AirPods 2: Everything you need to know!

Whether you're someone who fell in love with the original AirPods during their initial launch, or someone who discovered their simplicity and beauty sometime later, we've got good news: Apple has launched a new set of their wireless earphones. Though they keep the same design as the original AirPods, the new AirPods features a brand-new H1 chip and an optional wireless charging case.

What's new with the new AirPods?

While AirPods haven't changed on the outside, under the hood, there's a lot to be excited about. Primarily, that excitement is all about the H1 chip. The original AirPods shipped with the W1 chip, which enabled quick and convenient Bluetooth pairing with your iPhone and other Apple devices. The H1 retains those capabilities and adds on them. First, the H1 adds support for "Hey Siri," meaning that you won't need to double-tap your AirPods anymore to activate Siri.

Second, the new chip adds Bluetooth improvements, including Bluetooth 5.0. You can now talk for up to three hours on a charge on your AirPods, 50% longer than you could on the original versions. The AirPods also pair faster and switch between your devices more quickly.

Do AirPods use wireless charging now?

Yes and no. By default, AirPods come with the same Charging Case that they always have. It features 24 hours of battery life and charges via a Lightning port on the bottom. But this time around, Apple has also released the new Wireless Charging Case, which works with any existing Qi wireless charger (and maybe, dare I hope, AirPower?) as well as the Lightning Port.

The wireless case is available as an option with your AirPods purchase, or as a standalone product. This case works with both the new AirPods with the H1 chip, as well as the original AirPods.

How much do they cost?

The new AirPods with the standard Charging Case cost the same $159 that they have since their debut. If you want to get AirPods with the Wireless Charging case, that's an additional $40 at $199.

The Wireless Charging Case is available on its own for $79.

When can I order them?

Right now! You can order the new AirPods with either the standard Charging Case or the Wireless Charging Case this very minute. Initial orders should start arriving at customers' homes between March 27 and March 29.

You can also order the Wireless Charging Case on its own if you're already satisfied with your current AirPods.

Wireless Charging Case

Wireless Charging Case for AirPods

Wireless Charging Case for AirPods ($79 at B&H)

The Wireless Charging Case for AirPods will work both with the latest generation of AirPods, as well as the first-generation earphones.

What do you think?

Are you a big fan of the new AirPods 2? Will you be picking up a new pair of AirPods? Let us know in the comments down below!

Joseph Keller

Joseph Keller is the former Editor in Chief of iMore. An Apple user for almost 20 years, he spends his time learning the ins and outs of iOS and macOS, always finding ways of getting the most out of his iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac.