AirPods are Apple’s Bluetooth wireless earbuds that include a unique, Apple-developed chip, the H1 (AirPods 2) or W1 (AirPods 1), that helps optimize battery use, enhance the Bluetooth connections and improve overall audio connectivity. AirPods also feature fantastic user interactions!
For example, when you remove an AirPod from one ear, playback pauses. Your AirPods just sense when they’re in your ears and pause when you take them out.
And depending on how you set them up, double-tapping either AirPod activates Siri or plays and pauses playback. So when you discover that your AirPods are not working, it’s a real pain!
AirPods are compatible with devices running iOS 10 and above, and they automatically sync through iCloud so switching from one iDevice to another, to an Apple Watch, or even any Mac running macOS Sierra or higher is easy.
They even work with any device that supports Bluetooth 4.0 or higher, including Android phones and tablets– AND the double-tap gesture control playback on Android too!
AirPods 2–The Newest Generation
In March 2019 Apple finally updated their signature AirPods for a new generation.
The new AirPods 2nd generation (also called AirPods 2) features a more advanced wireless chip called the H1.
AirPods 2 offer more talk time up to 3 hours per charge, a hands-free “Hey Siri” mode, and offer an optional wireless charging case for use with Qi-compatible charging mats.
Does the AirPods wireless charging case work with AirPods 1 (first generation)?
Yes, the good news for folks with the original AirPods is that you can indeed upgrade your case to the AirPods wireless charging case and start charging your first-generation AirPods with any Qi-compatible charging mat!
What the differences between AirPods 2 vs. AirPods 1
Advanced H1 chip
AirPods 2 have a different, more advanced wireless chip, called the H1 Chip. This chip helps give the AirPods more talk time per charge (3 hours vs. 2 hours with AirPods 1.)
That H1 chip also connects to your other devices faster. Apple calls it improved synchronization, where switching between devices while listening to music or other content is up to two times faster than the previous AirPods 1 models.
Additionally, AirPods 2 offers a hands-free, voice-activated “Hey Siri” mode just like your iPhone or iPad, which is awesome instead of double-tapping!
AirPods 2, when used with an iCloud account and macOS 10.14.4, iOS 12.2, or watchOS 5.2 has a simple one-tap setup process. AirPods are automatically on and always connected.
Visible Status Light
Finally, the status light was moved in AirPods 2 to the front of the case, rather than inside it, making it a heck of a lot easier to see.
That Amazing Apple Wireless Chip
The H1/W1 chip, designed and developed by Apple, produces exceptionally efficient wireless that makes for a better wireless connection and improves the overall sound.
This chip manages battery life well so that you can listen for up to 5 hours on a single charge. And talk time varies between 2-3 hours depending on the model (AirPods 1 offer 2 hours while AirPods 2 offer 3.)
The Look and Feel
AirPods are quite similar to the shape of the elder EarPods, which were included with any iPhone purchase starting with the iPhone 5.
But make no mistake, these Bluetooth-based AirPods are way more sophisticated and intelligent!
Release and Updates
- iOS 13 and the new iPadOS include two new features for Siri announcing messages on your AirPods 2 or PowerBeats Pro (Headphones with Apple’s H1 chip) and AirPod and Beats audio sharing (works with all generation of AirPods)
- AirPods 2 released during Apple’s March 2019 product release week
- iOS 12 adds a feature called Live Listen, which helps isolate sound going to your hearing aid when in challenging audio environments–like a busy restaurant or city park.
- AirPods were introduced in September 2016, alongside the iPhone 7 and Apple Watch Series 2.
- And the release of iOS 10.3 added AirPods to the “Find My iPhone” app so that you can locate your missing AirPods within a certain distance.
- iOS 11 added some additional functionality to your AirPods, including different Double-Tap selections for the Left and Right AirPod.
Troubleshooting AirPods Not Working
AirPod Use & Connections
- AirPods Went Through the Washing Machine? What Can You Do
- How To Clean Your AirPods and Other Wireless Earphones
- Apple AirPods: Perfecting the AirPod Double Tap
- AirPods Disconnecting on Calls? Or Sound Problems? Tips to Fix It Now!
- AirPods Not Auto-Pairing or Pairing with BT Devices?
AirPods and Siri
- Siri not announcing your messages on your AirPods or Beats? How to fix
- “Hey Siri” not working on your AirPods 2? Here’s how to fix it!
- Share your audio & announce messages using your AirPods and iOS 13
AirPods and Battery
- Check Your AirPod Battery Status on iPhone, Watch, Mac, even Android
- AirPods case flashing green: What does it mean and how do I fix it?
- Here’s how to fire up AirPods not charging
AirPod Sound Issues
- How Can I Make My Apple AirPods Louder?
- AirPods or Headphones Only Playing in One Ear, How-To Fix
- Live Listen for AirPods, What To Know