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.
Buy AirPods 2 for Hands Free Hey Siri
If you use Siri all the time, you should buy AirPods 2 so that you can stop tapping your ear like it's 2001. With the AirPods 2 you get the H1 chip that enables "Hey Siri" control.
When the AirPods are in your ear, all you need to do is say, " Hey Siri" and you will be able to control the volume, make a call, send a text message and any other Siri feature that you use.
This is even more of a benefit if you use Siri Shortcuts. With these, you will be able to control many more things and you can even control Spotify with Siri shortcuts -- at least in small ways.
The "Hey Siri" feature is a major convenience upgrade for Siri users, and it's one of the biggest reasons to buy the new AirPods, even if you own the existing model.
Now that Spotify works with Siri, you can even control your Spotify listening with Hey Siri on your AirPods, and it's a major upgrade.
If you buy the older model, you need to tap on the AirPod to start Siri control. This isn't a great way to use Siri. Even with "Hey Siri" on your iPhone and Apple Watch, using the AirPod to get Siri without taking your phone out of your pocket or raising your wrist is a great upgrade.
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