History of AirPods

AirPods is a line of wireless earphones and headphones that are available on the market since 2016 and until now has been released in three main versions: original AirPods, AirPods Pro, and AirPods Max.

Apple AirPods are the most popular Bluetooth earbuds and headphones designed specifically to work with iPhones, iPad, and Mac. Over the years Apple developed the AirPods line, and now they are offering technologies such as Active Noise Canceling, Hey Siri, Qi Charging / MagSafe Charging, Digital Crown, Spatial Audio, and much more.

All models of the Apple AirPods Series

Original AirPods

AirPods
Source: pinterest.com – AirPods

The first AirPods has been introduced on September 7, 2016, and discontinued two years and three months later on March 20, 2019. Today this device is 6 years old.

The first AirPods feature new user interactions; for example, removing an AirPod from one’s ear causes playback to pause, and double-tapping them activates Siri. Apple incorporated its own custom-designed chip, the Apple W1 into AirPods, which helps optimize the battery use and Bluetooth connection.

AirPods contain a proprietary Apple W1 SoC processor which helps optimize battery use and processes the Bluetooth 4.2 connection as well as audio connection. The advanced connectivity functions of the W1 requires devices running iOS 10, macOS Sierra, watchOS 3, or later. They can also function as standard Bluetooth headphones when connected to any device that supports Bluetooth 4.0 or higher, including Windows laptops and Android devices.

There are two microphones in each AirPod, one at ear level, facing outward, and another at the bottom of the stem. Each AirPod weighs 0.14 oz (4 g), and its charging case weighs 1.34 oz (38 g). AirPods hold a charge of around five hours while charging them for fifteen minutes in the case gives three hours of listening time. 

The charging case provides 24 hours of total usage. During a complete dismantling, each AirPod was found to contain a 93 milliwatt hour battery in its stem, while the charging case contains a 1.52-watt-hour or 398 mAh at 3.81 V battery.

The original price of the AirPods was $159

Go to the full specifications of the AirPods

AirPods 2nd Generation

AirPods 2nd Generation
Source: macrumors.com – AirPods 2nd Generation

The AirPods 2 has been introduced on March 20, 2019, and discontinued three years and six months later on September 7, 2022. Today this device is 3 years old.

The second generation of AirPods features new user interactions; for example, removing an AirPod from one’s ear causes playback to pause, and double-tapping them activates Siri. Apple incorporated its own custom-designed chip, the H1 chip into AirPods, which helps optimize the battery use and Bluetooth connection.

The new AirPods are the same design as the first generation but have updated features. They include an Apple H1 processor that supports hands-free “Hey Siri“, Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, and 50% more talk time and faster device connection times. “Announce Messages with Siri” was added in iOS 13.2, which allows Siri to dictate and reply to text messages.

The Wireless Charging Case was initially announced in September 2017 alongside the AirPower charging mat but was delayed by AirPower’s protracted development and eventual cancellation.

The original price of the AirPods 2nd Gen with Lightning Charging Case was $159, and with Wireless Charging Case was $199

Go to the full specifications of the AirPods 2

AirPods Pro

AirPods Pro
Source: pinterest.com – AirPods Pro

The AirPods Pro (1st Generation) has been introduced on October 28, 2019, and is still available in Apple Store. Today this device is 2 years old.

The AirPods Pro uses the H1 chip also found in AirPods 2nd Generation that supports hands-free “Hey Siri“. They have active noise cancellation, accomplished by microphones detecting outside sound and speakers producing precisely opposite “anti-noise“. 

Active noise cancellation can be turned off or switched to “Transparency mode” which helps users hear their surroundings. Noise cancellation modes can also be switched in iOS or by pinching the stems of the AirPods using a new “force sensor“.

Battery life is rated to be equal to the second-generation AirPods at 5 hours, but noise cancellation or transparency mode reduces it to 4.5 hours due to the extra processing. The charging case advertises the same 24 hours of total listening time as the standard AirPods case. It also features Qi-standard wireless charging compatibility.

