New Apple EarPods & AirPods announced

News, Tech

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Controversially, Apple have announced that the new iPhone will lack a 3.5mm headphone jack – an unsurprising, but disappointing move by the tech firm.

 

The company announced this news at the Apple Event yesterday morning, alongside the new iPhone 7, Apple Watch: Series 2 and a handful of smaller announcements.

 

The iPhone 7 will feature stereo speakers, which will be twice as loud as speakers the iPhone 6s. This can at least be a slight compromise for the lack of a 3.5mm jack.

 

Now, with the lack of a headphone jack, the audio will be routed through the lightning port and some new Apple EarPods have been unveiled for just this reason. The lightning port is actually a digital audio interface, so audio quality should technically be better than before. For those of you who have just spent £100 on some standard headphones, don’t worry. Apple will be including a lightning to 3.5mm adapter with every iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.

 

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The EarPods feature deeper, richer bass tones than ever before, greater protection from sweat and water and also the standard music controls.

 

The actual speakers inside the EarPods have been engineered to maximise sound output and minimise sound loss, resulting in a much higher audio quality.

 

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These standard EarPods will retail for £29, but will come as standard with all iPhones from now on.

 

The somewhat anticipated wireless headphones were also unveiled, named “AirPods”. These wireless headphones, which use Apple’s new W1 chip, use optical sensors and a motion accelerometer to detect when they’re in your ears. Pretty cool, right?! Well, as well as being highly technical and packed full of features, they also come with a high price tag.

 

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The AirPods will retail for £159 here in the UK, and $159 in the US (I’ve never understood why we couldn’t have an actual converted price, rather than just swapping the symbol out?!).

 

The high price tag will definitely put some people off, and I can’t say that I’d be willing to drop that much cash on some wireless headphones that I’d probably end up losing, but they’ll definitely appeal to quite a few users out there.

 

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One awesome feature of the AirPods is the ability for them to switch seamlessly between your devices, which I found to be quite an interesting concept. One that I’d love to see in action, and see whether it actually works as described.

 

The AirPods come packaged in their own charging case that holds multiple additional charges to keep your AirPods alive for more than 24 hours. And if you’re in a rush, a quick 15 minute charge will provide the headphones with 3 hours of listening time.

 

Are you impressed with Apple’s decision to abandon the 3.5mm jack? Let us know on Twitter, @TechReviews_UK

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