Apple finally introduced today the second-generation AirPods more than two years after announcing the first iteration of the wireless headphones. As expected, the new AirPods introduce a bunch of upgrades from its predecessor, plus some new features that were only rumors over the past few months.
Powered by Apple's H1 chip that's purpose-built for headphones, the new AirPods are said to offer faster connect times, 50% more talk time, and support for "Hey Siri" for hands-free control. The latter feature was indicated in a previous developer beta of the iOS 12.2 in January, and it allows you to say any command for making calls, playing Spotify or Apple Music, launching apps, or getting directions from Google Maps, among other capabilities. That means you won't have to tap the headphones in order to activate the personal assistant as was the case before.
The AirPods ship with either the standard charging case or the new wireless charging case, both of which can juice up the headphones for more than a day of total listening time. The AirPods, along with the optional wireless charging case, can be ordered from Apple's online marketplace or Apple Store app from today. The products will also be up for grabs from physical Apple stores starting next week.
Together with the standard charging case, the new AirPods cost $159, while the one with the wireless charging case is available for $199. Additionally, the wireless charging case can be had separately for $79, so you can use it with your first-generation AirPods as well.