Apple puts its AirPods in the oven a little longer

There's less than a week left before Apple is set to ship its AirPods, the company's upcoming wireless earbuds. Our friends over at Ars Technica reached out to Apple about the situation, and learned that the product's launch has been delayed.

In a statement offered to Ars, Apple says the company "needs a little more time before AirPods are ready for [its] customers", and that "[it doesn't] believe in shipping a product before it's ready." The AirPods will ship with some interesting features, like the ability to sense when they're placed into users' ears, integration with Apple's digital assistant Siri, and technology that detects when users are speaking and adjusts the microphone accordingly. Perhaps a delay is understandable.

While Apple wouldn't offer a new estimate as to when the AirPods will hit the shelves, it's hard to imagine the company delaying the release past the holiday shopping season. Customers will want some kind of headphones to go with their new 3.5mm-jackless iPhone 7s, and Apple will want to have the $159 AirPods available as an option.

Comments closed
    • floodo1
    • 3 years ago

    These will fail because you have to use Siri to adjust the volume! Same for changing track. The only physical controls are play/pause by taking them in-out of your ear and tap for Siri. These would be great if they at least had the same functionality as the corded headset

    • Chrispy_
    • 3 years ago

    Are there any iPhone7+ cases on the market yet that include a 3.5mm audio jack?

    I have [s<]Idiot Apple Zealots[/s<] some lovely colleagues of mine asking about them already and I can't see anything in the EU like that yet.

    • hasseb64
    • 3 years ago

    Maybe they got battery problems, who wants burning/exploding litium in their ears?
    Metal fans maybe, but all others?

    • drkskwlkr
    • 3 years ago

    Good news from Cupertino, then.

    These AirPods will grab the prize for the most worthless Apple product from the already questionable Apple Watch, and for the very same reason — they will be severely battery-limited.

    I think Apple management has realized this; if they cancel the product now, it will surely irritate a few (million) iZombies but will prevent the huge backlash when folks who actually spent cash on them realize how terrible battery life will be.

    Plus, there is the very real possibility of misplacing them. I can’t imagine anybody going out for a run or a gym session with something that can slip from the ear so easily.

    • uni-mitation
    • 3 years ago

    They are being so courageous! They are market leaders through and through! If only all of these Android cowards grew a pair of Bluetooth balls!

    Uni-mitation

    Edit: Fixed typos.

    • Anovoca
    • 3 years ago

    Already have a pair of Samsung Gear IconX buds on my X-mas list. Hope Santa is feeling spendy this year.

    Edit: [url<]http://www.samsung.com/global/galaxy/gear-iconx/[/url<] - link

    • cygnus1
    • 3 years ago

    [quote<] Customers will want some kind of headphones to go with their new 3.5mm-jackless iPhone 7s, and Apple will want to have the $159 AirPods available as an option. [/quote<] For Christ's sake, please stop it with this BS. The 7 and 7 Plus come with lightning headphones AND a 3.5mm adapter... And they work perfectly fine with other Bluetooth headphones (how I use mine and how I used the previous models before the 7 Plus). Why do the tech media incessantly beat this drum of the new iPhones being deprived of headphones until these stupid AirPods come out? Am I just not getting the joke, is it supposed to be funny or something?

      • ludi
      • 3 years ago

      Uhm, because this is Apple’s own doing? They trumpeted the removal of the 3.5mm jack from the device as some sort of novel leap forward (did I even hear the word “courageous”?), then came up with a complementary and very expensive pair of small, easily-lost BT headphones as part of the launch announcement.

      • Redundant
      • 3 years ago

      They are funny looking and your rage rocks. Please continue.

        • cygnus1
        • 3 years ago

        Not rage, just annoyance that tech media seems to enjoy implying that no headphones except the AirPods will ever work with the iPhone 7.

          • uni-mitation
          • 3 years ago

          Dear cygnus1:

          Yet you are complaining about this “bs” which was not a problem before Apple decided to needlessly get rid of the headphone jack. A technology that has been practically adopted by whole swaths of electronic devices and it is royalty free, and patent-free! An industry level standard that benefit consumers.

          The real bs you should be complaining is why the most successful Handset company up to date decided to get rid of the headphone jack for no other real reason than to make more money.

          Do we really bitch about not having a thin enough phone or being waterproof? What is the number one line item that people look for in reviews? Newsflash: Battery life. So, indeed Apple could have listened and made the phone a bit thicker with a longer battery life and the world would be just fine with it because you know, compromises.

          Uni-mitation

      • Goty
      • 3 years ago

      I think the “tech media” could be more implying that your typical iPhone user either probably doesn’t understand that they can use other headphones with their phone (you know that 80% of those dongles have been lost by now) or won’t buy anything other than Apple products.

      • Billstevens
      • 3 years ago

      An adapter is just another thing to lose, in the absence of Bluetooth forcing user to use an adapter to plug in head phones would be untenable.

      I vastly prefer bluetooth head phones for most activities these days, but this still poses a minor inconvenience as non-bluetooth headphones are still common and cheap bluetooth earbuds that don’t suck don’t exist yet.

      I would just say if Apple removed the headphone jack for the sake of ditching a dying interface i would say they fucked up. If they did it because it made room for a simpler phone layout and it allowed them to achieve effective waterproofing then I think they made a good move. A lack of a head phone jack is far less annoying than that eventual time when you will drop your phone in the toilet or into a street puddle.

        • brucethemoose
        • 3 years ago

        They removed 3.5mm to make the phone thinner.

