Apple announced AirPods alongside the launch of the iPhone 7 at its keynote event last night (September 7th) – and it is marketing the product as a reinvention of the wireless headphone.
They will be available for £159 from late October and will come with a charging case. They are instantly set up with one tap and will be ready to use with the iPhone and Apple Watch.
Not only do they allow the user to listen to music wirelessly, but the AirPods also make it possible to conveniently make phone calls, watch videos, play games and communicate with Siri in the same way. Indeed, Siri can be accessed with a simple double tap.
Sensors will be able to tell when the device owner is listening and automatically play and pause music. They can intelligently switch from listening to music to answering a phone call if required.
An accelerometer in each AirPod detects when someone is speaking. When this happens, a pair of beam-forming microphones will focus on the sound of the voice and filter out external noise to make for a clear-sounding phone call.
A new ultra-low power Apple W1 chip has made this technology possible, as it enables the AirPods to deliver high-quality audio and strong battery life in a completely wireless design.
To set the AirPods up, the charging case simply has to be opened near the device and they will immediately be connected to all the devices signed into the user's iCloud account, including any iPads and Macs.
The AirPods deliver up to five hours of listening time on one charge – and further charges are held in the case itself, offering up to 24 hours of listening time on-the-go.
Senior vice-president of worldwide marketing at Apple Philip Schiller said: “AirPods are the first headphones to deliver a breakthrough wireless audio experience and with the new Apple W1 chip they deliver innovative features including high quality sound, great battery life and automatic setup.
“AirPods are simple and magical to use, with no switches or buttons, automatically connecting to all your Apple devices simply and seamlessly and letting you access Siri with just a double tap. We can't wait for users to try them with iPhone 7 and Apple Watch Series 2.”