Apple is having a bet at the destiny being wi-fi, and the AirPods are the most beneficial signal of that bet. The business enterprise brought the audio add-ons in 2016 after ditching the 3.five-millimeter headphone jack at the iPhone.

The AirPods logo is evolving to emerge as extra than simply Apple’s wi-fi earbuds. After generations of the usual version and one in every of AirPods Pro, Apple launched AirPods Max, the primary Apple-branded pair of over-ear headphones.

What makes some thing an «AirPod» is its Apple-first layout and vertical integration of hardware and software. The H1 chip ends in higher battery existence, «Hey Siri» guide, higher connectivity and coffee latency, and working machine precise integrations in software.

When an Apple AirPods tool is close to an iPhone or iPad, it’ll display up onscreen in a unique UI for pairing and viewing battery existence. Any tool with an H1 or W1 chipset is paired with the consumer’s iCloud account and could rapid-transfer among gadgets while decided on withinside the AirPlay menu.

When paired with an iOS or iPadOS tool, there are unique controls to be had. These consist of switching among Active Noise Cancelling and Transparency mode.

AirPods Pricing

AirPods with preferred charging case cost $159. The model with a wi-fi charging case cost $199. AirPods Pro ring up for $249. AirPods Max cost $549.

Software Updates

Find My AirPods turned into brought in iOS 10.3, permitting a consumer’s iPhone, iPad, or Mac to maintain tabs at the whereabouts of the tiny earphones. Utilizing the host tool’s positioning hardware, GPS, Wi-Fi, or different thing packages, the related tool ought to inform a consumer wherein a lacking AirPod turned into remaining visible.

iOS thirteen and later permit a consumer to pair  units of earphones to at least one iPhone or iPad. This shall we humans watch a film or pay attention to track in tandem.

The state-of-the-art variations of iOS additionally permit text-to-speech studying of messages from iMessage and third-celebration apps like WhatsApp. This shall we customers maintain tabs on their messages while it isn’t realistic to examine their iPhone.

iOS 14 allows «auto-switching» of gadgets with an H1 chip, such as all cutting-edge fashions of AirPods and choose Beats headphones. Alongside iOS 14, Apple additionally released a firmware replace that brought spatial audio, well suited with choose video streams, to AirPods Pro.

Next-Generation Rumors

Rumors have circulated approximately new earphones launching someday in 2021, such as a brand new less expensive seasoned-like version and refreshed fashions. These have been informally dubbed «AirPods Pro Lite,» and «AirPods 3.»

The awkwardly named «AirPods Pro Lite» are a chunk extra of an anomaly, possibly falling someplace among the non-seasoned fashions and seasoned. These can be a $199 priced version of earbud with changeable guidelines however no energetic noise cancellation. Some rumors say they can be a Beats X like product with a cable jogging among the earbuds and be directed at sports activities use. In the autumn of 2020, Apple released a BeatsX successor named Beats Flex, suggesting the leaks can also additionally have unsuitable the Beats headphones for an AirPods product.

Ming-Chi Kuo launched a record in early 2020, declaring that new fashions won’t arrive till someday in 2021. A second record in June 2020 stated that the «AirPods 3» could are available in 2021 and feature a comparable layout to AirPods Pro.

AirPods Max

The AirPods Max are Apple’s first over-the-ear headphone. They use Apple’s H1 chip and consist of Adaptive EQ, Active Noise Cancellation, Transparency mode, and Spatial Audio.

Apple is delivery the over-ear headphones in 5 colors: area gray, silver, sky blue, green, and pink. The precise layout pursuits to gain last consolation even as final without difficulty identifiable as an Apple product.

AirPods Max brought Adaptive EQ to the line, adjusting audio primarily based totally at the ear-cup seal and sound in the headphones. It measures the sound sign and adjusts the low and mid-frequencies in actual time. Apple’s aim is to apply the actual-time facts to company richer and extra targeted audio.

The headphones cost $549.

AirPods Pro

n 2019, Apple brought the AirPods Pro – a brand new high-give up model of Apple’s earbuds. While they appearance comparable, the seasoned-stage earphones have silicone ear guidelines, bearing in mind noise isolation and customizable wear.

They consist of energetic noise cancellation, a brand new contact-manipulate machine, and a transparency mode that permits customers to combine ambient noises with audio from the consumer’s tool.

This version has comparable battery existence to the preceding era, aleven though the usage of Active Noise Cancellation will lessen that somewhat. They make use of the equal H1 chip, which allows brief switching among gadgets and «Hey Siri» voice commands.

