Apple Is Reportedly Upgrading a Travel Tech Essential: AirPods
Rumors are flying that Apple is preparing to release an upgraded version of AirPods, its wireless earbud product.
According to a new Bloomberg report that cites sources inside the tech company, Apple will release a new, higher-end version of AirPods, along with "studio-quality" over-the-ear headphones sometime in 2019.
An instant travel tech essential when they launched at the end of 2016, AirPods will reportedly see upgrades like a noise-cancelling feature and water resistance to help defend against rain and perspiration. Apple's engineers are also trying to increase the range from iPhones and iPads the bluetooth earbuds work from and are working to create a portable charging case, like the long-rumored AirPower charger.
There is even some talk of a biometric component being added to monitor the user's heart rate and other health data, similar to the Apple Watch.
A slightly updated version of the bluetooth earbuds are reportedly launching at the end of 2018 with a new wireless chip that will improve the bluetooth connection and allow users handsfree voice access to Siri. Previously, users had to click the side of the AirPod to activate the Siri function.
In addition to the new and improved AirPods, Apple is said to be launching an over-the-ear headphone, too, that will be a higher-end version of its Beats headphones on par with luxury brands like Bose.
Apple AirPods made TPG editors' list of Must-Have Travel Items, with TPG Editor Nick Ellis saying: “I don’t fly anywhere without my new Apple AirPods. These headphones sound so much better than the earbuds you get in the box with your phone. Plus, I’ve found that they stay in my ears, even after a fitful half-sleep.”
AirPods currently sell for $159, but experts are predicting a significant markup for the tech accessory after the upgrade.