What are Apple AirPods?
AirPods are the first completely wireless earphones (or ‘earbuds’) from Apple, and the perfect companion for handsets such as the iPhone X and iPhone 8, which don’t have a traditional 3.5mm headphone socket.
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. It’s a shame that the limited fit won’t suit all ears, and the sound isn’t quite worthy of the £159/$159 price tag.
- Strong Bluetooth connection
- Great battery life
- W1 chip is the future of wireless headphones
- Sound quality not much better than average
- Don’t fit in all ear types
- Design isn’t for everyone
Apple AirPods – Design
Initially, my biggest concern was the odd design. AirPods look like someone has taken a pair of scissors to the cord of EarPods, leaving just the lonely buds.
Yet, after using these dinky wireless buds constantly for a few weeks, it seems too easy and a little unfair to boil what is essentially a fantastic (yet flawed) product down to a few ‘funny’ online pictures.
One of my bigger concern, though, is 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, hauled myself through rush-hour London in them, and they haven’t so much as budged.
But this is far from the case with everyone. I passed the buds around a group of friends and for about 50% of them they fell out after a slight shake of the head, while a few others managed some stronger movement.
It seems like it changes from person to person, and that’s a naive move from Apple. Why aren’t there any tips included to improve fit? Other wireless headphones have often included ‘wingtips’ designed to catch your outer ear, holding the earbuds in place, although these would have undoubtedly disturbed the clean design. Sir Jony Ive probably vetoed them.
My advice would be to try them out before you buy. Oh, and since they’re white, they do get a little dirty after a while.
As with lot of these completely wireless earbuds there’s a noticeable lack of crispness in instruments and detail in vocals. But, there’s a lot more bass when compared to the older EarPods and most sub-£100 earbuds. The bass isn’t too harsh either, and it doesn’t overshadow the other parts of a song. I’d say the bass is much more manageable than Beats cans, which often ruin genres of music that aren’t hip-hop.
Music with a very engineered sound – chart pop, for example – actually sounds quite impressive and there’s plenty of clarity in electronic beats that you wouldn’t get on EarPods. Pump the volume up to full whack and this will quickly disappear, but that’s hardly a surprise.
Pairing is a simple task of opening the battery case, popping them next to your iPhone and waiting. A message will appear, tap ‘connect’ and you’re done.
Battery life and charging case
A 15 minute charge in the case also gives you a good few hours of listening, so it’s actually quite difficult to be without charge.
Why buy Apple AirPods?
Many, including me, instantly dismissed Apple’s first foray into wireless earphones almost immediately after they were announced.
But they are, in fact, one of the best pairs of completely wireless earbuds available. They’re cheaper and better sounding than Motorola’s VerveOne Plus, better looking than Sol Republic’s Amp Airs and have a stronger, more reliable Bluetooth connection than pretty much every other pair of wireless headphones.
Amazon link: https://amzn.to/2LXRVsn