AirPods

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AirPods
AirPods.jpg
DeveloperApple Inc.
ManufacturerFoxconn
Product familyAirPods
TypeWireless earbuds
Release date
  • 1st generation: December 13, 2016 (2016-12-13)
  • 2nd generation: March 20, 2019 (2019-03-20)
Introductory price
  • US$159.00 (1st and 2nd generation)
  • US$199.00 (2nd generation with Wireless Charging Case)
System-on-chip used
InputAirPods (each)
Dual beam-forming microphones, dual optical sensors, accelerometer[1]
ConnectivityAirPods (each)
Bluetooth
Charging Case
Lightning port[1]
Qi (Wireless Charging Case)
Current firmware6.3.2 G1 (March, 26 2019)[2][3]
DimensionsAirPods (each)
0.65 x 0.71 x 1.59 in
(16.5 x 18.0 x 40.5 mm)
Charging Case
1.74 x 0.84 x 2.11 in
(44.3 x 21.3 x 53.5 mm)[1]
MassAirPods (each)
0.14 ounces (4 g)
Charging Case
1.34 ounces (38 g)[1]
Websitewww.apple.com/airpods/

AirPods are the first wireless Bluetooth earbuds to be created by Apple. They were first released on December 13, 2016. The product's second iteration, with improved battery life, was released on March 20, 2019. AirPods are Apple's most popular accessory product, with 35 million units sold in 2018 alone.[4][5]

In addition to playing audio, AirPods feature a built-in microphone that filters out background noise, which allows taking phone calls and talking to Apple's digital assistant, Siri. Additionally, built-in accelerometers and optical sensors mean that AirPods can detect taps (e.g. double-tap to pause audio) and in-ear placement, which enables automatic pausing when they are taken out of the ears.[6]

On March 20, 2019, Apple released the second generation AirPods, which feature the H1 chip and hands-free "Hey Siri" support. An optional wireless charging case was added in the offerings. Apple claims that the new AirPods have 50% more talk time over the 1st generation AirPods, which were discontinued on the same day.[7][8]

History[edit]

AirPods were announced on September 7, 2016 at an Apple Special Event alongside the iPhone 7 and Apple Watch Series 2. Apple originally planned to release the AirPods in late October,[9] but the company delayed the release date.[10] On December 13, 2016, Apple released the AirPods to be ordered online. They were available at Apple Stores, Apple Authorized Resellers, and select carriers on December 20.[11][12]

On announcement day, AirPods were compared to Apple's previously existing EarPods (2012–present), with The Verge noting "They look... just like the old EarPods, with the wires cut off."[13] Initially mocked by many for its unfamiliar design (including CNN asking "Would people actually wear these?" in 2016)[14], its popularity grew rapidly over the years and was voted the most popular "hearable" brand of 2019.[19]

Specifications[edit]

1st generation[edit]

Apple incorporated their own custom designed chip, the W1, into the AirPods, which helps optimize battery use and processes the Bluetooth 4.2 connection as well as audio.[20][21]

There are two microphones in each AirPod:[22] one at ear level, facing outward, and another at the bottom of the stem.[23]

Each AirPod weighs 0.14 oz (4 g), and its charging case weighs 1.34 oz (38 g). It holds a charge for about five hours, while charging the AirPods for 15 minutes in the case gives 3 hours of listening time. The charging case can charge the AirPods for a total of 24 hours of total usage.[24] During a teardown, each AirPod was found to contain a 93 milliwatt hour battery in its stem, while the charging case was found to contain a 1.52 watt hour or 398 mAh at 3.81 V battery.[25]

AirPods include the proprietary Apple W1 SoC, whose additional connectivity functions require devices running iOS 10, macOS Sierra, watchOS 3, or later.[1] They can also function as standard Bluetooth headphones when connected to any device that supports Bluetooth 4.0 or higher, including Android devices.[26][27]

2nd generation[edit]

