If $159 sounds like a lot of money for 8 grams, it’s because it is. Shortly after introducing the iPhone 7, Apple unveiled the AirPods. If you’re familiar with the existing EarPods, you’ll feel right at home. The AirPods are like the EarPods, but without wires.
These earbuds come with a built-in W1 chip for audio processing and pairing. According to the product page, they use Bluetooth to transmit audio from your devices. But it’s unclear if you can use them with any Bluetooth device or just Apple ones.
After pairing them with your phone, they’re going to be automatically paired with all your Apple devices that use the same Apple ID. So you’ll be able to seamlessly listen to music on your Mac, iPhone, iPad or even Apple Watch using the AirPods.
When fully charged, you can listen to up to 5 hours of music. You’ll have to put them back in the casing to get some battery life as the case doubles as a battery. Fifteen minutes of charging gives you three hours of battery life. The case holds up to 24 hours of battery life.
There are sensors so that the AirPods know when you put them in your ears. This way, Apple can save battery life. Similarly, the built-in microphones only work when you’re talking. And if you really like the movie Her, yes, you can double tap on an AirPod to trigger Siri.
The AirPods will ship in late October. The iPhone 7 comes with the usual EarPods, but with a Lightning cable.
But that’s not all. Beats is also releasing brand new headphones with the same W1 chip, the same pairing mechanism with your Apple ID.
The BeatsX will be available this Fall for $149.95. These are in-ear earbuds with a cord behind your neck. There’s a built-in Lightning port so you can charge them with your iPhone cable.
The Powerbeats 3 Wireless will also be available this Fall for $199.95. They charge via micro-USB. And the Beats Solo 3 Wireless are available for pre-order now and cost $299.95. It also relies on micro-USB.
Welcome to our wireless future. Do you miss the headphone jack already?