New AirPods vs. Old AirPods Comparison

Apple in March debuted second-generation AirPods, featuring several updates over the original massively popular wireless earbuds of the same name.

So what's improved in the new AirPods compared to the older model, and what's stayed the same? Read on to find out.


Price of New AirPods vs. Old AirPods


Buying Apple's original AirPods was straightforward as they came with a single $159 price tag, but that's changed with the second-generation models.

The new AirPods still start at the same price, but customers now have the option to buy the earbuds with a Wireless Charging Case for $199.


Apple is also offering the Wireless Charging Case separately for $79, so if you already own first-generation AirPods you can buy the case and charge your earbuds using any Qi-compatible charging mat. The Wireless Charging Case still includes a Lightning port so you can charge your AirPods via cable if you prefer.

Apple's new AirPods can be ordered on Apple's website and will be available in Apple Stores and resellers from March 26, 2019. Apple no longer lists first-generation AirPods on its website, but you should be able to find them elsewhere online at a lower price now that the new AirPods are available.

Design of New AirPods vs. Old AirPods


Apple's new AirPods look identical to the first-generation models, save for a single LED on the front of the Wireless Charging Case. This light simply tells you the charging status of the AirPods when you place them on a Qi-compatible charging mat. On the standard charging case, which came with the original AirPods, the LED was inside the lid between where the two AirPods go.

Otherwise, both versions of AirPods have the same dimensions and weight, and both are only available in white.

Processor in New AirPods vs. Old AirPods


Apple's second-generation AirPods use a new proprietary chip called the H1, whereas the original AirPods run on the W1 chip.

Both chips are responsible for the earbuds' seamless one-tap pairing process, but Apple claims the H1 allows the new AirPods to connect to calls up to 1.5 times faster and generally provide a more stable wireless connection to devices like iPhones and iPads, while making them up to twice as fast when switching between active devices.

In addition, the H1 chip delivers up to 30 percent lower latency, which means you should experience fewer delays between onscreen events and their accompanying audio when playing games.

Using Siri With New AirPods vs. Old AirPods


One of the headline features of the new AirPods is the ability to invoke Siri handsfree when you're wearing them, thanks to Apple's new H1 chip.


With the first-generation AirPods you have to double tap the earbuds before you can talk to the personal assistant, but the new models allow you to say simply "Hey Siri" for it to register your spoken query or command. This is particularly neat if you wear them when your hands are busy or you want to exclusively control your music using Siri commands.

Battery life in New AirPods vs. Old AirPods


Apple's new AirPods offer the same overall battery life as the original AirPods, which is 5 hours on a single charge and over 24 hours of additional battery capacity in the charging case. According to Apple, the second-generation AirPods offer 50 percent more talk time due to the H1 chip.

In other words, the new AirPods get up to three hours of talk time per charge, compared to up to two hours with the previous generation. So that's something to think about if you'd be using them to take a lot of calls.


Bottom Line


Apple's second-generation AirPods aren't an earth-shattering upgrade over its original wireless earbuds, with the company seemingly holding rumored features like health monitoring, noice cancellation, and water resistance for the next generation, expected in 2020.

That said, new features like handsfree "Hey Siri" activation and wireless charging are still welcome improvements, and even if you're not convinced they present a worthwhile upgrade over your first-generation AirPods, you still have the option to buy the new wireless case to charge your existing earbuds using a Qi-compatible charging pad.

Whatever you decide, be sure to check out our complete guide to AirPods to learn a lot more about what AirPods can do and how you can make the most of them, and read our roundup for more details on the new second-generation AirPods.

Related Roundup: AirPods 2
Buyer's Guide: AirPods (Buy Now)

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AirPods With Wireless Charging Case Delivery Date Slips to April

Just hours after Apple unveiled new second-generation AirPods with "Hey Siri" support and a new Wireless Charging Case, they've started selling out.

At launch, Apple listed a U.S. delivery date of March 27 to March 29 for the new $199 AirPods paired with the Wireless Charging Case, but now, those delivery estimates have slipped to April 2 to April 5.


The $159 second-generation AirPods with a standard Charging Case continue to be available for March 27 to March 29 delivery, as does the standalone $79 Wireless Charging Case Apple introduced for current AirPods owners.

Those who want to pick up the new AirPods with Wireless Charging Case should do so soon, as historically, Apple has had trouble keeping its AirPods in stock due to high demand.

We may soon see these delivery estimates slip even further into April.

Apple's new second-generation AirPods do not bring exciting new features that were rumored like a new black color and health updates, but they're a solid upgrade over the previous version.

There's a new H1 wireless chip inside that powers hands-free "Hey Siri" functionality so you don't need to tap to access the voice assistant.