Apple brought spatial audio to the AirPods Pro in a September firmware replace along iOS 14. The function makes use of accelerometers and sensors to determine out which path sound have to be coming from. It helps Dolby Atmos and multiple-channel surround sound as much as 7.1 channels.

The equal replace additionally blanketed computerized tool switching while a consumer begins offevolved playback from one-of-a-kind gadgets.

The earphones are to be had for $249.


Second Generation

Apple released the second-era AirPods in March 2019, with the primary hardware replace supplying a number of latest capabilities that advanced Apple’s earbuds.

Swapping out the W1 chip for the H1 processor way it’s now two times as rapid while switching among energetic gadgets and one-and-a-1/2 of instances quicker for telecellsmartphone calls, with 30 percentage decrease gaming latency. The H1 chip blanketed guide for arms-free «Hey Siri» capability, permitting customers to manipulate extent and change songs thru voice commands, so proprietors of this model don’t must faucet the earphones with a finger to spark off Siri.

Beam-forming audio system paintings in tandem with accelerometers to discover vibrations in a consumer’s skull, giving AirPods advanced heritage noise reduction. Tap gestures permit customers extrade tracks or extent and spark off Siri if one doesn’t need to apply «Hey Siri.» A separate voice accelerometer kicks in to dam ambient sound.

When paying attention to track, AirPods offer as much as 5 hours of battery existence, and the case offers a further 24 hours of use. The addition of the H1 chipset multiplied speak time a whole hour to 3 total. Popping them of their case for 15 mins yields extra than 3 hours of playtime, in keeping with Apple.

Second-era AirPods use Bluetooth five, which improves balance and range, particularly on more recent iPhones.

In addition to a brand new processor chip and Bluetooth five, the second-era earphones additionally upload a brand new Wireless Charging Case. The Wireless Charging Case is well suited with any Qi-enabled charging mat. Users also can buy it one after the other for $seventy nine to improve the primary-era AirPods.

When commencing the Charging Case, the earphones internal robotically hook up with a close-by tool, and, the usage of integrated sensors and an accelerometer, they are able to discover while they may be in-ear, gambling and pausing audio accordingly.

AirPods are to be had with a preferred, non-wi-fi charging case for $159 or with a wi-fi-charging case for $199.

First Generation

Phil Schiller, Apple’s former SVP of Worldwide Marketing, debuted the AirPods onstage on the September 2016 iPhone occasion that still debuted the iPhone 7 and Apple Watch Series 2. Inside the AirPods is Apple’s custom W1 wi-fi chip, which offers a quick and strong connection even as bearing in mind 5 hours of use.

Apple had filed its first AirPods-associated patent in June 2015. The number one motivation for growing an all-wi-fi earbud turned into the headphone jack and the preference to dispose of it.

“We’ve were given this 50-year-vintage connector — only a hollow full of air — and it’s simply sitting there taking over area, in reality precious area,» stated SVP of Hardware Engineering Dan Riccio. “It turned into keeping us again from a range of of factors we desired to position into the iPhone. It turned into combating for area with digital digicam technology and processors and battery existence. And frankly, while there’s a higher, contemporary-day answer to be had, it’s loopy to maintain it round.”

The extra area allowed Apple to extra without difficulty deployation the Taptic Engine that powers the solid-kingdom iPhone 7 domestic button; consist of larger batteries; and dispose of a key factor of liquid ingress, allowing the business enterprise to fulfill the IPX7 water-resistance specification. The AirPods went on sale in December 2016 and began out delivery later that month.

Since their debut, Apple’s AirPods have made a extensive effect at the wi-fi headphone marketplace, with the audio accessory reportedly taking pictures extra than 1 / 4 of the marketplace through early 2017.

AirPods Reviews

AppleInsider has reviewed every AirPods variant, from their 2016 debut as much as the high-give up AirPods Max that released in overdue 2020.

AirPods Max Review

We gave AirPods Max four out of five stars, praising the top class layout, clever capabilities, and consolation, however thinking whether or not the headphones stay as much as their $549 rate.


«AirPods Max have one of the maximum bespoke designs ever created for a hard and fast of headphones. The pinnacle part of the headphones is fabricated from stainless-steel earlier than being lined with a top class soft-contact cloth similar to silicone. The cover is crafted from a proprietary mesh this is designed to wrest simply atop your head.

