AirPods are wireless Bluetooth earbuds created by Apple. They were first released on December 13, 2016. The product’s second iteration, with improved battery life, was released on March 20, 2019. AirPods are Apple’s most popular accessory product, with 35 million units sold in 2018 alone.
In addition to playing audio, AirPods feature a built-in microphone that filters out background noise, which allows taking phone calls and talking to Apple’s digital assistant, Siri. Additionally, built-in accelerometers and optical sensors mean that AirPods can detect taps (e.g. double-tap to pause audio) and in-ear placement, which enables automatic pausing when they are taken out of the ears.
On March 20, 2019, Apple released the second generation AirPods, which feature the H1 chip and hands-free “Hey Siri” support. An optional wireless charging case was added in the offerings. Apple claims that the new AirPods have 50% more talk time over the 1st generation AirPods, which were discontinued on the same day.