Apple has heard your holiday wishes and answered them. AirPods ($159), the much anticipated and much delayed wireless earbuds first announced in September, are finally on sale today. You can buy them online now and in Apple stores starting next week. They're likely to sell out faster than Hatchimals, so this is one holiday gift you don't want to procrastinate buying. This article was originally published on October 26, 2016.
Apple's AirPods have been a source of much discussion since they were announced last month: Will they fall out of your ears and get lost? Will they fail to provide the safety barrier against unwanted conversation that traditional headphones do? Will they look weird? All of these questions were on the brink of being answered. While Apple didn't give an exact for-sale date, back in September, it said AirPods would be available at the end of October. But that timetable just changed. TechCrunch just got confirmation that Apple has delayed the release — without giving a new expected on-sale date. "The early response to AirPods has been incredible," an Apple spokesperson told Refinery29. "We don't believe in shipping a product before it's ready and we need a little more time before AirPods are ready for our customers." While the pre-production unit that Refinery29 tried wasn't the final product, we had mostly positive things to say about the pods. The magnetic charging case was appealing, the pods were quick to connect to our phone, Siri worked well, and there were some thoughtful details (when you take the pods out of your ears, your music automatically stops playing). But the $159 price tag made us hesitant. Whether or not Apple's delay is because of a hardware issue, software bug, or something else is unclear. But if we've learned anything from Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 failure, it's best to play things safe. Nobody wants exploding AirPod chargers.