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AirPods is Apple's Answer to a Jack-Less iPhone 7

The iPhone 7's most memorable feature could be the one it's expected to lack: a headphone jack. But Apple apparently has a solution in the pipeline that will let iPhone owners go wireless. They're called AirPods.

Accrording to MacRumors, the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEC) has issued new certificates for Apple products, which includes a reference to AirPods. The documentation essentially means that the product is certified for sale in such countries as Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Armenia.

This certainly isn't the first time we've heard about AirPods. MacRumors reported in July about trademark filings related to the product. What's not clear is whether Apple will bundle these wireless earphones with the iPhone or make them a premium option and bundle a pair of wired headphones that connect to the device's Lightning port.

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Given that there's plenty of competition in the wireless earphone market, it stands to reason that Apple will try to make the AirPods stand out with certain features, whether it's improved Siri integration or fitness tracking capabilities like a heart rate monitor. Samsung's new Gear Icon X offers these capabilities, including an in-ear voice guide to give you words of inspiration.

However, should Apple decide to go the bundling route instead with the iPhone 7, the company probably will focus just on audio quality through its Beats acquisition and wireless freedom.

Other companies are jumping on the wireless headphone bandwagon, too. Bragi, known for its $299 Dash earbuds that double as fitness trackers, is teasing an announcement for Sept. 5 in Cupertino.

We should know more about Apple's plans for the AirPods on Sept. 7, which is when it is holding the launch event for the iPhone 7 and presumably the Apple Watch 2.

Mark Spoonauer

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for nearly 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.