What's up with Apple's new Lightning EarPods and wireless AirPods? Here's everything you need to know!

Apple announced the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, and with that announcement comes the changes to Apple's EarPods, plus AirPods! Apple AirPods are breaking on to the scene, and here is everything you need to know.

So the 3.5mm headphone jack is really gone?

Yup! After months of speculation, it's now official: The 3.5mm headphone jack is gone.

What's Apple putting in the box then?

In the box with every iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will be the new Lightning-connected EarPods. You simply plug them into the Lightning port and stick them in your ears.

On top of that, Apple knows that adapting to the new type of connection won't be easy for everyone, which is why they're is also including a 3.5mm stereo-to-Lightning adapter, so you don't have to throw out your favorite headphones!

Tell me more about Lightning EarPods!

Other than the way they connect to your iPhone, they are the exact same as your old Apple EarPods.

So no way to listen and charge at the same time?

You won't be able to charge your iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus while you are using the new Lightning-connected EarPods. If you are using Bluetooth headphones, however, you will have no problem charging while listening, but you can also get the brand new Apple AirPods!

Then what are the AirPods?

AirPods are Apple's new wireless headphones. They look really similar to the standard EarPods, sans wires and buttons!

Can they still control audio playback?

Yes! Each AirPod is made with dual optical sensors and accelerometers that let the headphones know when they are actually in your ears. In order to pause music, you simply remove the AirPods from your ears. When you place them back in, the playback will continue from where it left off. You can even just remove one AirPod and the same effect will happen – perfect for those quick necessary conversations when you're jamming out.

Can I still use them to answer phone calls?

Yup! AirPods have the ability to detect when you are speaking: When your voice is detected, they'll activate a pair of microphones (one in each AirPod). The AirPods are supposed to have greater noise cancellation abilities than the standard EarPods, so you will sound crystal clear, regardless of what's going on around you.

Can I still use them with Siri?

You can activate Siri by double tapping either AirPod. Siri can then help you adjust volume, skip tracks, or even check the remaining battery power on your AirPods. Of course, having access to Siri means you can do all the other wonderful things that you normally do, including finding the nearest coffee shop or asking for a weather update. (Or even asking Siri to turn the volume up or down.)

Do AirPods use standard Bluetooth?

Yes and no. The AirPods do use Bluetooth LE to connect to your iPhone, Apple Watch, or Mac, but they also use the new Apple W1 chip, which helps channel communication with your devices.

Which devices will they work with?

According to Apple, AirPods will work with all Apple devices that run iOS 10, watchOS 3, and macOS Sierra.

Will AirPods work with non-Apple devices?

They apparently will pair to a non-Apple device (or an Apple device with older software) via a standard Bluetooth connection; however, they won't be able to use a few key features. The quick connection function, access to Siri, and the ability to seamlessly switch the connection between your iPhone and Apple Watch won't work if you aren't using the latest Apple software.

What's the battery life like on AirPods?

5 hours of listening time! That's what Apple says we should expect from the AirPods.

How will AirPods recharge?

AirPods are charged in a charging case that also has its own battery that can last for 24 hours, which means you can charge your AirPods on the go, and when the battery case is depleted, you just plug it in via Lightning and charge everything simultaneously. Plus, charging should be super fast! Apple predicts that 15 minutes in the charging case will give you 3 hours of listening time.

What's the price and when can I get them?

A pair of AirPods will cost you about $159, and we expect them to hit shelves in late October.


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