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Apple reportedly releasing new AirPods 'as soon as this year'

The upgraded headphones will feature a new wireless chip for managing Bluetooth and let you call up Siri without tapping the AirPods.

A new version of Apple's AirPods in-ear wireless headphones could be released "as soon as this year," Bloomberg reported Thursday.

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AirPods could be getting an upgrade as early as this year.

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The next AirPods will have an upgraded wireless chip designed by Apple for managing Bluetooth connections, sources familiar with the matter told Bloomberg. You'll also be able to rouse Siri by saying "Hey Siri," instead of physically tapping the AirPods. 

There are plans for a subsequent water-resistant model, to be released as early as next year, Bloomberg reported. Like the latest iPhones, they'll likely be designed to handle splashes of water and rain, as opposed to surviving full submersion in water. Apple has also previously said that it's releasing a wireless AirPods charging case.

AirPods launched in 2016. Despite initially being the butt of jokes, they've since come to dominate the market. At least 85 cents of every dollar spent on fully wireless headphones in the US went to Apple last year, according to NPD.

The sources in Bloomberg's story said Apple's plans could change or be postponed. Apple did not immediately respond to CNET's request for comment. 

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