New and Improved AirPods Could Be On Their Way

By Alex Cranz on at

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman is reporting that Apple has plans for some AirPods updates. If you’ve held off on purchasing the little Apple earrings because of connectivity or water resistance concerns, it’s time to get excited.

While we don’t consider AirPods to be the best truly wireless headphones available at the moment (that honor is reserved for Bose’s SoundSport Free), there’s no questioning that they’re still really nice. They feature decent audio performance and there is not a single earbud on the market that is as easy to connect and use.

That’s why the AirPods, in their current state, have helped boost Apple’s wearable sales by almost 70 percent last year, according to Bloomberg. Part of those sales can also be attributed to the Apple Watch Series 3, which sold twice the volume of the Apple Watch Series 2.

According to Bloomberg’s Gurman, a new Bluetooth chip could be coming to the next version of Apple’s AirPods, expected later this year. The original AirPods had the W1 inside, while the Apple Watch had the W2. The new AirPods, could use that same chip or move on to something like a W3 (if naming conventions hold). New and improved Bluetooth is critical to solving some of the issues the current AirPods have. While they’ve got the best connectivity of any pair of Bluetooth headphones, they’re still, you know, Bluetooth headphones and so there are random moments where they disconnect or the audio distorts.

A new chip could help solve that issue, and it could power a new feature Gurman claims is coming, Siri on-demand. According to Gurman, the new AirPods will respond to the phrase, “Hey Siri” without needing you to touch the earbuds themselves.

Gurman reports that these new AirPods could arrive as early as this year, and claims a third version of AirPods, designed to be more resistant to water, will arrive as early as next year. What does not appear to be planned are a pair of AirPods that block outside noise or fit in my tiny, tiny ear canals. So while these new AirPods could be a boon for some people, Apple’s dangly little buds probably won’t be the perfect choice for everyone anytime soon. [Bloomberg]