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Apple will reportedly debut new AirPods this year with at least two key upgrades

Published Feb 22nd, 2018 8:51AM EST
AirPods 2 Release Date

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As is often the case with Apple, the company’s truly wireless AirPods headphones were nowhere close to being the first device to market in this emerging category. Apple is almost never first to market, of course. Instead, the company takes its time and develops the best product it can, and that product typically ends up being the most popular option. Apple did it with smartphones, the company did it with tablets, and now Apple has done it again with cord-free earbuds.

Apple’s AirPods were first released more than a year ago, and they’re so popular that supply still can’t keep up with demand. Apparently that isn’t stopping Apple from working on new versions of its first Apple-branded wireless headphones, and a new report says the second-generation model is set to be released this year.

A new report on Thursday morning from Bloomberg states that Apple is currently working on at least two different updated versions of its popular AirPods. The second version is supposedly due to be released next year at the earliest will reportedly feature water resistance, though it’s currently unclear what other new features Apple may have planned for 2019’s new AirPods. Before they’re released, however, Apple supposedly has a second-generation version of its AirPods planned for release this year.

According to the report, Apple’s new 2018 AirPods will feature at least two big upgrades. First, they’ll pack an upgraded wireless chip. The first-generation AirPods include Apple’s W1 wireless chip, and last year’s Apple Watch Series 3 included a new W2 wireless chip. It’s unclear if the second-generation AirPods will feature the W2 or a new W2 chip. In either case, improved wireless performance would be a welcome change for current AirPods users, who often report difficulty establishing and maintaining Bluetooth connections.

Apart from the wireless chip, the report states that Apple’s upcoming second-generation AirPods will also add support for the “Hey Siri” wake command. The currently available AirPods model does offer Siri support, but users must physically double-tap on one of the earbuds in order to wake Siri. The new version of Apple’s AirPods will supposedly allow users to simply speak the phrase “Hey Siri” at any time to wake Siri.

It’s unclear when Apple plans to release its second-generation AirPods. The first-generation model was released more than a year ago in December 2016.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.