Your AirPods are able to switch between devices two times faster when playing music, and there's an extra hour of talk time, bringing total talk time to three hours.

The new Wireless Charging Case allows the AirPods to charge using Qi-based wireless charging accessories, and it perhaps heralds the upcoming launch of the AirPower.


Apple is designing its own wireless charging mat meant to charge AirPods, the iPhone, and the Apple Watch all at once, but it's not yet entirely clear when it will launch given the many delays since its 2017 introduction.

In the meantime, with no AirPower, AirPods can charge on any Qi-based accessory that you might already have for your iPhone.

Apple will likely have some stock of the new AirPods models in its retail stores next week for those who were unable to order and receive a March delivery date. If you order online, though, you can get your AirPods case engraved, a feature new to the second-generation model.


We expect AirPods to be in stores right around March 25. The new AirPods require iOS 12.2, watchOS 5.2, and macOS Mojave 10.14.4, all of which are in beta testing right now. Those releases are expected on March 25, so AirPods could be in stores soon afterwards.

We're giving away a pair of AirPods to one lucky MacRumors reader, and you can enter to win in our AirPods roundup.

Related Roundup: AirPods 2
Buyer's Guide: AirPods (Buy Now)

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Roundup: AirPower Removed From AirPods Page, iOS 12.2 Arrives Next Week, and More

Apple today unveiled second-generation AirPods with a new H1 chip that enables hands-free Siri and up to an extra hour of talk time, and there are a handful of details worth mentioning surrounding the announcement.

Apple removed this AirPower image from its AirPods page today

Five thoughts:
  • The new AirPods require iOS 12.2, watchOS 5.2, or macOS 10.14.4 and later, which are all currently in beta testing. With the new AirPods arriving to customers early next week, this means the software updates should be publicly released on or around March 25 event day.
  • Apple removed an image of its AirPower wireless charging mat from its AirPods page today. However, many sources believe the AirPower is coming soon. Apple announced new iPads on Monday, new iMacs on Tuesday, and new AirPods on Wednesday, so it is possible the AirPower could follow on Thursday or Friday, but no reliable rumors have indicated that will be the case.
  • Apple has discontinued the original AirPods. The new lineup includes the second-generation AirPods paired with either a wired charging case for $159 or with a wireless charging case for $199. The wireless case is also sold separately for $79 and is compatible with the original AirPods.
  • According to Mark Gurman, these AirPods were initially planned to go on sale last year. As he has previously reported, Gurman says Apple is working on a subsequent pair of AirPods with noise cancellation and water resistance that were originally planned for release later this year, but he now speculates that they could arrive in 2020.
  • MacRumors received a tip earlier this month claiming that Apple would announce new iPads, iMacs, and iPods on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of this week, and while most of this information proved to be accurate, new AirPods ended up arriving on Wednesday instead of a new iPod touch. Multiple sources still expect a new iPod touch, but announcement timing is unclear.
For more details about the new AirPods, read our earlier coverage of the announcement.

Related Roundups: iOS 12, AirPods 2
Buyer's Guide: AirPods (Buy Now)

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New AirPods Launch With H1 Chip, Hey Siri, Up to 50% More Talk Time, and Optional Wireless Charging Case

Apple today in a press release introduced new second-generation AirPods powered by an Apple-designed H1 chip that enables hands-free "Hey Siri" functionality and up to 50 percent more talk time compared to the original AirPods.


Apple says the H1 chip in the new AirPods makes switching between the iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, or Mac up to two times faster, along with up to a 1.5x faster connection time for phone calls and up to 30 percent lower gaming latency.

The H1 chip also drives hands-free Hey Siri for changing songs, making phone calls, adjusting the volume, asking for directions, and more.

The new AirPods are available to order on Apple.com and in the Apple Store app starting today with a wired charging case for $159, the same price as the original AirPods, and with a wireless charging case for $199. Both options will be available at Apple Stores and select resellers starting next week.

The wireless charging case is also available individually for $79 for use with both the first-generation and second-generation AirPods. An LED light indicator located on the front of the case shows the charge status at a glance.

Apple also announced that free engraving is now available on any AirPods charging case for orders placed on Apple.com and in the Apple Store app.

Related Roundup: AirPods 2
Buyer's Guide: AirPods (Caution)

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Only One AirPod Working? Here’s How to Fix the Problem

AirPods are designed to work seamlessly with all of Apple's Bluetooth-supporting devices, and nine times out of ten the wireless earbuds live up their billing, but that doesn't mean they work perfectly for everyone one hundred percent of the time.


