But the company says its new 2nd-gen AirPods do offer a better experience for the same price. Apple says they include a brand new Apple H1 chip which offers better efficiency, faster connection times, support for hands-free “Hey Siri” voice controls, and longer battery life.
In fact, Apple says the new AirPods should offer an extra hour of talk time, which is apparently a 50-percent boost over the original AirPods.
As always, Apple’s truly wireless earbuds also come with a charging case that has a built-in battery, allowing you to recharge the earbuds on the go for up to 24 hours of total listening time before you have to recharge the case itself.
But Apple also now offers an optional Wireless Charging Case that lets you charge the case without plugging it in. Just drop it on any Qi-compatible charging pad or stand to top off the battery.
New customers can pick up a set of AirPods with a standard charging case for $159 or pay $199 for AirPods and a Wireless Charging Case.
The new Wireless Charging Case is also compatible with 1st-gen AirPods, so if you want to pick one up to use with an existing set of Apple’s wireless earbuds, you can do that for $79. I’m not really sure why you’d want to pay that much extra for a charging case, but I suppose it’s nice to have the option.