www.apple.com.

About Ted

A sales and marketing specialist - primarily in the technology industry - I've experienced a sort of "circle of life" in business. I've been a mass merchant retailer, a specialty retailer, a specialty manufacturer, a large volume manufacturer, a distributor, and even represented sales representatives. Now the owner of a marketing company that works with a variety of businesses on improving their strategic marketing and business development - I analyze issues from all angles to develop holistic solutions.

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