(Pocket-lint) - Apple has announced the next-generation AirPods 2, the long-expected update to its trendsetting true wireless headphones.

The new AirPods are now powered by a dedicated Apple headphones chip known as H1, which promises longer battery life through increased efficiencies, faster connections and hands-free Hey Siri control.


The new AirPods claim improved synchronisation and Apple says that they will be twice as fast to switch from one device to the other - for example shifting from your iPhone to your iPad, as well as responding faster when taking a call. 

The addition of hands-free Hey Siri will mean you can do a whole lot more with your voice, ideal for when you're on the move with your hands full, be that changing the volume of your music or sending messages.


Apple is also introducing an optional wireless charging case. This will mean that you can drop it on a Qi wireless charger to give it a boost, with the case providing enough recharges to get your AirPods through 24 hours of talking. The LED on the case will let you know the charge status. 

You'll be able to buy the new AirPods 2 for £159 with a standard case, but with the wireless charging case the new AirPods will cost £199.

The wireless charging case will be available to by as an accessory too, for £79 - and this will also work with first-gen AirPods, so there's something for everyone here.

AirPods 2 and the wireless charging case are available to buy now.

Writing by Chris Hall.