AirPods Overview Updated March 19, 2021

Apple AirPods

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420 'AirPods' stories

October 2015 - January 2022

Apple’s truly wireless wireless and cord-free earbuds now with Qi support

AirPods 1 Features

AirPods are Apple’s wireless, cord-free in-ear headphones, and were unveiled alongside the iPhone 7 on September 7, 2016. Priced at $159 they were originally announced to be available in late October, 2016, but were delayed until December 13.

They have a very similar form-factor to the company’s wired EarPods, with the obvious omission of a cable and the addition of Bluetooth connectivity. Despite this, early reports suggest that they are better at staying in your ears.

They offer Apple’s latest wireless pairing system, based on the W1 chip. They pair instantly, and that pairing propagates across all your Apple devices via iCloud. The secret sauce behind the new pairing system turned out to be all in the W1 chip in the headphones themselves, so it works with Bluetooth LE devices all the way back to the iPhone 5.

AirPods 2 Features

In March of 2019, Apple released AirPods 2. The new version is available for $199 with the wireless charging case, or available with the standard case for $159. Existing version 1 owners can purchase the wireless charging case separately for $79.

Version 2 moved away from the W1 chip to the new H1 chip to deliver up to 50 percent more talk time compared to the first generation. The H1 should also speed up switching between devices, with Apple saying version 2 should now connect two times faster. Version 2 also includes ‘Hey Siri’ support as well.

AirPods Pro

In October 2019, Apple announced AirPods Pro. The Pro model features “Active Noise Cancellation and superior, immersive sound in an all-new lightweight, in-ear design.” The new in-ear design of the Pro model makes for better noise cancellation. Apple says that the Pro headphones are sweat and water-resistant rated for IPX4. The box includes three different sizes of ear tips, which should make them relatively versatile.

AirPods Pro vs. AirPods comparison

There are five major features that the Pro model has have that Version 2 don’t:

  • Active noise cancellation
  • Audio Transparency mode
  • IPX4 water/sweat resistance
  • Adaptive EQ
  • In-ear design with three sets of tips
How AirPods Pro and AirPods gen 2 compare

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Top Stories

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AirPods Stories Today

A new Kuo report yesterday suggested that we can expect new AirPods with lossless audio support – more specifically, an AirPods Pro 2 model that allows users to listen to ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec).

This was given additional weight by Apple’s AirPods lead hinting to What HiFi that the company may have plans for achieving the wireless bandwidth needed for lossless audio. However, while I do think this is a likely development, I don’t think we should get too excited about it …

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AirPods Pro: How to use Ear Tip Fit Test and change tips

AirPods Pro include three different sets of ear tips for a customizable fit, and they also have a neat fit-test feature that uses the internal microphones to analyze whether you’ve picked the right ear tips. Read on for how to change AirPods Pro ear tips and run the Ear Tip Fit Test.

AirPods Stories December 30, 2021

Apple’s AirPods have been a runway success over the last several years, and the lineup now includes multiple different variations from which to choose.

In a new interview with What HiFi, Gary Geaves, Apple’s VP of Acoustics, and Eric Treski from the Product Marketing Team went in-depth on the technology behind AirPods, with an interesting focus on how Bluetooth can be a major bottleneck.

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AirPods Stories December 28, 2021

With a successful AirPods line, it’s only natural for users to wonder when Apple will release a new generation of the AirPods, AirPods Pro, and AirPods Max. Head below as we round up the latest rumors on when expecting a new version of each of these products…

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AirPods Stories December 26, 2021

AirPods and AirPods Pro are some of the most popular Christmas gifts every year, and that was no different this year. Aggressive sales pricing and ample supply saw many people unwrap AirPods or AirPods Pro today. Here are some of the best tips, tricks, and features to get you started with your new AirPods.

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AirPods Stories December 14, 2021

Global AirPods shipments fell by a third in Q3, according to a new market intelligence report today. The figures for Apple include Beats products, but the greatest fall is likely to have been for AirPods, as consumers waited for the third-generation model.

However, Apple’s dominance of the true wireless stereo (TWS) headphones market is so great that no other brand came anywhere close to challenging the company’s lead …

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AirPods Stories December 10, 2021

Although Apple’s AirPods earphones often receive firmware updates, there’s no easy or intuitive way to update them. Now it seems that Apple has realized this, as the company has developed a tool to manually update AirPods’ firmware – but it’s not available to everyone.

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AirPods Stories December 7, 2021

How much can a product change in five years? Well, in tech years, this is more like a decade. AirPods, first announced alongside the iPhone 7, have gone through a few different variations over the years. Now, the publication Scan of the Month is offering us an in-depth look at how much Apple’s wireless earbuds have changed from AirPods 1 to the Pro model, and now to AirPods 3.

