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Apple announces AirPods, its new wireless headphones with five hours of battery life

Apple today held its annual iPhone event, but while it was killing off the headphone jack on the iPhone 7, the company announced new wireless earbuds called AirPods. Before you jump to conclusions, no, they will not ship with the new iPhone. Instead, the device will ship with Lightning headphones.

The firm is promising five hours of battery life from AirPods, which isn't tremendously impressive for a pair of Bluetooth headphones. Luckily, it comes with a charging case that promises 25 hours. It's similar in function to how Lenovo's Moto Hint works.

But the real selling point here is ease of use. Anyone that's used Bluetooth headphones knows that they can be a pain. You have to pair them, and if you want to switch to another device, you have to unpair and then pair with another. Sometimes you can be paired with multiple devices, but then it often doesn't work as it should. It's just a mess, and not nearly as simple as plugging in a wired pair of headphones.

Instead, when you open a new pair of AirPods, your iPhone will alert you to connect to them. Once you're connected, it's also paired with your Apple Watch and even your Mac.

The company wasn't clear on what exactly happens if you try to pair a new set of AirPods in a setting where there are lots of iPhones around. Presumably, there are security settings in place.

This all works with Apple's new W1 processor, which the company says is its first wireless chip. Also using the W1 will be three new Beats wireless headsets, called Beats Solo3, Beats Powerbeats 3, and Beats X.

AirPods will be available in late October for $159. The company did not provide details of pricing or availability for the new Beats headphones.

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