Apple's decision to let go of its headphone jack has caused a lot of hue and cry amongst users. The American tech giant claims that it decided to do away with the headphone jack to make the users try and use the new wireless headphones called "AirPods."
Alternatively, users can use the wired earphones that come with the new iPhone 7. These earphones can be connected to the iPhone through the lightning port. Alternatively, users can use their existing earphones through an included adapter provied with the new iPhone 7.
Now, coming back to the AirPods. These are Apple's new wireless earbuds. The AirPods can be connected to the iPhone via Bluetooth. They come with a processor inside called the W1. The W1 is a chip which helps the AirPods do a lot more stuff normal wireless headphones can't do.
Firstly, it makes pairing to your iPhone easier. To do this, just flip open the case while it's near your iPhone and a window will pop up prompting you to pair the AirPods to your iPhone. It's a lot faster and easier than going through the settings menu.
Secondly, W1 also helps the AirPods better manage power thus giving them longer battery life.
Thirdly, the chip helps the AirPods to be detected when they're in your ear so they don't start playing your music unless they are put in the ear. There are infrared sensors in each AirPod that can detect when you've put them in your ears. It also tells your iPhone if you're only wearing one AirPod at a time. W1 also manages a unique connection for each AirPod, something that no other wireless earbuds can do. No doubt it is named the 'Brain' of the Airbuds.
The W1 chip will be there only in headphones made by Apple. Beats, which is also an Apple owned company is planning to launch some new models of wireless headphones later this year that would have the W1 chip.
The AirPods come with a magnetic carrying case which doubles as a charger. The case comes has a Lightning port at the bottom for charging. It also has its own battery independent of the batteries inside the AirPods. That means if the case is charged, you can top up the battery in the AirPods while you're out.
The battery can give up to 5 hours of listening time on a single charge and along with the charging case, it will give you up to 24 hours of listening time.
When you pair the AirPods to your iPhone, they automatically pair to your Mac and Apple Watch too. However, your Mac will need to be running the new version of the macOS operating system called Sierra, which launches on September 20. Your Apple Watch will need to be running the new watchOS 3 software, which launches September 13.
In order to switch over from listening on your iPhone to your Mac, you just select the AirPods from the task bar at the top of your Mac or Apple Watch screen.
AirPods will work with any iPhone running iOS 10, which launches as a free update on September 13.
Additionally, the AirPods can connect to any standard Bluetooth audio player. To do this, you just have to press the button on the back of the AirPod charging case.
Each AirPod has a built-in microphone for phone calls and talking to Siri. Double tapping on one of the AirPods launches Siri. You can use Siri like you normally do after that.
The sound quality is nearly identical to the wired EarPods that come with the iPhone. There are no physical controls on the AirPods, so you have to use Siri for everything. If while listening to a song, you want to turn up the volume on a song you're listening to, you first have to double tap on the AirPods to launch Siri and then you tell her that you want to turn up the volume.
Alternatively, you can just adjust the sound with the volume buttons on the iPhone. You'll also have to use the on-screen controls to change tracks while listening to music.
Although the AirPods are not waterproof, they can be used in slight rain or while working out. Using them while swimming is a no-no.
The AirPods being so tiny can be lost quite easily. In such a case, you don"t have to buy a pair but you can buy a single piece from the Apple store.
In order to answer a phone-call while wearing the AirPods, just tap one of them to answer.
Sadly, the AirPods do not come free with the iPhone 7. They come at a price of $159 and have to be bought separately. They go on sale in October but no fixed date has been announced as yet.