- Man delighted to find 30-year-old computer still works Sunday 5:32 PM
- Report: Google used shell companies to build data centers, obtain tax breaks Sunday 3:38 PM
- Grammy winner Kacey Musgraves spoiled ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 4’ Sunday 2:24 PM
- Conservatives feel vindicated by new developments in Jussie Smollett case (updated) Sunday 12:19 PM
- Don Cheadle made important fashion choices on ‘SNL’ Sunday 9:47 AM
- Why the Twitter left loves to dunk on Max Boot Sunday 6:30 AM
- How to watch ‘Last Week Tonight with John Oliver’ online for free Sunday 6:30 AM
- How to stream Francis Ngannou vs. Cain Velasquez for free Sunday 6:00 AM
- How to stream the 2019 Daytona 500 for free Sunday 5:50 AM
- 7-year-old YouTuber to get his own show on Nickelodeon Saturday 5:30 PM
- ‘Hipster’ jobs are trending, and Indeed says the market is booming Saturday 3:33 PM
- Trump meme removed after copyright complaint Saturday 2:15 PM
- Facebook pushes back against moderators complaining about ‘Big Brother’ environment Saturday 12:46 PM
- Twitter hid post from an account linked to Iran’s Supreme Leader Saturday 10:17 AM
- How to stream Leo Santa Cruz vs. Rafael Rivera for free Saturday 8:00 AM
Apple goes wireless with AirPods, powered by company’s first wireless chip
Yep, Apple is really doing wireless.
The rumors were true: Apple has gone wireless with its headphones. The worst kept secret about the iPhone 7 was that Apple was ditching the headphone jack and during its unveiling event on Wednesday, the company showed off its wireless headphones, dubbed AirPods.
When Apple said it was going wireless, it wasn’t joking; the AirPods are completely free of wires, unlike most bluetooth headphones that retain a cord that connects the earbuds.
The earbuds are enabled by Apple’s first ever wireless chip, the Apple W1 chip. It handles the audio and wireless connection between the AirPods and iCloud-connected devices. The W1 chip works with iPhone and Apple Watch, automatically detects what the user is listening on, and can switches seamlessly.
It’s not clear if the W1 chip uses a proprietary connectivity protocol or if it uses a more familiar form of wireless communication like bluetooth.
The AirPods also hold motion accelerometers that detect touch to activate Siri and infrared sensors that can tell when the buds are in your ear; they won’t play audio until the you are wearing them.
The earbuds are for more than just listening—they can be used for talking, too. The AirPods can pick up on the user’s voice and enhance it while blocking out environmental noise.
Apple claims the earbuds will provide five hours of playback on a single charge, and can be charged directly in their case. The case itself, which is smaller than the wired EarPods case, will hold 25 hours of battery life. Because of the connection provided by the W1 chip, Apple devices will instantly recognize the AirPods when the case is opened near a user’s iPhone. A connect prompt appears on the iPhone’s screen and pairs the earbuds to the device, no syncing or other steps required.
“There’s no buttons, there’s no switching, there’s no pairing, no unpairing, all things of the past,” Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, said on stage.
The AirPods won’t come cheap, of course. Apple has priced the wireless earbuds at $159, and they are set to arrive in late October 2016.
Beats, the Apple-owned audio product maker, is also coming out with a new line of headphones that makes use of the Apple W1 chip. New Beats Solo 3 wireless headphones, with up to 40 hours of wireless playback, as well as a wireless model of the Powerbeats 3 and a new, wireless line of Beats S headphones are expected.
SEE ALSO: Super Mario is officially coming to iPhone
AJ Dellinger is a seasoned technology writer whose work has appeared in Digital Trends, International Business Times, and Newsweek. In 2018, he joined Gizmodo as the nights and weekend editor.