A particularly irritating problem that can sometimes occur is when one AirPod drops the connection intermittently or stops working altogether for no apparent reason. If you've been hit by this bug, following the steps below should help you resolve it.

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.

  2. Tap Bluetooth, and then tap the 'i' icon next to your AirPods in the list.

  3. Tap Forget this Device.

  4. Ensure that both AirPods are in their charging case and that the case has charge.

  5. Locate the small button on the back of the case, near the bottom. It's flush with the case and the same color as it, so you might need to feel about for it.

  6. Open the charging case lid.

  7. Press and hold the button on the back of the case for at least 15 seconds. The case's internal light between the AirPods will flash white and then amber, indicating the AirPods have reset.

  8. Now, close the lid of your AirPods case and then open it up again.

  9. Hold the AirPods case with open lid next to your iPhone or iPad. Your iOS device should recognize the AirPods and you'll see a popup to connect them.
If the above steps don't solve the problem, try resetting your iPhone's network settings. To do so, launch the Settings app and select General -> Reset -> Reset Network Settings, then try re-pairing your AirPods by repeating the steps above.

Related Roundup: AirPods 2
Buyer's Guide: AirPods (Caution)

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Apple Suppliers ‘Gearing Up for Mass Production’ of Updated iPad and AirPods

Companies in Apple's supply chain are reportedly "gearing up for mass production" of updated iPad and AirPods models, according to Taiwanese site DigiTimes.

Flexible PCB firms Flexium Interconnect and Zhen Ding Technology are gearing up for mass production for Apple's next-generation iPad devices, while Compeq Manufacturing and Unitech PCB supply rigid-flex boards for the forthcoming AirPods, according to industry sources.
The report says that both updates are expected to come at Apple's March 25 event, although reliable sources have indicated the event will focus on Apple's upcoming news and video services with no hardware announcements planned.

Minor hardware updates could come silently alongside the event or via press release around the same time, as DigiTimes's insights via the supply chain are likely limited to production timing rather than event specifics.

Hints of an updated low-cost iPad have been growing, with new iPad models appearing in a regulatory database back in January. Rumors have suggested the entry-level iPad could see its display grow from 9.7 inches to around 10.2 inches thanks to slimmer bezels, but we're not expecting to see Face ID and removal of the home button with this update.

As for AirPods, we've been hearing about an imminent update for many months now, with Apple's plans seemingly delayed as the company continues work on its AirPower charging mat. Updated AirPods would include a wireless charging case to work with the AirPower mat, as well as other upgrades including "Hey Siri" support and possibly new health monitoring features, a "grippy" texture, and maybe even a new black color option.

Related Roundups: iPad, AirPods 2

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MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Pair of AirPods 2

Apple is working on second-generation AirPods that are expected to be announced sometime soon, perhaps even during the month of March.

We know the AirPods 2 aren't out yet, but we're launching a new giveaway feature that will see us offering MacRumors readers a chance to win unannounced Apple products at launch, and we're starting with the AirPods.


We're hosting a giveaway in our AirPods 2 roundup, which you can access by clicking this link or by clicking on the image above. The links will take you right to the giveaway section of the roundup complete with entry form and rules, but make sure to check out the rest for all of the AirPods 2 rumors we've heard so far.

Rumors have suggested the next version of the AirPods will come with "Hey Siri" support for making hands-free Siri requests and a new wireless charging case for Qi-based wireless charging at a minimum, but there are a few other possible features rumored.

Apple is perhaps working on a black color for the second-generation AirPods, and the AirPods could also feature an updated coating that's more matte in color. If Apple does release white AirPods and black AirPods, you can pick whichever color you like best.

There have been some vague hints of other features like heart rate monitoring, but we're not convinced these rumors are accurate. Such a feature could come to the AirPods at some point, but most information has suggested the first AirPods refresh will be rather minor in scale.

Whatever AirPods are coming next from Apple is what our giveaway winner will be receiving at the conclusion of the giveaway.

We're going to be accepting giveaway entries in our AirPods roundup until the day that the AirPods are announced, at which point we'll pick a winner, ask for your color preference, and send a pair of fresh new AirPods your way. For full rules and details, make sure to check out the details over in our roundup.

Related Roundup: AirPods 2
Buyer's Guide: AirPods (Caution)

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Sketchy Rumor Pegs March 29 as AirPods 2 Release Date

Rumors of a spring launch for Apple's next-generation AirPods have been coming in over recent weeks, and today a report is claiming we can expect an AirPods 2 announcement as soon as this month, although at this point we're treating the source with a fair amount of skepticism.


