You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone. As the world mourns over Apple’s decision to strip away the headphone jack from the new iPhone 7, memorials for the little hole that offered so much comfort and promise are taking the Internet by storm – not to mention sheer outrage. Whatever side of the fence you may fall on when it comes to the hot headphone jack debate of our modern times, Apple didn’t leave us high and dry with their decision. The removal of the headphone jack paves the way for Apple to introduce their own line of wireless headphones for future devices. These wireless earbuds are called AirPods, and they just might be the future of audio gear.
Designed with a custom wireless chip that mirrors Bluetooth technology, AirPods are Apple’s way of rectifying their cruel decision to banish the headphone jack into obscurity and embrace the dawn of a new, completely wireless age when it comes to smartphones and audio capability. In fact, AirPods could be the start of a complete audio revolution from Apple according to one connected insider. Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities believes this is just the first step in what could result in Apple launching their own brand of Bluetooth-like headphones, with their own chip technology replacing Bluetooth technology eventually. The fact that Apple is using AirPods as a means of testing out their own proprietary technology to create a Bluetooth alternative leads experts to believe AirPods could beckon the impending arrival of smart car and home accessories from Apple utilizing this same technology.
AirPods is a marriage of both Apple’s AirPlay wireless streaming tech and the EarPods headphones that have accompanied every incarnation of the iPhone. AirPods will serve as an alternative option to the EarPods, which can now be used via the charging port on the iPhone 7. Bottom line – you’ll still get the same pair of headphones you used to get with each new iPhone you buy, only now they’ll be plugged in through the charging port in lieu of the missing headphone jack. Of course, that will get incredibly annoying if you want to charge your phone and listen to music or watch videos on your phone at the same time. Thus comes the $159 wireless AirPods.
It’s totally Apple’s prerogative to squeeze more money out of its cult of customers, but there’s really no more convenient headphone option for the new iPhone than the AirPods. They automatically pair and connect with the iPhone, have a battery life of five hours, and come complete with a nifty case that will charge them and provide 24 hours of battery life. Is it annoying that you have to pay an additional $100+ to get AirPods? Absolutely! Is it going to push many iPhone users to jump ship to Android? Probably not. It may not be a convenient evolution for millions of Apple customers, but AirPods undoubtedly signal a seismic shift in how audio gear will be marketed to consumers going forwards. Wireless is most definitely in, and Bluetooth may very well be on its way out.