2nd generation AirPods include an H1 processor which supports hands-free "Hey Siri", Bluetooth 5 connectivity[28] and Apple claims 50% more talk time and faster device connection times. 2nd generation AirPods can be purchased with the same charging case as the 1st generation, or for an additional $40 with the Wireless Charging Case, which can be used with Qi chargers. The Wireless Charging Case can be purchased separately for $79 and is compatible with 1st generation AirPods.[29]

Compatibility[edit]

AirPods are compatible with any device that supports Bluetooth 4.0 or higher, including Android devices, although certain features such as automatic switching between devices are only available on Apple devices using iCloud.[27] AirPods have full functionality with the following devices:[30]

The 2nd generation AirPods are compatible with devices running iOS 12.2 or later, macOS 10.14.4 or later, or watchOS 5.2 or later.

Support[edit]

Apple has a program to service batteries and purchase replacement individual AirPods and charging cases.[31]

AirPods contain upgradeable firmware. Its original firmware was 3.3.1. In February 2017, Apple released 3.5.1,[32] 3.7.2 in May 2017,[2] and then 6.3.2 after on March 26, 2019.[33] . AirPods automatically sync through Apple's iCloud service allowing users to switch audio sources to other supported devices connected by the same Apple ID.[34]

Criticism[edit]

One criticism of AirPods is their high price (about $150); however, at launch they were actually priced less than most "true wireless" earbuds on the market (e.g. the Samsung Gear IconX and Bragi Dash) and remain competitively priced with similar products from other major brands.[35] Another criticism is the perceived tendency to fall out of one's ear; however, testing by Business Insider has shown that it is quite unlikely for this to happen during normal use for most ear types.[36]

Another prominent criticism was an issue that caused the charging case battery to deplete at a rapid rate despite the AirPods not being used. Users were reporting upwards of 30% idle discharge per day.[37] In response, Apple upgraded the AirPods' firmware to version 3.5.1, which addressed connectivity and battery drain issues.[38]

