Apple's AirPods Earbuds Let You Cut the Cord for $159

The headphone jack is dead, Apple says. And if you don't want to use the supplied earbuds that plug into the phone's Lightning port or mess around with an included adapter, you can always go wireless with the new AirPod earbuds. You store the headphones in their case, and pair them to your devices by opening the case and agreeing to pair the two items.

You'll pay a pretty penny to go wireless. Apple says the AirPods will cost $159 when they ship in late October.

You can pair AirPods with Macs, iPhones, iPads and Apple Watches, and the earphones offer 5 hours of listening. The case they store in offers another 24 hours of battery life when you recharge. The AirPods use the company's new W1 chip for increased audio quality and reliability.

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The AirPods look like Apple's old earbuds, but only after someone came and cut the wires off (a fitting look, since that's what Apple essentially did). Accelerometers in the AirPods let you activate Siri by touch, and the wireless headphones include microphones.

In addition to its own wireless headphones, Apple said its Beats subsidiary would come out with a trio of wireless headphones using the same W1 chip. Pricing wasn't announced.

Buzzfeed reports that Airpods use both Bluetooth and Apple’s own proprietary technology to connect the AirPods to devices, and that the the Airpods cases connect to users iCloud accounts.

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.