Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice-president of worldwide marketing, said the new Airpods offered "an extra hour of talk-time, faster connections, hands-free "Hey Siri" and the convenience of a new wireless battery case".
It's also out with the old W1 chip and in with a brand new H1 chip which makes its debut in the 2019 AirPods. Both the regular and wireless charging cases hold enough juice to power AirPods for more than 24 hours.
Siri can now be activated without tapping the AirPods.
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The new headphones have a new Apple-designed H1 chip, developed for headphones, and aimed at faster connect times, better battery life and, yes, hands-free "Hey Siri" too.
Love them or hate them, Apple's AirPods have sold well for the company and the second generation improves on most of the basic issues with the first generation. Users can buy the wireless charging case separately for $79, allowing those with previous AirPod models to charge them wirelessly without buying an all-new set of buds. Later in 2017, the company also teased a new variant with a wireless charging case which was then expected to be launched alongside the AirPower wireless charging pad.
The AirPods 2 go on sale from today, priced at $159/£159/AU$249 with the standard charging case, and $199/£199/AU$319 with the new Wireless Charging Case bundled in. Previously, the LED was incorporated inside the case on the predecessor, however, the additional effort of opening the lid has been removed by Apple. We'll update you on how the AirPods 2 sound once we've given them a play. Addiotnaly, the wireless charging case can be charged with the Qi wireless chargers, but not iPhones.
Purchase options for the second-generation AirPods.