Apple’s AirPods made a big splash when they debuted in 2016, bringing true wireless earbuds into the mainstream. These earbuds are powered by a pair of tiny microphones, an accelerometer, optical sensors to detect when they’re inserted in your ears, and speakers to produce audio.
They’re easy to use, allowing you to control music or make calls hands-free. You can also access Siri and issue voice commands using a single tap or voice command. In addition, they’re incredibly durable and provide excellent sound quality for their price. AirPods are a great accessory for any iPhone owner, and they’re even compatible with Android phones and other devices that support Bluetooth.
While other companies make similar earbuds, Apple’s AirPods are the most popular and best-known. That’s largely because they come with an extensive suite of integrated features that are optimized for use with Apple devices.
For example, the AirPods are the only true wireless earbuds that integrate with iOS’s built-in digital assistant, giving you the ability to call, text, or write a message with your voice. They also offer advanced controls, including a long-range, low-latency wireless connection and an accelerometer that detects when you’re on the move and automatically adjusts audio playback for a more natural listening experience.
The first generation AirPods were released in 2016 and have been updated several times since. The most recent update, the AirPods 2, debuted in 2019 and features improved battery life and support for Apple’s new H1 wireless chip, which works up to twice as fast as the original AirPods. They’re also the only true wireless earbuds to offer an external volume controller, MagSafe charging capability, and a built-in accelerometer that tracks motion and automatically slows or pauses music playback.
Earlier this year, Apple released the third-generation AirPods Pro, which offers a few new features and a slightly different exterior design. The new AirPods are designed to better resist wind noise and have acoustic mesh on the outside of each earbud to reduce leakage during voice calls. They also feature a new AAC-ELD codec for clearer voice reproduction and an external microphone that’s optimized to block out external noise.
Although there’s speculation that Apple may refresh the standard AirPods this fall, it’s unlikely the company would introduce a new model to compete with the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max. The last time Apple refreshed its standard earbuds, it introduced the AirPods with more streamlined design and a few new features.
Apple typically hosts an event in September to debut its newest iPhones. While the date for this year’s event hasn’t been officially confirmed, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman expects a repeat of last year’s presentation format. The event will likely include a live viewing party for industry analysts and reporters. Apple hasn’t formally invited media to its Cupertino headquarters for the event, but it usually invites a few hundred members of the press. ZDNET’s Tech Today newsletter delivers a briefing of the newest and most talked-about technology news five days a week.