Are the Apple EarBuds the Beginning of a New Industry?

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Headphones, the ideal companions for spontaneous phone listening have gone from wired to wireless, and from freebies to having their own price tags. Earbuds hang on the outer part of the user’s ear, making them a dependable fit, super portable and convenient. Most earbuds deliver pretty dismal sound and need to be charged, since they are wireless.

Apple Inc. released in September a new breed of earbuds called AirPods, a pair of innovative wireless headphones that make use of the company’s advanced technology to reinvent the wireless experience. It changes how people make phone calls, listen to music, watch movies, play games and interact with digital assistant Siri not possible before.

Just flip opening the lid of its charging case plus a tap instantly set up the gadget and make it ready to work with all the iCloud-signed devices like the Apple Watch, iPhone, iPad and Mac. The revolutionary experience is courtesy of Apple’s ultra-low power W1 chip, which delivers industry-leading battery life and high-quality audio in a wireless design for an effortless listening experience.

“AirPods are the first headphones to deliver a breakthrough wireless audio experience,” Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing Philip Schiller said through a press release of the company. “AirPods are simple and magical to use, with no switches or buttons, automatically connecting to all your Apple devices simply and seamlessly.”

Opening the carrying case for the AirPods will pair them with a device. For example, if the iPhone is near, the user will receive a notification if he wants to pair the two. Once the earbuds are paired with the iPhone, they will automatically pair with Mac and Apple Watch that run the latest software, macOS Sierra and watchOS 3. There is no need to set up or install anything.

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When put in the ears, the ready-to-use AirPods can intelligently and seamlessly switch from a call on the Phone to listening to music on the Apple Watch. A double tap on the AirPods activates Siri to perform tasks like selecting and controlling music, adjust volume and check battery life.

When the user opts not to use Siri, the alternative is to double-tap, or simply pause or play music from the Bluetooth settings page. A single tap will enable the user to answer a call.

Each earbud is packed with an antenna, a W1 chip, two microphones and a battery. Since each is complete with technology, the user can use one without the other. If that is the case, all audio will be automatically routed to the earbud in use, according to Digital Trends.

Dual optical sensors and accelerometers in each AirPod work with the W1 chip to detect when the gadget is put in the ear, so they only play when the user is ready to listen. Removing them from the ear automatically pauses the music and putting them back resumes what they were playing.

The additional accelerometer in each AirPod detects when the user is speaking, and enables the microphones to focus on the user’s voice, filter out external noise so the voice appears clearer. The user no longer needs to make manual adjustments.

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For charging, Apple AirPods have a carrying case that can charge them on the move. To charge the earbuds and the case, the user just has to plug in a Lightning charger to the case. Operating at just one-third of the power of typical wireless chips, the Apple W1 chip delivers up to five hours of listening time on a single charge.

Apple AirPods are set to be released in late October for $159. Considering that the Cupertino colossus had revolutionized personal technology with Macintosh, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Apple TV, Apple earbuds could mark the beginning of a new industry, specifically the wireless headphone industry.

References:
http://www.apple.com/newsroom/2016/09/apple-reinvents-the-wireless-headphones-with-airpods.html

http://www.digitaltrends.com/music/apple-airpods/