A huge part of Apple’s justification for removing the 3.5 mm audio port on the iPhone 7 was the reveal of their AirPods — true wireless earbuds that use the company’s new W1 chip to pair automatically across all of a user’s Apple devices and provide a more stable wireless connection. But, things didn’t quite go as planned, and Apple pushed back the release of the AirPods indefinitely. That delay ended this morning, as Apple quietly started selling the AirPods on their website.
The AirPods are true wireless earbuds of the sort we’ve seen much of this year — we’ve been able to review Earin, the Samsung IconX, and Skybuds, but many more are also available — with Apple setting theirs apart with the W1 chip, more reliable wireless connectivity, and a design that uses stems to allow for larger batteries and mics closer to the wearer’s mouth. On the Apple Store, the AirPods are now listed for sale at $160, with an estimated four weeks for delivery. It’s worth noting that, for a change, Apple’s true wireless earbuds are less expensive than most of the competition at that price (many others also have fitness features, but not all). We’re still not sure what the reason for the delay was, but whatever the problem was, it must have been ironed out. We hope so, anyway.
Apple also announced three new Beats headphones during the iPhone 7 event. The two product refreshes, the Solo3 Wireless on-ear headphones and exercise-oriented Powerbeats3 wireless in-ear headphones, have already come out, but the all-new BeatsX — lifestyle in-ear headphones with smaller drivers — have now been delayed to February, per the sales page on the Apple Store. They’ll cost $150 when they become available.