«We’ve worn the headphones for plenty hours in our few days with the headphones, and for us, the burden hasn’t been an issue. We experience as aleven though it makes the headphones experience strong and solid. This will surely range character-to-character as we’ve already visible on social media and remarks on current coverage. Like with any headphones, it’ll usually come right all the way down to man or woman consolation.


«Many humans have sturdy emotions approximately the origami material this is the headphones’ Smart Case. We won’t cross as some distance as to mention we hate it, however clearly, extra can be achieved. It comes off as one-of-a-kind for the sake of being one-of-a-kind and finally ends up sacrificing capability and practicality.

«Apple designed the case from a unmarried piece of precision-reduce material folded, glued, and formed right into a pliable case that the headphones may be inserted into. The case slightly covers the 2 ear cups. The anodized aluminum ear cups are arguably the maximum susceptible a part of the headphones and maximum possibly to be scratched if tossed right into a bag.

«The primary factor of a case is to provide safety for your headphones, however the Smart Case skirts its responsibility. With the case on, elements of the cups are nonetheless exposed. There are huge gaps on the bottom in addition to the pinnacle that might nonetheless be scratched inadvertently.

«We don’t thoughts the dearth of pinnacle safety at the Max, because it does lead them to less difficult to understand and that they soak up much less area while in our bag. We took ours with us on a street ride and while in our backpack, it turned into a whole lot faster to select up the headphones proper from the headband.

«Recently, we’ve been evaluating the Max to different famous headphones together with the Sony MX4 and Bose NC 700. The Bose has a case this is pretty a chunk large than Apple’s headphones, takes up extra area in our bag, and is tougher to dispose of. Had Apple crafted an as it should be luxe case that extra thoroughly protected the ear cups, we’d be happier.»


«Active noise cancelation is even higher right here at the Max than it’s far at the Pro. The large drivers and further microphones are possibly contributing to that. There are 9 microphones at the Max, 8 of which can be used for ANC and 3 used for voice manipulate and call calls.

«In all environments we tested, it eliminated any heritage noise in addition to its competitors. This is without difficulty first-rate-in-elegance ANC and one of the first-rate capabilities Apple has baked in right here.»

Audio Quality

«Turning to audio, we’re underwhelmed. In brief, they produce above-common audio however fall brief of different $550 headphones.

«Baked into the headphones are 40mm Apple-designed dynamic drivers. Apple appears to be focused on a impartial audio profile, with brilliant constancy at the mids and highs however no extremes on both give up. The soundstage is first rate and extra substantial than maximum similar fashions, that’s first rate for paying attention to track and looking movies.

«Bass isn’t awful however is extent dependent. The lows have been disappointing while grew to become down, however as we hit 50 percentage or louder extent, the bass got here in punchy and sturdy. At close to-max extent, the bass turned into sufficient to close to shake the cups to your head in the course of a bass-heavy song.

«Overall, the audio sounds easy and clear. The best manner to explain it’s far as «pleasing.» While that won’t suffice for audiophiles, the common client who selections those up have to be simply pleasant with it.»

Overall Value

«If you don’t placed any cost in having a hard and fast of headphones tied carefully into the Apple ecosystem, we’ll in no way be capable of persuade you AirPods Max are really well worth it. Simply placed — they don’t sound like a couple of $500 headphones. They are truely above common and evaluate favorably to many famous fashions just like the Sony XM4, Bowers & Wilkins P7, or Bose NC 700, however they fall brief on the $550 rate factor.

«That stated, for us and our makes use of, they may be really well worth the rate Apple set — however simply slightly. The construct great is exceptional. The audio great is first rate and goes an extended manner closer to bringing Hi-Fi to the masses. And the tight integration into iOS is a miles cry from what third-events may even wish for.»

AirPods Pro Review

In our review, we gave AirPods Pro four.five out of five stars. We appreciated the smaller layout, audio great, and ANC. However, the restricted ear guidelines options, awkward pressure sensors, and charging case gave us pause.


«With the ones in thoughts, absolutely the first component we did after you have our arms on AirPods Pro turned into hit the health clubnasium, trying out all of our not unusualplace routines. To our surprise, we made it thru an hour and a 1/2 of with out a unmarried earbud coming free. Whether leaping round or mendacity supine, the earphones didn’t fall out.

«That isn’t to mention that the in shape turned into best for us. We’ve traditionally horrible good fortune with in-ear headphones. They in no way live placed for us.

