Apple's updated AirPods offer better performance and hands-free 'Hey Siri'

Apple’s AirPods are quite funny looking things, especially when being worn, but despite this the iPhone maker's wireless headphones have proven to be wildly popular.

Following on from rolling out new iPads and refreshing its iMac range earlier in the week, Apple today announces the second generation of its AirPods with a new Apple-designed H1 chip that promises better performance, faster connections, and up to 50 percent more talk time.

In addition, the new devices deliver hand’s free "Hey Siri" support, making it easier to change songs, make a call, adjust the volume, or get directions just by communicating your wishes to Apple’s personal assistant.

"AirPods delivered a magical wireless experience and have become one of the most beloved products we’ve ever made. They connect easily with all of your devices, and provide crystal clear sound and intuitive, innovative control of your music and audio," said Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. "The world’s best wireless headphones just got even better with the new AirPods. They are powered by the new Apple-designed H1 chip which brings an extra hour of talk time, faster connections, hands-free ‘Hey Siri’ and the convenience of a new wireless battery case."

The new AirPods are available to order on apple.com and the Apple Store app starting today, and in Apple Stores beginning next week. AirPods with the standard charging case will be available for $159, while the price increases to $199 for AirPods with the Wireless Charging Case.

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