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AirPods Stories November 30, 2021

Apple device collector Giulio Zompetti has shared a new round of prototype images of Apple devices on Twitter. Most notably, Zompetti has shared images of prototype AirPods that features an intriguing translucent design.

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AirPods Stories November 26, 2021

One of the main draws of AirPods has always been their ability to essentially be invisible, both to the user and to people around them. When they were first introduced they had two features, the ability to play music and the ability to talk to Siri with a tap. But over the past five years, Apple has added new features both through hardware revisions and in software updates that have us wondering if AirPods deserve their own companion app on iPhone. Here’s what we think it should look like.

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AirPods Stories November 20, 2021

Poll: Would you ever consider switching back to Apple’s wired EarPods?

For over five years, Apple AirPods have been a success. Even though, more younger people are starting to wear the company’s wired EarPods again. Would you ever consider switching back to the old wired earbuds or AirPods are the best solution?

AirPods Stories November 19, 2021

When the Wall Street Journal published its post the other day declaring that wired EarPods were back in style, I wasn’t even remotely surprised. In fact, I’ve always thought it was inevitable that once AirPods were fully democratized, younger generations would find them to be uncool. We’ve seen it happen time and time again with other technologies, the most popular reference being to Facebook and its now much older demographic. So yes, wired earbuds are trendy again. But what does that mean for the industry and culture at large?

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AirPods Stories November 13, 2021

Just after its “Unleashed” event, Apple started selling the AirPods 3. With a new design and improved battery, do you think these wireless earbuds fit better or worse than the previous model?

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AirPods Stories November 10, 2021

With the holiday shopping season already in full swing, one of the most popular gifts this year will undoubtedly be AirPods and AirPods Pro. With four different variations to choose from, making the buying decision could be tricky. Read on as we compare the AirPods 2, AirPods 3, AirPods Pro, and AirPods Max, plus offer tips on the best accessories to complement your gifts this year.

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AirPods Stories November 5, 2021

Ever since Apple introduced the AirPods line a few years ago, the company has continued to expand its truly wireless earbuds lineup, especially if you including Beats products. Combining them all, there are at least five different models you could buy right now. What are your favorite Apple or Beats wireless earbuds so far?

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AirPods Stories October 29, 2021

Apple’s flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York City is now offering same-day engraving of AirPods. The service is complemented by a beautiful new avenue display that showcases all of the different designs that you can get engraved on your AirPods. Each of the emoji and text in the display is engraved into the wall.

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AirPods Stories October 27, 2021

When Apple introduced AirPods Pro in late 2019, they instantly made the regular AirPods “uncool.” The stems were shorter, the sound was better, there were actual buttons, and the case had a landscape design that was undeniably new. But AirPods Pro have always had a fundamental flaw for me. They just don’t fit my ears. None of the included interchangeable tips have ever worked for me. I know this is unusual since people tend to say that AirPods Pro fit their ears better than standard AirPods, but the original AirPods design was infinitely more comfortable for me. The third-generation AirPods take the best of both and combine them into one pair of nearly perfect wireless earbuds.

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AirPods Stories October 26, 2021

The all-new 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro, 3rd-gen AirPods, and yep, even the Apple Polishing Cloth are arriving in customers’ hands today. Many of the products are days or weeks out from shipping for online orders at this point, but many Apple Stores have stock for pickup today. Meanwhile, some early preorders are seeing last-minute delays.

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In honor of the iPod’s 20th anniversary and the 10th anniversary of Steve Jobs passing, Native Union is out with a commemorative and useful little accessory – AirPods Beanies. Inspired by the classic iPod Socks, the new AirPods Beanies work with all AirPods cases (and more) and come in a colorful 4-pack.

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AirPods Stories October 20, 2021

If you’re looking to buy truly wireless AirPods from Apple, you have more options than ever from which to choose. Apple’s lineup of truly AirPods currently consists of AirPods 2, AirPods 3, and AirPods Pro. Each of these are unique in their own ways, so head below as we recap all of the similarities and differences between the AirPods available today…

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AirPods 3 improvements include better in-ear detection

The just-launched AirPods 3 come with a number of improvements over the previous generation, including shorter stems, a new battery-case with MagSafe support, and Spatial Audio – but a report today notes there’s an additional small but useful enhancement…

AirPods Stories October 18, 2021

During the “Unleashed” keynote, Apple announced a brand-new AirPods 3. Even so, the company still sells the second-generation AirPods. Here’s how Apple’s wireless earbuds line looks now.

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During its October special event, Apple finally unveiled the third-generation of its popular wireless earbuds. AirPods 3 features a new design based on AirPods Pro, but this time with a universal fit and Spatial Audio support.

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After a year of potential release dates, it seems that AirPods 3 could finally be announced this Monday during the “Unleashed” Apple event. Here’s what we know so far.

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