The rumor comes from Spanish blog Applesfera, which claims Apple plans to replace its current generation AirPods with new models on March 29. The blog cites a source said to be familiar with Apple's plans, and backs up the claim with reference to a screenshot supposedly taken from Apple's stock management software that shows the original AirPods reaching their "end of life cycle" on March 28.

Earlier this month, another unsubstantiated rumor claimed Apple plans to hold a product event in the second half of March where it will announce second-generation AirPods, the AirPower wireless charging pad, a new affordable iPad and an iPad mini 5.

It would be remiss not to mention the other rumor that appeared the same day. Noted leaker Steve Hemmerstoffer (@OnLeaks) received separate info, also from an unverified source, suggesting Apple will launch a wireless AirPods Charging Case in the near future, but AirPods 2 won't launch until the fall.

It's not clear which (if any) of these rumors hold weight, but some do fall into the launch timeframe suggested by earlier rumors. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in October that a new version of the AirPods would launch late in the fourth quarter of 2018 or early in the first quarter of 2019, and he later clarified that he expects new wireless AirPods in the first half of 2019.

Listings for New AirPods were also added to the Bluetooth Special Interest Group's regulatory database in November, suggesting a refreshed version of the accessory could be coming soon.

Apple is planning to hold a services-focused event on March 25, making it sound likely that an AirPods announcement won't feature, however Apple could choose instead to announce an update via a press release.

The new AirPods are expected to include wireless charging support and upgraded Bluetooth connectivity, while other unsubstantiated rumors claim the new earbuds could have "health monitoring" features and a special matte coating to enhance grip.

One report has suggested the second-generation AirPods might be more expensive, costing around $200, up from $159. That said, other reports claim the price will remain at $159, so little is verified at this point.

Looking further ahead, Apple is also said to be working on third-generation AirPods that will be released in 2020 with a new design. These third-generation AirPods are rumored to include noise cancellation features and increase the distance that AirPods can be listened to away from an iPhone or iPad.

Related Roundup: AirPods 2
Buyer's Guide: AirPods (Caution)

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Apple Wins Patent on Long-Delayed AirPods Wireless Charging Case and AirPower

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office today published a newly granted Apple patent related to an "inductively chargeable earbud case." While the AirPods and AirPower are not named in the patent, the illustrations clearly show an AirPods-like wireless charging case on an AirPower-like charging mat.


Many current inductive charging mats require precisely aligning a smartphone or other device with the coils inside the mat for the most efficient power transfer. As noted by AppleInsider, however, Apple's patent describes a method that would allow the AirPods case to be placed anywhere on the AirPower.
Apple's solution is to use a pair of small charging coils in the case, occupying the bottom left and right hand corners of the rear section, typically the side that would make contact with a charging pad. Both coils would be capable of receiving a charge from a charging pad, effectively doubling its chances of being in an optimal charging position.
This is just one of many patents Apple has been grated for an AirPods-like wireless charging case.

Apple first previewed the AirPower and optional AirPods wireless charging case at its September 2017 event. At the time, Apple promised that the AirPower was coming in 2018, but the year came and went without any release.


Last year, a report suggested that Apple faced technical difficulties with the AirPower that likely delayed its release. Recent reports claim that Apple has since overcome those issues and instructed its suppliers to begin mass production of the AirPower, with several rumors hinting at an imminent release.

Just a few days ago, for example, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said the AirPower and AirPods case will launch in the first half of 2019.

Multiple sources claim Apple will host a special event at Steve Jobs Theater on Monday, March 25, but Apple's widely expected subscription-based news and video services are expected to be the focus of the keynote. By the sounds of it, there may be few to no hardware announcements at the event.

AirPower already had stage time, so a press release could be appropriate for its release, potentially alongside embargoed reviews. Rumored updates to the iPad, iPad mini, and iPod touch also sound minor, with few changes expected beyond faster processors and a slightly larger screen for the 9.7-inch iPad, so they could be press release worthy too.

Related Roundup: AirPods 2
Buyer's Guide: AirPods (Caution)

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AirPower and New AirPods Said to Ship in First Half of 2019, New iPod Touch With Faster Processor Also Expected

Apple's long-awaited AirPower wireless charging mat and a new version of AirPods with wireless charging support and upgraded Bluetooth connectivity will start shipping in the first half of 2019, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.


Kuo also expects a new iPod touch with a faster processor to launch in 2019.

While there's been a flurry of recent rumors about the AirPower and 2nd generation AirPods, there have also been conflicting reports on the possible launch dates for the two products. One recent report specifically placed the launch of the new AirPods in the fall of 2019. We were skeptical about that report at the time, and now Kuo gives another reason to believe that the new AirPods and AirPower will be shipping in the first half of this year.

Related Roundups: iPod touch, AirPods 2

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