Apple Working on Upgraded AirPods With Improved Siri Integration

Apple is planning to upgrade its AirPods

The upgraded AirPods will also pack an upgraded version of its wireless chip, possibly the W2.

The model coming as early as this year will let people summon Apple's Siri digital assistant without physically tapping the headphones by saying "Hey Siri".

Apple is preparing a couple of updating models of AirPods, according to Bloomberg. Apple's in-house W1 is already pretty great at managing battery life, wirelessly connecting the headphones to compatible devices, and automatically engaging the microphone when detecting movement. In addition a subsequent model for as early as next year is planned to be water resistant. But the likeliest release scenario at the moment has hands-free Siri support potentially added to AirPods this year, with protection against splashes of water and rain likely to be offered on a prospective third-gen model in 2019. The latest iPhones can survive splashes, while the Apple Watch is considered 'swim-proof'. Check out the full Bloomberg report here for more details.

The original AirPods seemed to come a little before their time, riding on the back of Apple's decision to remove the headphone jack from the iPhone.

Alongside the ability to take voice commands with no need for physical double-tap activation, second-generation AirPods are rumored to receive a wireless chip promotion of sorts. AirPods accounted for 85% of the money spent in the USA on wireless headphones since they debuted, research firm NPD Group estimated previous year.

"Wearables were the second-largest contributor to revenue growth after iPhone, which is impressive", Apple chief financial officer Luca Maestri said during a conference call with analysts earlier this month, adding that sales jumped nearly 70% past year. The popular fully wireless earbud-style headphones that Apple introduced a year ago are now on track for a refresh in 2018 with the addition of a new version of the "W" line of chips that Apple created specifically to manage and improve Bluetooth-based connections between gadgets.

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