While not quite swine flu, AirPods seem to be contagious: almost everyone walking down a busy Manhattan street is wearing the ubiquitous white, wireless headphones.
Apple unveiled the next generation of the beloved gadget Wednesday. AirPods 2 feature an upgraded proprietary H1 chip allowing for more battery time: three (up from two) hours of talk and five hours of listening on a full charge, better device connectivity and lower “latency” (i.e. lag time between the device and your ears).
The newest innovation out of Tim Cook’s House of Sleek promises customers a smoother, and even more hands-free experience with “Hey, Siri” functionality, which lets you consult the virtual concierge without having to reach into your pocket.
However, the incremental boosts of nearly-identical tech has some scratching their heads, and others plugging their ears.
Last week, 250 scientists from 40 countries signed onto a petition, sent to the World Health Organization, that warned of the unique dangers of AirPods: namely of microwave radiation used in the Bluetooth technology which experts fear may cause cancer, exacerbated in AirPods by their design, which tunnels into the ear canal, sitting closer to the brain than other wireless products.
If that’s not enough to deter the millennials and start-up bros amongst whom AirPods have become a social currency, the price may.
For $159 you get the new AirPods in a charging case, but for 40 bucks more, you can get the pair in a wireless charging case (as of yet, and per Kafka, the wireless charging mat for the wireless charging case has yet to be revealed). Stand alone charging cases are available for $79.
For those who prefer customization, Apple is offering free engraving on AirPods cases. Engrave your contact information, a favorite quote — or maybe “waste of money.”
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