APPLE'S WEEK OF SURPRISE product announcements has rolled into its third day with the unveiling of new AirPods.
The second-gen AirPods aren't the major update many had expected; there's no noise-cancelling tech, no added support for taking biometric measurements, and - sorry, goths - no new black colour option.
There is, however, a new wireless charging chase. The toothbrush-head-a-like earbuds will ship with either a standard case or the new, Lightning port-free alternative. Both cases hold enough charge for more than 24 hours of total listening time, according to Apple, while the wireless case is compatible with any Qi charger.
Also new is an Apple-designed H1 chip, which features a custom audio architecture to create a "revolutionary audio experience and improved synchronisation."
The chip also equips the new AirPods faster connect times, speedier switching between devices, improved battery life and support for 'Hey, Siri'; if you didn't feel silly enough wearing AirPods already, you can now bark commands at them too.
The new AirPods, which have replaced the first-gen AirPods at the Apple Store, can be ordered now before they start shipping next week. They'll set you back £159 if you opt for a standard case, and £199 with the new wireless alternative. The wireless case can also be purchased seperately for £79 and is compatible with Apple's first-gen AirPods.
Apple's stream of launches - which has so far included new iPad Air, iPad Mini models and upgraded 21.5in and 27in iMacs - comes just days ahead of its much-hyped 25 March "showtime" event. This is widely expected to mark the launch of Apple's launch its long-awaited video and news subscription services. µ
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