This morning Apple quietly released its 2nd-generation AirPods, which come with wireless charging capabilities and a new H1 chip that brings better battery life and support for “Hey Siri” voice control.
The wireless charging case uses the standard Qi charging tech, so any Qi-compatible wireless charger should do the trick (AirPower, where are you?!). Unlike the W1 chip used in the previous AirPods, Apple says its new H1 chip is specifically designed for headphones, and allows the AirPods to get up to 50% more talk time than before, as well as “performance efficiencies” and “two times faster connect times.”
As for the design and repairability of these new buds, we’re not expecting much improvement, if any. The previous gen AirPods were a nightmare to take apart and pretty much impossible to repair, so once the battery degrades, the whole setup is done for. Plus, they’re difficult to recycle, making them an environmental nightmare. We’re still looking forward to cracking open this newer iteration to see what’s new inside and if Apple made any half-hearted attempts at repairability.
The new AirPods are available for purchase now for $199, but you can grab just the wireless charging case for $79 to use with your existing AirPods—you just won’t have the capabilities of the H1 chip.
Hero image from Apple.com