Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the lights on at MakeUseOf. Read more.
One thing Apple does consistently is deliver new versions of its existing products. Except the Mac mini. Sure, these aren’t always the most innovative upgrades, but they are upgrades nonetheless. And it looks as though a new version of the AirPods is already on the way.
New rumors suggest that Apple is currently working on new AirPods. The AirPods may have split opinion at launch — read our review to see what we thought — but they have been a big seller. So much so that Apple gave the AirPods the starring role in its holiday ad.
And now, the second generation of AirPods is (rumored to be) on the way in 2018.
The Devil Is in the Detail
Citing “people familiar with the matter,” Bloomberg states that Apple is “working on upgrades to its wireless AirPods headphones.” So far, so utterly predictable. However, the devil is in the detail, and those same sources claim to know what’s changing.
The first upgrade will be a new wireless chip. The AirPods are actually rather good at finding and maintaining a Bluetooth connection, but there’s always room for improvement. So, expect the W2 chip from the Apple Watch at the very least.
So it sounds like the AirPods 2 earbuds will include always-listening Hey Siri coprocessors, but then the request is still shuttled off to the phone as normal. Nice improvement but I personally wouldn't upgrade just for that …
— Benjamin Mayo (@bzamayo) February 22, 2018
The second upgrade will be the option to summon Siri using just your voice. At the moment, you have to tap the headphones to activate her, but the second generation of AirPods should bring hands-free Siri to the fore. Which would be a Godsend.
Finally, looking even further forward, Bloomberg’s sources claim the third generation of AirPods, due to be released in 2019, will be water resistant. While they’re unlikely to survive a drowning, this future version of AirPods should survive a little rain.
Persuading People to Upgrade
Apple took a gamble with the AirPods, but that gamble has paid off. So it’s no surprise to find the company eager to release a new version sooner rather than later. And adding hands-free access to Siri is bound to persuade plenty of people to pay for the upgrade.
Do you own a pair of AirPods? What do you like about them? And what do think could be improved? Would you buy a new pair for the improved wireless? For hands-free Siri? Or for better water resistance? Please let us know in the comments below!