Apple’s long-awaited wireless AirPods are now available to order

Alongside the reveal of the iPhone 7 earlier this year, Apple also unveiled a new pair of wireless in-ears, dubbed the AirPods. These were originally set to ship in October, but just before the end of the month, the company delayed the launch, saying it needed a little more time. Now, it has apparently had enough time, as the Apple AirPods are now available to order online for $159. Shipment is currently slated for December 21.

Last month, fans were heartened when Apple CEO Tim Cook appeared to have responded to an email from an exasperated customer with a clue at when the AirPods might ship. “Thanks for your note,” the email read. “Sorry for the delay — we are finalizing them and I anticipate we will begin to ship over the next few weeks.”

We previously reported that this seemed less and less likely. While Apple didn’t say what the issue behind the delay was, it appeared that the problem lay within Apple’s difficulties in ensuring that the Bluetooth signal is arriving at both AirPods at the same time, according to the Wall Street Journal, which cited people familiar with the earbuds’ development.

In general, other true wireless earbuds have one earbud receive the Bluetooth signal, then transmit the signal to the other with varying degrees of success. Apple is using a different approach. The company has previously said that each AirPod receives its own signal from the source. While this has its advantages, including the promise of better stability, as well as the ability to use one or both earbuds seamlessly for music playback and calling, it seems it was also presenting problems.

The Airpods use the new W1 chip, which was announced alongside their unveiling, reportedly responsible for allowing the earbuds to receive Bluetooth to both sides from a single source, as well as allowing for long-lasting battery life. The Beats Solo3 and Powerbeats3 — both of which use the W1 chip — managed to ship on time and without issues, but neither of those products communicates with the source in the same way that the AirPods do.

While some outlets have had hands-on time with the AirPods and haven’t reported major issues, the problem must have been significant enough that Apple skipped the vast majority of the holiday shopping season. But still, better late than never, and they are still here in time to let you get some last-minute shopping done.

Apple

Movies & TV

Five awesome storylines the new Obi-Wan series on Disney+ needs to explore

Disney is reportedly planning to bring Star Wars prequel star Ewan McGregor back as Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi for a solo series on Disney+. Here are five storylines we want to see in a show that puts "Old Ben" front and center.
Deals

Best headphone deals for August 2019: Apple AirPods, Bose, and Sony

If you're looking to snag a fantastic pair of headphones — be it wired, wireless, or noise-canceling — on the cheap, you've come to the right place. We rounded up all of the best deals available right now.
Deals

Work out in style with the Powerbeats3 earphones, now 40% less on Amazon

The Beats brand offers sleekly designed products, and now that it is owned by Apple, you can count on improved hardware and software, too. One of its offerings, the Powerbeats3 wireless earphones, is available on Amazon for $119.
Deals

Pick up the Beats Solo 3 for $120 less on Amazon and keep the music going

If you missed out on Amazon's sale that dropped the full price of the Beats Solo 3 from $300 down to $150, now is your chance to pick up the beat with your very own pair for $120 less. 
Home Theater

The original Mac design team reimagines Apple’s AirPods. Would you wear them?

Most people would agree that if you were intent on redesigning Apple's mega-popular AirPods, you wouldn't make them look more controversial. And yet that's what the team at Frog Design has done — with a purpose.
Home Theater

OLED vs. LED: Which kind of TV display is better?

The acronyms OLED and LED sound and look very similar, but the two technologies are vastly different in terms of engineering, performance, and capabilities. Which technology wins when you pit OLED versus LED in a TV?
Home Theater

Samsung’s quantum OLED plans could mean better, cheaper OLED TVs for all

If you love the way OLED TVs look but have always been put off by the price, Samsung mat be creating a turning point. Samsung is reportedly planning to make QD-OLED TVs, marrying QLED and OLED into a single, power-packed display.
Home Theater

MP3 vs. MP4: What’s the difference and which one is better?

Everyone knows what an MP3 is -- the longtime standard for digital music. But what is an MP4? Do they sound better? Should you stop using MP3 files for your favorite music? Good questions! We have the answers right here.
Deals

Best Labor Day sales: Amazon, Walmart, and Home Depot drop early deals

Labor Day 2019 lands on Monday, September 2 this year. We've gathered all of the information you need to prepare yourself for the many sales to come, from REI to Walmart and everything in between.
Deals

Enjoy your movie in peace with Sennheiser’s RS 165, now only $135 on Amazon

Enjoy your music and movies without having to worry about distracting or being disrupted by others around you with Sennheiser’s RS 165 RF Wireless Headphones. A booming 39% discount on Amazon lets you have it for only $135.
Home Theater

AT&T TV vs. AT&T TV Now vs. HBO Max and more: AT&T streaming services explained

AT&T TV. AT&T TV Now. HBO Max. HBO Go. And that's just the beginning. AT&T has a whopping seven streaming solutions on the market. How are you supposed to keep them all straight? With a little help from Digital Trends, of course.
Home Theater

Roku Channel adds a section just for kids, gives parents more control

The ever-expanding Roku Channel -- Roku's all-in-one free and paid online streaming service -- now has a section featuring kid-friendly programming from both ad-supported and subscription sources.
Deals

Amazon’s having a Fire TV sale on streaming media sticks, DVRs, and smart TVs

Amazon dropped prices on most Fire TV products in a combination back-to-school and Labor Day sale. After Prime Day 2019 retailers are prepping for a busy Fall, Amazon didn't hesitate to take deep price cuts on the Fire TV products.
Movies & TV

How Star Trek’s movie and TV worlds could become the next MCU

The high-profile merger of Viacom and CBS could mean big things for Star Trek, the sci-fi franchise that's been divided between its movie and television worlds since the companies separated in 2006. Here's why the merger is a good thing for…