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  1. At least Apple will recycle them iFixit has completed its traditional teardown of Apple’s latest AirPods and, just as Apple promised, it’s bad news for repairs. The organization awarded the noise-canceling buds a big fat zero repairability score, noting that their “non-modular, glued-together design and lack of replacement parts makes repair both impractical and uneconomical.” That’s the same score as both versions of the original AirPods. This means that once the battery in your $249 AirPods Pro degrades and eventually dies, there’s no chance of repairing them yourself. Instead, you’ll have to send them back to Apple for recycling, or take part in the “battery service” program at a cost of $49-per-earbud out of warranty. The teardown does reveal a couple of interesting details about the design of the earbuds. First is the fact that they’re a whole third heavier than the original AirPods, thanks to new features like active noise-cancellation, and an inward-facing microphone. The teardown also notes that the one user-replaceable part of the earbuds, the silicone ear-tip, uses a custom design that makes them incompatible with third-party models. That said, the popularity of the AirPods all but guarantees other companies will be making third-party tips soon. Most intriguing is the discovery of a watch-style battery inside each earbud. iFixit notes that it’s a similar battery to what it found in Samsung’s Galaxy Buds which could be replaced. However, the same is not true of the AirPods Pro, whose battery is tethered by a soldered cable. It’s no surprise that the AirPods Pro are a disposable product, designed to be as small and lightweight as possible. And compared to the amount of waste generated by the consumer electronics industry, the environmental impact of each AirPod Pro is likely to be low. But as Apple boasts about the amount of renewable energy its buildings use, and the amount of recycled materials it uses in its products, it’s a shame to see one of its biggest product successes in recent years remain so disposable. Update October 31st, 6:45AM ET: Updated with details of Apple’s “battery service” program. Source: AirPods Pro teardown confirms that they’re just as disposable as ever (via The Verge)
  2. Apple announces AirPods Pro with noise cancellation, coming October 30th Apple has just launched the rumored noise-canceling AirPods Pro — not with an October product event, but via a press release. The premium earbuds are set for release on October 30th for $249. They’re up for preorder starting today. And yes, they still only come in white. Apple has built microphones into the AirPods Pro that detect external sound, and the earbuds then cancel it out. The system used here sounds very similar to the noise cancellation in the new Beats Solo Pro headphones, just miniaturized to a much smaller form factor. Apple says noise cancellation is adjusted up to 200 times per second. The AirPods Pro feature a transparency mode that will let you hear your surroundings while wearing them. The earbuds have a “force sensor” that you can use to control music playback and activate transparency mode. The company is promising fantastic audio quality from the AirPods Pro for that $249 price. They have a feature called “Adaptive EQ” that “automatically tunes music to the shape of your ear.” Unlike the current AirPods, these will come with flexible ear tips for a more secure, sealed in-ear fit. Three sizes of silicone tips are included in the box. Apple even says there’s a software audio test that can tell you if you’ve chosen the right-sized tip by “measuring the sound level in the ear and comparing it to what is coming from the speaker driver.” This should reduce any guesswork or confusion for customers. Like the second-gen AirPods, the AirPods Pro support wireless charging and hands-free “Hey Siri” voice commands. Apple says they get around 4.5 hours of continuous listening battery life. (You can see that the active noise cancellation takes a bit of a toll there.) But as usual with AirPods, the case has enough extra battery for around 24 hours of total listening time, including those recharges. The AirPods Pro are sweat and water resistant — get ready to start seeing these in gyms everywhere — and they include “an expanded mesh microphone port that improves call clarity in windy situations.” They still charge via the Lightning connector, but they now come with a Lightning to USB-C cable in the box. Apple’s new AirPods come just as noise cancellation — long a convenience offered by over-ear headphones from Bose, Sony, and others — has begun making its way to truly wireless earbuds. Sony’s noise-canceling 1000X M3 earbuds cost $229. And Amazon’s Echo Buds, with Bose noise reduction (not full-on cancellation) technology, are about to hit shelves for $129.99. AirPods have seen a meteoric rise in popularity since they were first released, so it’s safe to assume that Apple is about to have another smash hit on its hands. Source: Apple announces AirPods Pro with noise cancellation, coming October 30th (via The Verge)
  3. Latest AirPods Pro leak points to some new colours for Apple's earbuds Black and green shades mooted (Image credit: Shutterstock) There's plenty of unofficial buzz around the next generation of the Apple AirPods – yesterday we saw what the new charging case might look like, and today reports from China suggest new colours are on the way too. We might see as many as eight colours, says the Economic Daily News, based on inside sources. Those colours are being tipped to include black, white and green. The new story also backs up some of the details we've previously heard about the upcoming AirPods Pro or AirPods 3: improved noise cancelation and waterproofing, making these earbuds quite the upgrade. New AirPods were of course revealed earlier this year, but the upgrade was a minor one, focusing on faster pairing among a few other tweaks. The next generation could be a more major upgrade. Just in time for Christmas Since first appearing at the end of 2016, the AirPods have proved a big hit for Apple – industry estimates suggest it might shift as many as 80 million pairs of the truly wireless earbuds during 2020. An upgrade right at the end of 2019 would certainly help boost that number. A launch before Christmas is now being widely predicted. Meanwhile Apple's competitors are trying their best to take a chunk out of the AirPods market share: Google recently unveiled its new Pixel Buds, arriving in 2020, while Microsoft is putting the Surface Earbuds on sale before the end of the year. We're now seeing so many leaks and rumors around the AirPods 3 or AirPods Pro that it wouldn't be a surprise to hear something from Apple very soon – maybe even within the next week or so. Here's everything we know about the AirPods 3 so far Via MacRumors Source: Latest AirPods Pro leak points to some new colours for Apple's earbuds (TechRadar)
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