When Phil Schiller showed the “Wireless” slide during the September 2016 Apple keynote, many were excited for a potential wireless charging announcement. Alas, that never came. Instead, the predictable (and inevitable) was announced: Apple would be dropping the headphone jack. In order to use your 3.5mm compatible headphones, you would have to use the included Lightning-to-3.5mm adapter (it’s only $9 if you lose it). If you want to charge it while using wired headphones, however, it looks like you’ll be stuck using Belkin’s $40 adapter. Of course, Bluetooth is always an option, and Apple announced the AirPods, the company’s wireless version of the EarPods. They’re far from the prettiest, and they’re definitely not the cheapest: they’ll cost you a cool $159 before tax. They do have plenty of good features, though, that might make the purchase worth it.
The high price and various echo chambers on the internet have caused an uproar. If you were to check Reddit right now, you would find a good number of memes mocking the company and the AirPods. Apple does have a reputation for making proprietary hardware, but the AirPods, thankfully, are not.
TechCrunch’s Matthew Panzarino noted that you can use the AirPods with any Bluetooth compatible device.
You pair them with a small flush button located on the back of the charging case – which can also be used to ‘reset’ all connections.
— Matthew Panzarino (@panzer) September 8, 2016
Granted, there are still far cheaper options out there if you’re looking for Bluetooth headphones, but those will all lack the touch-activated Siri support (unless you get a pair from Rowkin), as well as the charging case Apple touts. This new revelation certainly won’t cause me to pick up a pair of AirPods (they’d fall out of my ears anyways), but it may push some over the edge to shell out $159.