Most of us have been conditioned to accept life with earphones that instantly, yet inadvertently and mysteriously, contort themselves into Boy Scout knots shortly after removing them from your ears. And so it stands to reason that of all the upgraded features that were announced Wednesday with the new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, perhaps the most intriguing is how Apple has eliminated the smartphone's headphone jack and replaced it with wireless technology, likely soon making the ubiquitous ear buds archaic while ushering in the era of AirPods.
Apple will still be offering what it calls Lightning EarPods — an updated yet similar product to the ear buds — but the announcement of the AirPods seemingly quenched the thirst of iPhone enthusiasts who have been speculating about Wednesday's event for months now.
Many reports coming during and after Apple's announcement event Wednesday indicate that not only are the new iPhone 7's AirPods revolutionary in style, they also apparently offer a way better mobile listening experience than anything the company has offered before.
That enhanced sound can be attributed to the W1 chip as well as the infrared sensors that are activated only when they are placed in ears, tech website Pocket-lint reported. The AirPods are also equipped with technology that allows the user to summon Siri — the device's vocal information feature — by tapping twice quickly. There is also a built-in microphone in the AirPods that offer five hours of listening when it's fully charged.
The new generation earphones were rumored to feature Bluetooth technology, but Apple's Senior Vice President Phil Schiller said during Wednesday's event that the technology used for the AirPods are actually much more efficient. Most smartphones offer the hands free Bluetooth technology and connects devices through the air, but it's much slower than the speed the W1 chip boasts, according to Apple Insider.
"It makes no sense to tether ourselves with cables to our mobile devices," he said on stage. "Until someone takes on these challenges, that's what we'll do."
The AirPods are expected to go on sale in October with a retail price of $159. The U.S. price of the AirPods is also on a par with what they will cost in the U.K. They will be sold separately and not with the new iPhone 7, Product Reviews reported. Instead, absent of a headphone jack, the new iPhone 7 will be sold with an adapter for the Lightning EarPods.