You can finally buy AirPods 2 with a wireless charging case, hands free Hey Siri, faster connections to your phone and when switching devices and you get better battery life for phone calls.
Apple announced the AirPods 2 this morning with a starting price of $159, the same as the original model. You can add wireless charging when you buy them and get the combo for $199. You can also buy the AirPods wireless charging case for $79 as a standalone upgrade for your existing AirPods. Deliveries start on March 28th and you can pick them up in store starting next week.
The heart of this upgrade is the H1 chip that doubles talk time, makes switching between devices twice as fast as the old model and connect to your phone to take a call 1.5x faster. This new chip also powers the voice activated Siri and helps deliver 30% less lag when playing games, so you hear sounds closer to when you should, based on what is happening in the game. Take note Fortnite players.
With the new Hey Siri feature you no longer need to tap to use Siri. You can simply say “Hey Siri” and then use Siri Shortcuts, control volume, make calls and use other Siri features and commands.
With the wireless charging case you can set your AirPods 2 down on any Qi charging mat to charge up. A small LED on the front of the case lets you know if they are charging. You can still use a Lightning cable to charge when wireless isn’t available.
The AirPods 2nd generation are not a full redesign, but they are a major upgrade and a tempting purchase for users that are dealing with poor battery life on the original AirPods after nearly three years of use. For the first time you can get free engraving on your AirPods case. This is on the front side of the case and it may push the delivery date back if you add this.
Apple kicked off this week with the iPad mini 5 and iPad Air 3, following up with 2019 iMac upgrades and then AirPods 2 today. We could see AirPower and a new iPod Touch arrive before the end of the week.