Apple AirPods might be held up by connectivity concerns

Can Apple get its Bluetooth earbuds out by Christmas?

Despite being revealed alongside the iPhone 7 - notably, to take the sting out of the phone's missing headphone jack - Apple AirPods are still MIA months after the handset's release.

After missing their original October release window, signs are pointing to a possible release this month, though that's still unconfirmed. What we do have are plenty of questions as to what the holdup is all about, and now, we may have an answer. 

It seems the reason behind the 159/£159 earbuds needing more time in the oven could be technical issues pairing the individual earbuds, according to a new report from the Wall Street Journal.

The design of the AirPods, sources tell paper, lends itself to unique technical challenges, and Apple doesn't intend to release the product before it’s ready.

Missed Connection

Breaking it down, it appears Apple is still ironing out how to get two individual AirPods - each receiving its own Bluetooth signal from a Mac or iPhone - reliably paired without playing music out-of-sync in your ears. 

Other wireless headphones, like the Plantronics BackBeat Fit or Beats PowerBeats2, tend to come as a single unit rather than two separate pieces, meaning they only need a single signal from the host device.

Not only does this make pairing the AirPods over Bluetooth a challenge, but also presents logistics worries if an errant Pod winds up lost or runs out of juice mid-song.

Should this be the reason behind the AirPods delay, it could take either a total redesign or some serious engineering finesse to get things working smoothly, though Apple still seems bent on hitting a release for the holidays. 

We hope Apple finds a solution rather than churning out a half-baked product, but doing so could mean no AirPods under the tree this year - but hey, if you need a backup, why not check out some of these other great gift ideas?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Parker Wilhelm is a freelance writer for TechRadar. He likes to tinker in Photoshop and talk people's ears off about how great Persona 4 is.