There are a few things that runners can be super specific about. The right pair of running shoes, for starters. A carefully selected sports bra that won't chafe on long runs. And of course: the perfect pair of headphones. Well, for runners who are a fan of Apple's AirPods—the white, funky-looking set that have been on our list of best wireless earbuds for some time now—things just got even better thanks to Apple's release of the new and improved second-generation version.
Although great for gym workouts or everyday use, the original quip on AirPods for runners was the battery life. While AirPods technically tote five hours of listening time, according to Apple, just like your older iPhone model likely doesn't hold charge quite as well as the day you got it a couple years ago, most users noticed that in reality, their first-gen pods died much earlier—after around two to three hours. In other words, they weren't exactly the most reliable choice for long runs. Well marathoners, get excited! Thanks to a brand new Apple-designed H1 chip inside each pair, the second-gen AirPods will truly provide five solid hours of listening time when fully charged, plus an extra hour of talk time—making them an ideal companion for weekend long runs and yes, even race day.
The chip also helps pods connect faster to other devices and gives them a desirable hands-free "Hey Siri" capability. Think of it this way: Have a Google Home or Alexa device at home? The new AirPods allow you to chat with Siri in the same way, without having to do anything besides saying her name. Super clutch for when you want to switch to that power playlist right before picking up the pace during morning sprints.
The new AirPods are available in a standard charging case (Buy It, $159, apple.com), or a new wireless case option (Buy It, $199, apple.com) which charges instantly when placed on any compatible charging mat and has an LED light indicator on the front of the case so you know the charge status with just a glance. Both cases hold additional charges for more than 24 hours of total listening time. (And as a bonus for those who aren't quite ready to upgrade, you can also purchase the standalone wireless charging case for $79 to use with your first-gen AirPods.)
When you order online, you can also elect to add free personal laser engraving—making the whole "whose pair are these?" question a thing of the past.
AirPods will ship to stores this week, and are currently available for order on apple.com and in the Apple Store app with an April 5 delivery date.