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New AirPods Get Longer Battery Life, ‘Hey Siri’ Support and Wireless Charging Case

Finally. Apple's announced the long-awaited 2nd generation AirPods, its completely wireless headphones.

Simply referred to as "new AirPods," this second-gen model features faster performance, hands-free Siri, longer talk time and a wireless charging case.

Available to order today, the new AirPods start at $159, and move up to $199 if you want to get them with a Qi-based wireless charging case. Existing AirPods owners can upgrade their case, as Apple's selling this new case on its own for $79.

MORE: Best Wireless Earbuds 2019: AirPods vs. AirPods Alternatives

The new Wireless charging case features an LED light indicator that shows charging status while you're refueling the case, so you know the wireless connection is working properly. Formerly, said LED was on the inside of the case, so now you won't need to flick the lid open to check.

If you're buying the new AirPods with the non-wireless charging case, it appears you'll get a charging case that's nearly identical to the previous one (the light may or not may be there), as Apple's press release refers to it as "the standard charging case."

That wireless charging case will likely support Apple's delayed AirPower Qi-based charging mat, which is due any day now.

Many of these gains come from Apple's new H1 chip, which Apple says is "developed specifically for headphones," for speedier connections when switching between your devices, 50 percent more talk time and for summoning Siri by saying "Hey Siri."

This announcement comes on the heels of new iPads and new iMacs, and in advance of Apple's Show Time event where it's expected to show off its video streaming service and its news service.

Henry T. Casey

Henry is an editor writer at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and Apple. Prior to joining Tom's Guide — where he's the self-described Rare Oreo Expert — he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. You can find him at your local pro wrestling events, and looking for the headphone adapter that he unplugged from his iPhone.