After a lengthy wait, Apple has finally started selling the controversial Apple AirPods globally, including right here in the UK.
The Apple AirPods have gone live on the Apple Store online, with the earbuds now available to purchase for a hefty fee of £159. If you order today, you’ll be able to get them delivered for free by Monday, December 19 – just in time for Christmas. The box will contain the AirPods, as well as a charging case and a Lightning to USB cable.
The AirPods are wireless Bluetooth earbuds that were announced on September 7, 2016, alongside the iPhone 7 and Apple Watch Series 2. They were originally supposed to launch in October, but were mysteriously delayed – until today.
The headphones were highly controversial, with consumers complaining about the curious design and high price. The mood was soured further by the removal of the headphone jack from the iPhone 7, which some customers saw as a ploy to eventually boost AirPod sales – they don’t need a 3.5mm jack to connect, naturally.
“AirPods will forever change the way you use headphones,” writes Apple. “Whenever you pull your AirPods out of the charging case, they instantly turn on and connect to your iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, or Mac.”
The headphones are powered by a custom-built Apple W1 chip, and feature optical sensors and a motion accelerometer than can tell when they’re in your ears. Apple promises a 5-hour battery life (listening time), and supplies a charging case that holds multiple charges “for more than 24 hours of listening time”. Apparently, just 15 minutes in the case will give you three hours of listening time – we’ll have to wait for a review sample to put this claim to the test, of course.
Each AirPod weighs just four grams, and features dual beam-forming microphones for voice isolation, which should shut out background noise when you’re taking a call or using Siri.
To pair the AirPod with an Apple device, you’ll need to make sure you have an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch with iOS 10 or later, an Apple Watch with watchOS 3 or later, or a Mac with macOS Sierra or later.
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What do you think of the Apple AirPods? Let us know in the comments.