Apple just dropped second-generation AirPods — and this time, everything's wireless, including the charging case.
Now, instead of plugging your AirPod case into the wall like you would any other Apple device, the new Wireless Charging Case gets juice just from being placed on a Qi-compatible charging mat, leaving one to wonder if an Apple-created Qi-compatible charging mat isn't far behind. And the case is super easy to use — an LED light indicator on the front shows the charge status from a glance.
The best feature of the new AirPods? Now they respond to "Hey Siri," just like the iPhone, iPad, Mac, HomePod, and Apple Watch. You can use the command to adjust the volume of what you're listening to, make a call, or ask for directions.
Also improved is the talk time. The new AirPods have an Apple-designed H1 chip, which allows for up to 50 percent more talk time compared to the original model, and enables faster connections so that you can more seamlessly switch between devices while listening to music. Same goes for the battery life — now you can have three hours of talk time just by charging your AirPods for 15 minutes.
The new AirPods and Wireless Charging Case are available for purchase on Apple's website and the Apple Store app starting today and will be available in Apple Stores starting next week. As far as pricing, you can buy the new AirPods with the standard charging case for $159 (the same price as the last generation), the new AirPods with the Wireless Charging Case for $199, or the standalone Wireless Charging Case for $79 (for those of us with the original AirPods who want to upgrade to wireless charging without throwing down $199.) Plus, you now have the option to add a personal engraving on both cases for free when you check out.
And if you're looking to trick out your Apple Watch, Apple dropped some really good new watch accessories today as well, including a chic new Hermès watch band collection, sleek new Nike+ bands, and a ton of new sport bands, sport loops, leather loops, and modern buckle colors. This product drop comes on the heels of some major Apple makeovers this week, from the all-new iPad Air and iPad mini to a major iMac performance boost, and ahead of a rumored big announcement at next Monday's Apple special event.