Apple releases AirPods 2 with new wireless charging case option
Apple has launched the Apple AirPods 2 in a press release issued today (March 20, 2019). These new truly wireless earbuds come with the ability to activate Siri via voice controls. In addition, the release states that the new AirPods can switch between a user's different devices (e.g. between an iPhone and a MacBook) twice as fast compared to their predecessors.
The AirPods 2 integrate the new H1 chipset for wearables. Apple claims that it will improve talk-times on the earbuds by up to 50% compared to the originals. The Cupertino giant also notes that the new SoC's architecture results in a "revolutionary audio experience".
However, potential buyers may be more drawn to the most anticipated new aspect of the 2nd-gen AirPods: wireless charging, which is enabled through a new, compatible case. It is the one shown working with the (currently extremely delayed) AirPower mat in a product release held what seems like long ago by now. In accordance with this image, the new AirPods case looks much like the old, the only exception being its tiny LED light on the front under the lid that indicates the charge level.
Apple asserts that this case adds up to 24 hours of extra listening time. On the other hand, it is also the reason the AirPods 2 have not seen a design overhaul of any kind: this new product also needs to be compatible with the first-gen earbuds. This is so customers can pay US$79 to add wireless charging to their existing wearables.
Those who have held out for the AirPods 2 may be less than thrilled to learn they also get to pay more for the new case type. This bundle is sold for $199, whereas there is also an option to buy AirPods 2 with a 'standard', wired-only case for $159. These new products are available to order on Apple.com now; alternatively, fans can wait for a week from now (starting 24 March 2019) to pick up their refreshed buds.