AirPods are the first completely wireless earphones from Apple, and they’re sold as the perfect companion to the new iPhone 7 In lots of ways, they’re the best wireless earbuds you can buy right now, thanks to a rock solid connection, easy setup and great battery life.
Very light and comfortable, the AirPods are easy to use. Putting them in and taking them out are no hassle. They look just like Apple’s older earphones the ones you got with your iPhone, and hopefully replaced with something much better, except the stem is slightly elongated to accommodate improved microphones. Some will think they look odd protruding slightly from your ears like an uber-futuristic Bluetooth headset, but it doesn’t bother me. Realizing that one major cause of earphones falling out is accidental tugging on the wires, a problem which is wiped out with these new earphones.
They’re surprisingly subtle when you’re looking face on and can easily be camouflaged by a tangle of facial hair. They do look a bit odd from the side, and I’m sure I’ve seen some lingering looks from passers, but I don’t feel quite as self-conscious wearing them as I thought I would.
My bigger concern though was the fit, because what use are earphones this small and delicate if they just fall out? For me, they fit perfectly and nestle comfortably into my ears. I can vigorously shake my head and they’ll refuse to fall out. Same goes for if I accidentally knock them. I’ve run in them, slept on a plane with them on, and they haven’t so much as budged.
Music with a very engineered sound, actually sounds quite impressive and there’s plenty of clarity in electronic beats that you wouldn’t get from the EarPods.
The setup is extremely easy. Apple’s W1 chip works seamlessly. All you have to do is place the headphones near your Apple device and they’ll automatically be detected for pairing. The wireless capabilities are also very reliable and rarely have any problems. What’s even cooler is that the AirPods are now connected to every other iPad, MacBook and Apple Watch signed in with your iCloud account.
Range is excellent too, and audio never seems to drop, which isn’t something you can say about all Bluetooth headphones. There are a bunch of accelerometers inside too, just like an iPhone. These know when you put the AirPods in and start the music, and they pause when you remove one. You can keep one bud in the case and all audio will be routed through the one in your ear.
They are not exclusively for iPhones and iOS either, with Android support being decent if not quite as good. Also, being able to connect to your laptop if it has Bluetooth capabilities. You won’t benefit from the easy setup, or Siri integration, but the connection is still rock-solid and battery life just as good.
The AirPods have a strong battery life. One charge lasts about 5 hours, which is better than most of the competition. The pods charge in a little case which is easily transportable, and the case is charged through a lightning port. Overall, battery seems to not be an issue and is easily and efficiently recharged.
Ultimately, the Apple AirPods make me excited for what Apple can achieve for future versions as the first attempt falls short in some important areas. Sound quality might not be on par with the price-tag, and some will still bash the design, but I think the complete package wins out.
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