Why your next pair of headphones should include Apple's W1 chip

I've been a Bluetooth headphones convert for a few years now, thanks to Bose's QC35 headphones. But lately I find myself picking up headphones of a different sort: Apple's W1-chipped sets, which include the AirPods, Beats X, Beats Studio, and PowerBeats.

Why are Apple's W1-chip headphones so great? Let me count the ways.

Instant pairing

iPhone with AirPods

iPhone with AirPods (Image credit: iMore)

The best thing about headphones like AirPods? I don't have fiddle around in my settings to get them to appear. While certain Bluetooth headphones will appear in your sound options if you keep them paired with one device, Apple's AirPods will automatically connect and transfer audio as soon as you open your case near your unlocked iPhone or iPad.

Better battery life (and connection)

Apple's W1 is custom-built to help its headphones achieve staggeringly long — and crisp — connection ranges. You can listen to music on your AirPods or Beats X for over 100 feet, and the over-ear models (Beats Solo and Studio) have seen testing ranges in excess of 200 feet without major stutters or drops.

This power also lends itself to battery management and control — the Beats Studio headphones, for example, offers 22 hours of ANC, and a full 40 hours without.

System-level integration

apple watch music

apple watch music (Image credit: iMore)

The pairing process is simple on an iPhone or iPad because W1 headphones were built with these devices in mind: It starts with the auto-pair screen that appears whenever your device is nearby, and continues with a custom UI to display battery life (in Notification Center's Today view). Though they're small tweaks in comparison to how Bluetooth headphones work, they're welcome ones.

Connect across all your devices

If you own a Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, or Apple TV, the W1 headphones aren't just supported — they're designed for those devices. Thanks to the headphones' iCloud pairing, after you first connect a set to your phone or TV, that set is now available to connect on every other device you own. Forget worrying about pairing the same headphones with two computers and your iPhone — the data is already there, just waiting for you to connect.

What do you think about W1 headphones?

Let me know in the comments.

Serenity Caldwell

Serenity was formerly the Managing Editor at iMore, and now works for Apple. She's been talking, writing about, and tinkering with Apple products since she was old enough to double-click. In her spare time, she sketches, sings, and in her secret superhero life, plays roller derby. Follow her on Twitter @settern.