Apple Inc. on Wednesday unveiled new version of its AirPods wireless earbuds that can activate the virtual assistant Siri by voice, an added feature aimed at extending the momentum of a fast-selling device as iPhone sales cool.
The new Apple-designed H1 chip, developed specifically for headphones, delivers performance efficiencies, faster connect times, more talk time and the convenience of hands-free “Hey Siri.” AirPods come with either a standard charging case or a new Wireless Charging Case for convenient charging at home and on the go.
“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,” said Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “The world’s best wireless headphones just got 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.”
The AirPods 2 cost $159 (£159/AU$249/AED 679) with a standard charging case, or $199 (/£199/AU$319/AED 829) with a wireless charging case. Customers can also buy the wireless charging case separately for $79 (£79/AU$129/AED 329)
At first glance, the new AirPods 2 look very similar to the original Apple AirPods. Again, they’re completely cable-free, drawing battery from a pillbox-like charging case, with stem-like protrusions from the buds. But the next-gen improvements are under the hood.