Apple Readies Revamped AirPods With Hands-Free Siri To Launch Alongside 2018 iPhones

apple airpods open 01
Apple launched its somewhat funky-looking AirPods (some people likened them to Q-tips dangling from your ears) back in late 2016, and they became widely available in 2017. Given that Apple didn't announce an update for the wireless earbuds during the iPhone X's introduction last year, it's about time for the rumor mill to churn with respect to the second-generation product.

In this case, Mark Gurman is back with his take on what's cooking in Cupertino. According to his sources, the next generation model will be upgraded with hands-free Siri support. The current generation AirPods require you to physically tap one of the earbuds to summon Siri. However, you will now simply be able to say "Hey Siri" to activate the digital assistant. This will put the new AirPods on common ground with other Siri-enabled devices like the iPhone and newly released HomePod smart speaker.

airpods hands

It's also said that the new AirPods, which are internally referred to as B288, will feature a new chip to replace the W1 SoC incorporated into the current product. We're assuming that Apple will make this new chip even more power efficient to take on the extra battery demands of an always-listening Siri.

While Apple had added rather robust water resistance to its iPhone family and the Apple Watch, don't expect to see such functionality arrive with the 2018 update. Instead, Gurman suggests that waterproofing won't arrive until a 2019 update.

The current AirPods aren't cheap, as they are priced at $159. The earbuds, however, easily sync to iPhones using Apple's proprietary extensions to Bluetooth. The current generation AirPods are also capable of lasting five hours per charge.