Apple in March 2019 overhauled the AirPods and introduced the first ever update with a handful of useful new features that make the Apple-designed earbuds better than ever. AirPods now support hands-free “Hey Siri” functionality, allowing users to control volume and swap songs through voice commands, so there’s no longer a need to tap on the AirPods with a finger to activate Siri in this version.
The updated AirPods are equipped with an updated H1 chip, which replaces the W1 chip and brings connectivity improvements. AirPods connect more quickly to your devices for an even more hassle-free experience, and switching between devices while listening to music is now two times faster. The H1 chip in the second-generation AirPods supports Bluetooth 5.0, which should bring better range.
AirPods pair up with iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple Watch, Apple TV, and Mac, and thanks to the H1 chip, you can easily switch between Apple devices. AirPods also pair with Android phones and other Bluetooth-enabled devices using traditional Bluetooth pairing methods.
Apple’s newest AirPods come with an optional Wireless Charging Case that enables Qi-based wireless charging. You can get the new AirPods without the charging case for $159, with the Charging Case for $199, or you can buy just the Charging Case for your existing AirPods for $79.
There have been no design changes to the AirPods, so they continue to look similar to the standard Apple EarPods but without the cord. AirPods are completely wire-free, and continue to be available only in white with no other color options available.
AirPods offer up to five hours of battery life when listening to music, and the case provides an additional 24 hours of battery life. The new AirPods are more efficient with the H1 chip and talk time has increased from two hours to three hours.