Apple AirPods could finally have a release date

Apple’s completely wireless AirPods earphones will be on sale by the end of the month, according to a major French retailer.

FNAC is taking pre-orders for the toothbrush head-esque audio accessory ahead of a planned in-stock date of November 30.

Apple is yet to confirm a release date for the W1 chip-enabled buds, since explaining that it needed “a little more time” to get them ready for prime time.

Related: Apple AirPods – What you need to know

In October Apple said they weren’t quite ready to ship to consumers, but offered no concrete indication of when they might go on sale.

Despite the £159/$159 price tag, Apple is hoping the wireless AirPods will soften the blow after it culled the 3.5mm headphone jack from the iPhone 7 range.

The AirPods have been praised for fast pairing as well as the infrared sensor that can pause playback whenever they’re removed from the user’s ears.

The low power W1 connectivity will offer 5-hours of battery life, while the charging case can provide a total of 24-hours listening time.

Users will need to recharge at various points in order to achieve this, but Apple says just 15-minutes in the case will provide 3-hours of playback.

As for the all important sound quality, well early ears-on tests have suggested they’ll be on a par with the largely-derided EarPods, which continue to ship with iPhones.

Video: iPhone 7 v iPhone 7 Plus

Will you be snapping up the AirPods when they eventually come to market? Share your thoughts below.

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