        Waterproofing a 3.5mm jack is entirely possible, as the S7 and other products show.

    • blastdoor
    • 3 years ago

    Well I certainly don’t want them bursting into flames while in-ear, so I appreciate the quality control here…

    • RoxasForTheWin
    • 3 years ago

    If the fitting is anything like their current headphones, they can keep them in the oven. Wireless earbuds are awesome, wireless earbuds that have 5 hours of battery life and fall out of you so much as shake your head are not

    EDIT: Removed a word

      • Concupiscence
      • 3 years ago

      Plus they’re not physically connected in any way, so if one falls out of your ear and falls into a storm sewer when you’re out and about, you’re just hosed, and out a non-trivial amount of money.

        • Chrispy_
        • 3 years ago

        I do like the bluetooth headsets that are connected by a flat cord around the back of the neck.

        I’m not sure what effect it has on battery life, but I assume it’s a significant improvement because there’s room for a much larger antenna in the band. Either way, when I’ve used them it’s fantastic to not have to go groping around on the floor for the bud that fell out.

        Still, corded earphones are still my preference. People who cite that wireless is more convenient must live a life where nothing gets done for very long, and there are compatible recharge points everywhere they ever go.

      • vargis14
      • 3 years ago

      I just cannot wear the Apple earpods…I must be deformed because they will only stay in my ears if I am perfectly still, on top of that they are not Comfortable.
      If I were to get a pair of Wireless buds I think a behind the ear Hearing Aid design would be fantastic allowing you to select between blocking the world out or hearing it along with whatever your listening to. Also if they could enhance your hearing ability of things around you like a hearing aid even if you do not need them would be super cool…Superman hearing would be nice as long as they do not blow my eardrums out:)

      edit: They might have something out like this now but I am not sure or have i looked Since my old school Jaybird BT headset works fine after many many years,even the batterys last longer than I ever use them .

    • tipoo
    • 3 years ago

    Right now the only tap gesture is double tap to Siri, I hope that changes…I don’t want to say “skip song” five times in a row in public. Or take my phone out to do it…Like an animal.

    I still don’t know if they sound better than Earpods…Some ears on say they’re the same, some say they’re much better. Maybe that can be touched up before the delayed launch too.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 3 years ago

      I have a feeling that anybody who says they sound better is experiencing a placebo.

        • tipoo
        • 3 years ago

        The earpods also use hybrid paper cones, which lose accuracy over time in the bass range, and something repeated in the positive takes was “bass clarity was improved”, so I think maybe they were just comparing them to older Earpods which had lost accuracy over time.

        [url<]https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Apple+EarPods+Teardown/10501[/url<]

          • derFunkenstein
          • 3 years ago

          I had a feeling they were no better than cheaper ear buds, but I hadn’t really dug into it. Thanks for the link!

          edit: also, that sounds like a pretty reasonable hypothesis.

        • kvndoom
        • 3 years ago

        Well Apple [i<]did[/i<] buy Beats, so they know all about aural placebo by now.

      • davidbowser
      • 3 years ago

      I am sticking with the Earpods for now. Unless they are magical, and/or come with the purchase of a new iPhone, then nope.

      I have gone through many iterations of bluetooth sets (mostly Jawbone and Jabra) over the years, but they never were something I would use for more than making a call because the audio was just not that good. Once I got bluetooth in my car, it eliminated the bulk of my use case for them. I bought a decent set of Sennheisers for music/games and I keep spare pairs of earpods in my backpack and car just in case.

    • ImSpartacus
    • 3 years ago

    I don’t think these particular devices will be terribly popular, but they could spur later iterations that are more palatable. It’s good that Apple is at least trying new things.

      • Great_Big_Abyss
      • 3 years ago

      The shape and hardness of Apple earbuds have NEVER agreed with me. They hurt my ears. I can only wear them for about 5 minutes before my ears start to hurt. Even worse, they don’t stay in my ears. They fall out every minute or so.

      I much prefer the softer earbuds that come with some android phones. You know, the ones with the little replacable rubber inserts that come in different sizes, and mold to the inside of your ear. It’s almost as if different people have differently sized and shaped ears.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 3 years ago

        Samsung packaged some pretty decent in-ear monitor style buds with my Galaxy S4. Unfortunately they changed that formula with the S7. The newer phone’s ear buds are hard like Apple’s with a replaceable rubber jacket. There’s a tiny bit of give, but for all intents and purposes they’re just as hard and just as prone to fall out of your ear.

          • ludi
          • 3 years ago

          +1 for correctly structuring the phrase “all intents and purposes.”

        • kvndoom
        • 3 years ago

        Nah, you’re just budding it wrong.

        • ImSpartacus
        • 3 years ago

        See, that’s what i meant by “later iterations”.

        Apple will launch something half baked and then everyone will launch their spin on it and at least a couple of those products oughta have superior earbud shapes.

        So right now, I’m fascinated by this tech, but i ultimately wouldn’t dream of being a pair.

      • blastdoor
      • 3 years ago

      I think they might end up being pretty popular, actually.

      I know people are worried about them falling out, but at least for me, I think a big reason why Apple’s EarPods have tended to fall out has been due to the wires (either just the weight of them, or they snag something).

      So long as the sound quality is noticeably better than regular EarPods, I think these things will be a hit.

        • ImSpartacus
        • 3 years ago

        Yeah, it’s possible. Apple isn’t some joke – they have world class engineers. But if I had to bet, I’d bet that they would run into “1.0-itis”.

        In a couple years, this concept could be pretty kickass.

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