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Apple releases second-generation AirPods

The new AirPod earphones come with longer battery life, new processor, and the option of a wireless charging case.
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AirPods

Have you been holding out on buying AirPods because of the rumors going around for months that Apple was planning a refresh? Your wait is over, as Apple finally releases the second-generation AirPods.

See it now: AirPods at Apple

It's been a super-busy week ahead of the Apple event scheduled for March 25, which is expected to focus on services. So far this week we've had refreshed iPad Air and iPad mini tablets, an updated iMac line, and a quiet refresh of the iMac Pro.

At the heart of the new AirPods is the H1 chip, which Apple claims has been specifically designed for headphones to deliver "performance efficiencies, faster connect times, more talk time and the convenience of hands-free 'Hey Siri.'"

Yes, you read that right. Siri finally comes to the AirPods.

According to Apple, the H1 chip gives the new AirPods up to 50 percent more talk time compared to first generation AirPods. Switching between devices while listening to music is also reported to be two times faster thanks to improved connection times.

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Charging is also easier thanks to a new QI-compatible wireless charging case. Already own AirPods and don't want to upgrade to get wireless charging? No problem, Apple will sell you the wireless charging case separate.

The new AirPods with a non-charging case and the AirPods with a wireless charging case are available to order today from Apple for $159 and $199, respectively. The standalone Wireless Charging Case goes on sale next week for $79.

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Disclosure: ZDNet earns commissions from some of the products featured on this page.

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