CUPERTINO, Calif. (WPVI) -- Apple announced new AirPods Wednesday, the second generation of the company's popular wireless headphones.
Apple claims the new H1 chip developed specifically for headphones, delivers performance efficiencies, faster connect times, more talk time and the convenience of hands-free "Hey Siri."
The company says the addition of new "Hey Siri" makes it easier to change songs, make a call, adjust the volume or get directions.
AirPods are issued with a standard charging case, but users can upgrade to a new wireless charging case for an additional $40. You can also order a standalone wireless charging case for $79.
Overall, the new AirPods have met mixed reviews.
CNet reviewers are disappointed that the new AirPods lack the rumored color changes, and design and biometric features previously promised, saying the new version "looks identical to the original AirPods, which are more than two years old."
Tech Radar notes that Apple makes no mention of difference in sound quality when hyping the new product in press materials. It says it will reserve judgment until testing the product, but says "given Apple hasn't made a big deal about audio enhancement really tells its own story."
Pricing and Availability
AirPods with standard charging case are available for $159 and with the wireless charging case for $199 on apple.com and the Apple Store app and in Apple Stores starting next week.
If you just want the standalone Wireless Charging Case, that can also be purchased for $79.