Apple reportedly plans AirPods with 'Hey Siri', water resistance, and new chip

Instead of tapping the headphones to activate Siri, users could simply say "Hey Siri" as they would when calling the assistant on an iPhone hands free. This version of the wireless earphones will apparently arrive with an upgraded wireless chip, which will manage Bluetooth connections.

As for the successor currently planned for 2019 (though Bloomberg notes those plans could easily change between now and then), it will add a new level of water-resistance, which Bloomberg reports will be created to protect against "splashes of water and rain", rather than full submersion like the current Apple Watch.

Additionally, Bloomberg also notes Apple is planning yet another version of AirPods for 2019. Since then, the product has remained popular with reviewers and consumers alike and helped push increase sales in this sector by 36 percent year over year. It's not clear whether the upcoming earbuds will feature the W2 chip first released in the Apple Watch Series 4 or an entirely new chip (a W3 perhaps?).

When Apple launched the iPhone 7, it created and solved its own unique problem in one swoop, removing the headphone jack and offering iPhone owners the Airpods in its place. Apple's chips for wearables follow a "W" series, so it's likely the W2 chipset from the Apple Watch previous year or an entirely new W3 will power the AirPods.

With the current generation of AirPods retailing at around $160, they're on the high end as far as earbuds go. People familiar with the matter claim that Apple wants these wireless headphones to be able to survive splashes of water and rain.

Whilst AirPods are generally okay if used in rainy weather, they are not rated as being water-resistant. It is unlikely that they will be created to survive a dip in the pool. The IP rating also means that the iPhones can survive when submerged in 1 meter of water for a period of 30 minutes.

Apple said in 2017 it will introduce a wireless charging case for AirPods this year, along with a charging plate that can accommodate an iPhone, Apple Watch, and the AirPods charging case at the same time.


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