Apple’s odd-looking wireless earbuds, aptly called AirPods are ultimately for sale and shipping now.
The company announced the fact that there are the $159 in-ear audio devices on Tuesday with a shipping date of Dec. 22, which means they could arrive just-in-time for Christmas.( Update 12/13 2:16 p.m. ET: Apple now lists the ship period as “four weeks.”)
Apple introduced the wireless, Bluetooth, touch-sensitive ear buds in September, but then missed the October ship date for unspecified reasons.
The AirPods seem a lot like a larger wireless version of the traditional EarPods Apple introduced four years ago. They can play continuously for about 5 hours on a single charge and the floss-holder-style case holds roughly 24 hours of additional charge. While designed to work with the iPhone, AirPods also work as Bluetooth audio gear for non-Apple products.
The potentially hot holiday item has already garnered some very good and some critical reviews. The latter mostly because some people could not get over how the AirPods appeared and simply couldn’t believe that they wouldn’t fall out of your ears. A bigger concern for some was the possibility of losing one of the AirPods because they’re no longer tethered to a wire. Of course, numerous companies sprung up with tethering solutions to “save” your AirPods.
Now, it seems, customers may eventually get to try some of those jury rigged systems out.
Additional reporting by Stan Schroeder