The original price of the AirPods Pro was $249

Go to the full specifications of the AirPods Pro

AirPods Max

AirPods Max
Source: apple.com – AirPods Max

The AirPods Max has been introduced on December 8, 2020, and is still available in Apple Store. Today this device is 1 years old.

The AirPods Max uses the H1 chip also found in AirPods 2nd Generation and AirPods Pro that supports hands-free “Hey Siri“. AirPods Max, like the AirPods Pro, comes with Apple’s Active Noise Cancellation technology for blocking outside noise, and Transparency mode for listening to sounds around you. 

The “Digital Crown“, similar to that of the Apple Watch, allows users to play or pause audio, control volume, skip tracks, control phone calls, and activate Siri. 

Proximity sensors automatically detect when they are on a user’s head and play or pause audio accordingly. Spatial audio uses built-in gyroscopes and accelerometers to track the movement of the user’s head and provide what Apple describes as a “theater-like” experience.

Battery life lasts for 20 hours. Apple says that a five-minute charging delivers 1.5 hours of listening time. AirPods Max is charged via the Lightning port. 

AirPods Max is available in five colors: Space Gray, Silver, Sky Blue, Green, and Pink. Users can select from these five colors separately for the ear cushions and external chassis for a total of 25 color combinations (or 125 if using two different ear cushion colors). Additionally, users may add a personal engraving to the aluminum chassis. Apple provides a “Smart Case” for storing the AirPods Max.

The original price of the AirPods Max was $549

Go to the full specifications of the AirPods Max

AirPods 3rd Generation

AirPods 3rd Generation
Source: apple.com – AirPods 3rd Generation

The AirPods 3 has been introduced on October 18, 2021, and is still available in Apple Store. Today this device is 11 months old.

The third generation of AirPods has been totally redesigned and now are very similar to the AirPods Pro. All new AirPods are designed to be sweat and water-resistant (IPX4). When it comes to sound quality, Apple decided to add support for spatial audio and Dolby Atmos. Thanks to the Apple H1 chip new AirPods are featuring a new level of the acoustic system, computational audio, and sound with Adaptive EQ.

The all-new design AirPods features MagSafe, Qi wireless charging, and extended battery life. The new earphones battery lasts for up to 6 hours on a single charge and up to 30 hours of total listening time with a charging case. On top of that new AirPods are supporting fast charging and just 5 minutes of charging gives 1 hour of use.

The original price of the AirPods 3rd Gen is $179

Go to the full specifications of the AirPods 3

AirPods Pro 2nd Generation

AirPods Pro
Source: pinterest.com – AirPods Pro

The AirPods Pro 2022 has been introduced on September 7, 2022, and is still available in Apple Store. Today this device is 2 weeks old.

The AirPods Pro 2022 uses the H2 chip also found in AirPods 3rd Generation that supports hands-free “Hey Siri“. They have active noise cancellation, accomplished by microphones detecting outside sound and speakers producing precisely opposite “anti-noise“. As Apple says new AirPods Pro features 2x better noise cancellation competing with the previous model. 

Active noise cancellation can be turned off or switched to “Transparency mode” which helps users hear their surroundings. Noise cancellation modes can also be switched in iOS or by pinching the stems of the AirPods using a new “force sensor“.

AirPods Pro 2nd Gen features adaptive transparency mode, adaptive EQ, personalized Spatial Audio with dynamic head tracking, Bluetooth 5.3, touch control, sweat, and water resistance IPX4, Apple U1 chip, wireless charging via Qi charging, MagSafe charging, and Apple Watch charger as well. 

Battery life lasts for 6 hours, but noise cancellation, Spatial Audio, and transparency mode may reduce it to 5.5 hours due to the extra processing. The charging case advertises the same 30 hours of total listening time as the standard AirPods case.

The original price of the AirPods Pro 2 is $249

Go to the full specifications of the AirPods Pro 2

Article last updated: September 23, 2022
Article next update: September 2023