AirPods are wireless Bluetooth earbuds created by Apple. They were first released on December 13, 2016, with a 2nd generation released in March 2019. They are Apple's entry-level wireless headphones, sold alongside AirPods Pro, higher-end wireless earbuds, and AirPods Max, wireless over-ear headphones. Within two years, they became Apple's most popular accessory, turning into a critical success and viral sensation.
In addition to playing audio, AirPods feature a built-in microphone that filters out background noise, which allows phone calls and talking to Apple's digital assistant, Siri. Additionally, built-in accelerometers and optical sensors can detect taps (e.g. double-tap to pause audio) and in-ear placement, which enables automatic pausing when they are taken out of the ears.
On March 20, 2019, Apple released the 2nd generation AirPods, which feature the H1 chip, longer talk time, and hands-free "Hey Siri" support. An optional wireless charging case was added in the offerings.