What does the W1 chip do?

A look at the custom-made chip inside the new wireless AirPods…
by
What does the W1 chip do?

Get to know iPhone 7's W1 chip

At the iPhone 7 launch event, Apple revealed its revolutionary wireless headphones, AirPods. Inside the headphones, there’s a custom-made wireless communication chip called the W1 running the show. Let’s take a look at what it's capable of…

What does the W1 chip control?

There are three main sensors working in the AirPods, to make sure you recieve a premium audio experience. Let's met the gang...

  • Motion sensors can calculate when one (or both) of your AirPods buds are in your ear
  • Infra-red sensors are the small dots you can see on either side of the AirPod’s speaker ports. They work together with the motion sensors to work out when you've put a bud in your ear
  • Voice accelerometers recognise when you’re speaking, so when you're on the phone, or speaking to Siri, your music won't get in the way

What can AirPods do?

With the W1 chip managing the sensors mentioned above, AirPods are capable of doing some groundbreaking stuff:

  • They can work out whether they’re in or out of your ear. Because of this, they can pause playback when you take one out.
  • They can detect when you’re talking, and turn on microphones to hear what you’re saying.
  • When you’re speaking, they can eliminate background noises to hear what you’re saying better.
  • They can let you access Siri with a simple double-tap. You can then ask Siri to control your AirPods’ volume.
  • They can sync across lots of different devices. Just open your AirPods’ carrying case (which doubles as a charging case) and they’ll be paired with all the devices that linked to your iCloud account.

The W1 chip’s low power usage

The W1 chip is optimised for low power consumption, which allows it to use roughly a third of the power of traditional wireless chips. This means that AirPods should be able to provide five hours of music playback on one charge.

The W1 chip on other products…

As for the future, the W1 chip isn’t just going to be confined to AirPods. Later this year, the Apple-owned Beats will be launching some new wireless headphones with the W1 chip working its magic behind the scenes.

What do you think about the W1 chip? Will you be treating yourself to a pair of AirPods or dropping your money on some Beats? Comment below.

What are your thoughts? Join the conversation here…

comments powered by Disqus
Beats have launched three new wireless headphones, Beats X, Solo3 and Powerbeats3. Discover the whol
Wireless audio is all the rage these days, with a nod to Apple's decision to remove iPhone's headpho
Cut the cord and treat yourself to some headphones that use Bluetooth technology instead. Here are f

23 January, 2019
The Honor View 20 has been launched in Paris, and it’s a flagship smartphone packed...
23 January, 2019
Homes kitted out with smart tech are now the mainstream, but what does the future...
21 January, 2019
If you think you might have missed any of the latest tech news, help is at hand....
18 January, 2019
Is your phone slower than it used to be? Is it taking longer to get the usual things...
17 January, 2019
Feeling the post-Christmas pinch? We’ve got some handy tips to help you get on top...

23 January, 2019
Homes kitted out with smart tech are now the mainstream, but what does the future...
18 January, 2019
Is your phone slower than it used to be? Is it taking longer to get the usual things...
17 January, 2019
Feeling the post-Christmas pinch? We’ve got some handy tips to help you get on top...
16 January, 2019
Add a bit of fun to your January with a whole bunch of smartphone features – from...
11 January, 2019
Facial recognition has become the new norm in smartphone security – but how does...
8 January, 2019
Take a look at some of our favourite hidden smartwatch and fitness band features...
7 January, 2019
The notch sparked controversy when Apple added it to the iPhone X, but what is it...
4 January, 2019
If you’ve made a New year’s resolution to get fit, here are seven health & fitness...
3 January, 2019
Take a look at some of the rumours circling around one of the year’s biggest tech...
20 December, 2018
We’ve all heard our fair share of tech tales over the years – but here’s the truth...
20 December, 2018
The OPPO Find X is here, and its powerful performance, futuristic pop-up camera and...
17 December, 2018
Whether you’re gifting a VR headset or exploring new worlds for yourself, virtual...