The Lithium-ion batteries in AirPods can see significant degradation over time, with two-year-old sets lasting for less than half of the advertised five hours.[39][40]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "AirPods - Technical Specifications". Apple Inc. Archived from the original on August 31, 2018. Retrieved August 31, 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Apple Releases New Firmware Update for AirPods". Archived from the original on July 31, 2017. Retrieved August 18, 2017.
  3. ^ Orr, Andrew (January 22, 2018). "iOS: How to Check Your AirPods Firmware Version". The Mac Observer. Archived from the original on August 31, 2018. Retrieved August 31, 2018. The latest AirPods firmware version [as of January 2018] is 3.7.2.
  4. ^ "Apple's updated AirPods will release in 2019: report". MobileSyrup. Retrieved March 16, 2019.
  5. ^ a b "Apple sold 35 million AirPods in 2018, currently most popular 'hearable' brand". AppleInsider. Retrieved March 16, 2019.
  6. ^ "Everything you need to know about Apple's new AirPods". Business Insider. Retrieved March 16, 2019.
  7. ^ "Apple's updated AirPods are here, cost $199 with new wireless charging case". Ars Technica. Retrieved March 20, 2019.
  8. ^ "AirPods, the world's most popular wireless headphones, are getting even better". Apple Newsroom. Retrieved March 20, 2019.
  9. ^ "Apple - Press Info - Apple Reinvents the Wireless Headphone with AirPods". www.apple.com. Archived from the original on October 7, 2016. Retrieved October 3, 2016.
  10. ^ "Apple Delays AirPod Rollout". Archived from the original on November 4, 2016. Retrieved November 3, 2016.
  11. ^ Greg Emmanuel (December 14, 2016). "Review: Apple AirPods Are Pretty F--king Cool". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on December 14, 2016. Retrieved December 13, 2016.
  12. ^ "Apple AirPods are now available". December 13, 2016. Archived from the original on December 14, 2016. Retrieved December 14, 2016.
  13. ^ "Apple AirPods hands (and ears) on". The Verge. September 7, 2016. Retrieved March 16, 2019.
  14. ^ "Apple AirPods review: Do they actually stay in your ears?". CNN. December 21, 2016. Retrieved March 16, 2019.
  15. ^ "Airpods Popularity Has Grown Since Debut". Linn-Mar Life. Retrieved March 16, 2019.
  16. ^ Dahir, Ikran (January 15, 2019). "Apple AirPods Became A Meme And Now They're Sold Out In Many Stores". Buzzfeed News. Retrieved January 29, 2019.
  17. ^ "Have we Already Seen The New Apple AirPods, And Didn't Even Realize it?". CNN-News18. Retrieved March 16, 2019.
  18. ^ "The internet loled at AirPods when they launched. Who's laughing now?". QZ. Retrieved March 16, 2019.
  19. ^ [5][15][16][17][18]
  20. ^ "Everything You Need To Know About Apple Wireless Earbuds, The Airpods - Wearable In Ear". Wearable In Ear. September 16, 2016. Archived from the original on January 16, 2017. Retrieved January 13, 2017.
  21. ^ "Apple's W1 Chip for AirPods Is More Than Just a Bluetooth Controller". NDTV Gadgets360.com. Archived from the original on February 7, 2017. Retrieved February 6, 2017.
  22. ^ "AirPods". Apple Inc. Archived from the original on September 18, 2017. Retrieved October 3, 2016.
  23. ^ Walton, Tommy (January 20, 2017). "A New Solution to Volume on AirPods". Medium. Archived from the original on June 22, 2018. Retrieved June 22, 2018. One microphone is on the outside of the casing, below the acoustic port, and one at the bottom of the stem.
  24. ^ "AirPods". Apple. Retrieved December 30, 2018.
  25. ^ "AirPods Teardown - iFixit". www.ifixit.com. Archived from the original on February 8, 2017. Retrieved February 7, 2017.
  26. ^ Pierce, David (September 7, 2016). "Hands On: Apple's AirPod Wireless Earphones Look Very nice And Work Great". Wired. Archived from the original on September 19, 2016. Retrieved August 31, 2018.
  27. ^ a b Woollaston, Victoria (March 2, 2017). "Apple AirPods review: better than previous iterations, but still a letdown". Wired UK. Archived from the original on August 31, 2018. Retrieved August 31, 2018.
  28. ^ Gartenberg, Chaim (March 20, 2019). "Apple's new AirPods come with a wireless charging case, Hey Siri support, and more battery life". The Verge. Retrieved March 20, 2019.
  29. ^ AirPods, the world’s most popular wireless headphones, are getting even better. Apple.com. 20 March 2019.
  30. ^ AirPods - Technical Specifications. Apple.
  31. ^ AirPods Service and Repair. Apple.
  32. ^ "Apple Quietly Updates AirPodss to 3.5.1". Archived from the original on December 30, 2017. Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  33. ^ https://www.macrumors.com/2019/03/26/airpods-2nd-gen-first-impressions/. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  34. ^ "Buy AirPods". Apple Inc. Archived from the original on August 31, 2018. Retrieved August 31, 2018.
  35. ^ "Google Pixel Buds". Google Store. Archived from the original on October 11, 2017. Retrieved October 12, 2017.
  36. ^ Business Insider (September 13, 2016). "We tested out Apple's wireless AirPod headphones". Archived from the original on November 28, 2016 – via YouTube.
  37. ^ "AirPods users complain of battery drainage issues with the charging case". Digital Trends. December 28, 2016. Archived from the original on February 7, 2017. Retrieved February 6, 2017.
  38. ^ Mayo, Benjamin (February 1, 2017). "Apple AirPods silently receive bug fix firmware update to version 3.5.1". 9to5Mac. Archived from the original on February 7, 2017. Retrieved February 6, 2017.
  39. ^ Your AirPods Will Die Soon: The surprisingly short life of new electronic devices. The Atlantic. 21 March 2019.
  40. ^ Here's why your AirPods battery life is getting worse, and what you can do about it. Apple Insider. 11 March 2019.

External links[edit]