Apple's second-gen AirPods include hands-free Siri, longer talk time, wireless charging, and more

Apple just took the wraps off its second-generation AirPods (opens in new tab). The update to the company's true wireless earphones adds support for "Hey Siri" and include an all-new Apple-designed H1 chip for more efficient performance, faster connection times, and better battery life. The new AirPods also come with either a standard charging case (opens in new tab) or the new Wireless Charging Case (opens in new tab).

Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, said:

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. 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 new H1 chip features a custom audio architecture for a better audio synchronization and allows AirPods to provide up to 50 percent more talk time compared to the first-gen. It also enables faster connection times and more seamless switching when moving between iOS devices. AirPods now feature "Hey Siri" for the first time allowing you to issue voice commands without the need to double-tap on the side of one of your AirPods.

The new Wireless Charging Case will work with your existing Qi charger (opens in new tab), and may also hint at a possible impending release for Apple's own AirPower charging mat. Both charging cases contain 24 hours of battery life.

The Wireless Charging Case can also be purchased separately for $79 and will work with your existing first-get AirPods (opens in new tab). You can also add custom engraving to your AirPods case for the first time.

AirPods with the standard charging case will retain the $159 asking price and the Wireless Charging Case version will be available for $199. Both can be ordered today and will be in stores from next week.

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Adam Oram is a Senior Writer at iMore. He studied Media at Newcastle University and has been writing about technology since 2013. He previously worked as an Apple Genius and as a Deals Editor at Thrifter. His spare time is spent watching football (both kinds), playing Pokémon games, and eating vegan food. Follow him on Twitter at @adamoram.

14 Comments
  • Not enough to warrant the increased price of $199.
  • Luckily, you can get the "new" Airpods for the same price as the old without the wireless charging case.
  • What increased price? Still 159$ as before if you don't go for the wireless case.
  • I agree with @erikbock I purchased my new pair but I decided to just get the normal case. Don't have any wireless chargers even though my iPhone does have wireless charging. I have cords.
  • Cords are more universal, most wireless chargers are ugly, they take up too much space.
  • Cords are more universal, because believe it or not, they came before wireless charging. This really just your opinion, there are plenty of people using wireless chargers.
  • Can the same wireless charger charge both an iPhone or iPad should the iPad get wireless charging? I bet placement will be difficult.
  • Wireless charging isn't for everyone's use cases, we have one at home and take turns to charge our devices which works well. They're just not as bad as you make out
  • Can you have separate functions for double tapping the right and left airpod other than “siri” and “play/pause” now that you can activate siri with “Hey Siri”?
  • Can they be used without Siri?
  • Well you can use your phone or device that they're connected to. But you will get the best experience if you use them with Siri.
  • Thanks, good to know. Not a fan of voice Siri as it makes for unnecessary chatter which can disrupt others and even oneself.
  • ‪W3 for watches, H1 for headphones, now give us K1 for travel keyboards, preferably foldable. My bluetooth folding keyboard for iOS keeps disconnecting and doesn’t show the battery in the widgets. We need a smarter wireless keyboard for all  devices!
  • I am actually excited about these. My only gripe is there a tether for these incase they pop out of your ears? Mine are small and I was hoping they would come in black or colors.