«As a popular rule, they did in shape nicely for us, however we ought to use extra sizes of the silicone ear guidelines. A smaller length or 1/2 of sizes could cross an extended manner closer to making those in shape best. Apple, like Klipsch, selected to apply an oval-formed tip which can be a part of what makes it live in a lot higher, despite now no longer the best length.

«Apple does provide up the in shape check inside Bluetooth settings and even as neat, didn’t offer any actual gain to us. We ought to inform what in shape very without difficulty simply through attempting at the one-of-a-kind sizes, however perhaps it’s far extra useful to others with in another way formed ears.»

Audio Quality

«The audio great turned into great. With a great in shape, it turned into punchy, a complete sound, and a massive step up for Apple’s earphones logo. Not pronouncing that is audiophile great or what you’d get with a hard and fast of devoted over-ear cans, however wow. We have been very satisfied with the audio great those placed out.»


«The energetic noise cancelation turned into an advantage for us, however every week in and we don’t use it as a whole lot as others can also additionally. It is pleasant to have and we used it withinside the health clubnasium for a extra immersive workout, however daily we depended on transparency mode. It sounded a lot extra herbal and allowed us to pay attention humans speakme to us withinside the office, transport drivers hitting up the door, or different runners even as we have been out with the dogs. It can be our favourite function of the brand new AirPods Pro.»

Overall Value

«If you’re an energetic consumer, transferring round, leaping on planes, or regularly operating out, AirPods Pro are the manner to cross. Otherwise, it receives murky.

«Most oldsters are going to fall into one in every of 3 camps. They are both current proprietors of Apple’s earbuds who’re debating an improve, they may be new to AirPods and debating the second-gen version with wi-fi charging case, or they may be new customers searching on the second-gen with the usual case.

«If you’re withinside the latter camp, it’s far form of difficult to justify the $a hundred rate boom among the 2. There are quite a few capabilities for that differential, however in case you simply need AirPods withinside the maximum cost-green form, then it isn’t this seasoned-stage version.

«If you’re looking on the second-gen set with the wi-fi charging case, springing for this extra high-priced version is a no-brainer. It is a $50 distinction and also you get higher in shape, water resistance, ANC, transparency mode, and some distance higher audio. We’d make that soar in a heartbeat.

«Those withinside the remaining institution are toughest to quantify, being that they have already got a hard and fast of Apple earphones — likely the second-era set that released best in March. For us, with audio great and in shape being maximum important, we have been capable of justify it. Especially after gifting our different set to a own circle of relatives member. Before those, we have been compelled to apply some other set of headphones even as on the health clubnasium. With AirPods Pro, we get to apply them two times as a whole lot.»

AirPods (Second-Generation) Review

We offered the second-era version a unprecedented five out of five stars.


«You can inform us that there are higher headphones withinside the international and we might agree with you. However, we wouldn’t purchase them. Where we have been satisfied with the sound great at the unique AirPods, the brand new AirPods 2 are easily higher.

«Just how a whole lot higher is tougher to exactly define. On ‘Rocket Man (2018 remaster)’ through Kate Bush that we looped for trying out, AirPods 2 allow us to certainly pay attention what sounds just like the type of breathy fault you get with vinyl, and which simply isn’t there with the unique AirPods.

«AirPods 2 are clearly louder, however it additionally one way or the other feels as though those new headphones are operating tougher. They’re bringing us towards the artist’s intention. The sound is fuller, possibly brighter.»


«Overall, Siri is suddenly brilliant. Seriously, in case you shrugged at that function, you won’t as soon as you’ve were given it.

«Not best did it abruptly look like a chore to name up Siri with the vintage double-faucet, we virtually forgot the way to do it. To evaluate the audio great, we’ve been swapping from side to side among the unique AirPods and the brand new ones. And you have to see us frozen at the spot, seeking to take into account which AirPod we needed to faucet and whether or not it turned into as soon as or two times.

«This wasn’t after protracted use of AirPods 2, it turned into immediate. This is Apple doing that component it does of creating some thing one way or the other proper. The manner that after they’ve achieved it, you can’t believe why it turned into ever any one-of-a-kind.»


«You do must virtually use a couple of AirPods to recognize why humans love them a lot. The unique AirPods have been truely the nearest Apple product to in reality being ‘magical’ and that they made you experience as though your existence have been surrounded through track.

«That sensation hasn’t disappeared withinside the slightest with the brand new model, you do now no longer ever get inured to how excellent AirPods are. And if it weren’t for one component, Apple’s best competitor for the newly up to date AirPods will be the unique AirPods.»

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