Ap­ple pushes new EarPods and AirPods

Ap­ple re­moves head­phone jack from the iPhone 7 and ships Light­ning EarPods and an adap­tor, writes

Macworld - - Contents - Jared New­man

Ap­ple will try to ease the pain of killing the head­phone jack in the iPhone 7, ship­ping the new smart­phone with Light­ning-en­abled EarPods and an ana­logue adap­tor.

“The rea­son to move on... it re­ally comes down to one word: Courage,” Ap­ple Se­nior Vice Pres­i­dent of World­wide Mar­ket­ing Phil Schiller said dur­ing the com­pany’s Septem­ber news event.

Schiller ex­plained that aban­don­ing the ana­logue head­phone jack al­lows Ap­ple to make room for var­i­ous other tech­no­log­i­cal im­prove­ments, such as brighter dis­plays, faster pro­ces­sors, and the iPhone 7’s stereo speak­ers. The Light­ning con­nec­tion

also al­lows for new head­phone fea­tures, he said, in­clud­ing adap­tive noise can­cel­la­tion and high­erqual­ity au­dio with­out an ex­ter­nal power source.

Ac­tu­ally Blue­tooth Buds

While Ap­ple made no ex­plicit men­tion of Blue­tooth when an­nounc­ing its new AirPods, or any sort of com­pat­i­bil­ity with non-Ap­ple Blue­tooth de­vices, the com­pany’s store page notes that Blue­tooth con­nec­tiv­ity is sup­ported.

Still, Ap­ple claims that its AirPods, and their new W1 chip in par­tic­u­lar, go well be­yond the ca­pa­bil­i­ties of “tra­di­tional wire­less chips.” The new chip can wire­lessly trans­mit “high-qual­ity AAC au­dio” (the fine print men­tions test­ing 256kb/s AAC tracks), and in­stead of an of­ten-com­plex Blue­tooth pair­ing process, AirPods will recog­nise when an iPhone is nearby for one-tap pair­ing. They’ll also si­mul­ta­ne­ously con­nect with an Ap­ple Watch, and can pair to an iPad or Mac over iCloud.

AirPods are packed with some ad­di­tional sen­sors as well. In­frared al­lows them to only start play­ing when they’re in your ear, while an ac­celerom­e­ter recog­nises speech and uses dual beam-form­ing mi­cro­phones to fil­ter out back­ground noise. Dou­ble-tap­ping on ei­ther AirPod calls up Siri for voice com­mands.

As for bat­tery life, each AirPod will run for five hours on a charge, and they come with a wire­less charg­ing case that brings back a few hours of run­time af­ter 15 min­utes in­side. In to­tal, the case pro­vides up to 24 hours of bat­tery life.

Ap­ple plans to ship the AirPods in late Oc­to­ber for £159. See page 33 for our hands-on re­view.

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