Apple Presses Pause on AirPods Debut, Try These Instead

You'll have to wait a bit before putting a pair of Apple's AirPods into your ears. The $159 wireless earbuds were set to debut in late October, but with less than a week left in the month, Apple says it's now holding off on the AirPods release.

The company spoke to TechCrunch, telling the site "The early response to AirPods has been incredible. We don’t believe in shipping a product before it’s ready, and we need a little more time before AirPods are ready for our customers."

What Apple didn't give was a revised timetable for releasing the earbuds or an explanation for what's causing the delay. Some tech watchers who've used pre-production versions of the AirPods have reported minor glitches involving the earbuds. It's not too big a leap in logic to assume that Apple wants to iron out those issues before releasing the AirPods to the public at large.

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Apple unveiled the AirPods at its September iPhone 7 launch. The earbuds pair with iPhones, Macs, iPads and Apple Watch, though they're of particular interest to owners of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus which lack a headphone jack. Looking like a regular set of Apple earbuds with the cords lopped off, the AirPods use Apple's W1 chip for high-frequency playback and reliable connectivity and feature their own charging case.

If you wanted to get your hands on a pair of AirPods, the only thing you can do is wait for Apple to be satisfied enough with the earbuds to release them to market. But other wireless headphones that use the W1 chip are available. The $299 Beats Solo3 headphones from Apple-owned Beats are on the market, and the company is also taking orders for the $199 Powerbeats3, with the earbuds reaching shops within a week or two.

Apple's holding a press event tomorrow (Oct. 27), but don't expect any additional details about the AirPods delay. The company's focusing on the Mac at this latest event, and Apple rarely strays from its script.

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