Apple AirPods Review
I have already told you in an earlier post “My impressions after 100 days with iPhone 7 Plus”, I have always liked the Apple’s EarPods. But with a release of iPhone 7, Apple has created a new problem for me: I had to carry two sets of headphones to listen to the music on both MacBook and iPhone.
Enter AirPods, my choice for a wireless headphones for Perfect Setup 2017. Apple AirPods have solved the issue I had with the absence of headphone jack in iPhone 7, and, in a short time, they have become one of my favorite Apple products of 2016.
I am sure that the future of the personal technology is wireless, and the AirPods, although not perfect, bring that future a little bit closer.
The sound quality of the AirPods is good, but not mind-blowing by any means. Some people say that AirPods sound better than wired EarPods, but I do not agree. I think it is a wishful thinking of the people trying to justify the hefty price tag of the AirPods.
In my experience, the AirPods sound exactly the same as the EarPods, and I am more than ok with it, because it is perfectly fine for the casual listening.
Amazingly simple, but somewhat limited functionality
One of the best things about AirPods is its simplicity. Thanks to the new W1 chip inside, the pairing process and switching between Apple devices is flawless. After one-click pairing, the AirPods automatically turn on and connect to my device when I put them in my ears, and they pause automatically when I take them out.
Simplicity is one of the best things about AirPods, but at the same time, it is also its weakness. Apart from the double tap to activate Siri or pause, there is no hardware controls. If you want to skip a track or turn the volume up, you have to ask Siri to do it for you, or do that manually on your device.
As for Siri, I surely use it more because of the AirPods, but since its introduction many years ago, Siri has barely improved compared to other AI assistants from Google and Amazon.
On the other hand, making and receiving calls on AirPods is surprisingly good. The microphones work great and I really like the sound quality I am able to get when making a call or recording a message using the AirPods.
Design and form-factor
Eye-catching white is the only color option available at the moment. To some people, the design of AirPods might look a bit weird, but I liked the design of old EarPods, so I am ok with AirPods design as well.
One of the reasons why I have always liked EarPods is because they fit perfectly in my ears. One-size-fits-all approach means that before buying, you have to check whatever they fit well in your ears, but if you had no issues with EarPods in the past, you will not have an issue with AirPods as well.
People have started to make fun of AirPods from the day Apple has unveiled them in September. The main argument is the small size, which apparently makes it easy to lose them. In my opinion, people who say they lose AirPods all the time are just not well-organized enough, and the small size of AirPods has nothing to do with them easily loosing them.
Running and working out
AirPods are good for everyday use, but one thing I was really curious about is whatever they are good enough for running and working out. It turns out that they are great.
Running with a combination of the Apple Watch + AirPods is awesome. Prior to AirPods, I have used the PowerBeats 2 wireless earbuds, which were a good option, but because of the annoying wire around my neck, they were not perfect. The AirPods are truly wireless, and their light weight makes me completely forget that I have the earbuds in my ears.
By the way, I am using Apple Watch Series 2 Nike Plus edition, which is another part of my Perfect Setup 2017 series. I will publish the review for them in coming weeks.
Charging case is great
AirPods simplicity is great, but, in my opinion, the charging case that comes with AirPods is its best feature. It is small enough to fit in any pocket, it is perfect to protect the AirPods, and it also provides super fast charging.
A quick 15 minutes of charging gives me about 3 hours of listening time. The AirPods itself can hold the juice for about 4 to 5 hours of normal usage, which is more than I ever needed. In total, the combination of AirPods and case offer up to 24 hours of battery life.
Priced at $159 in the US, the AirPods are not cheap. At the same time, when taking into account the prices of other wireless earbuds, like the $170 Samsung's Gear IconX, I don’t think that the AirPods are overpriced.
I am enjoying using the Apple AirPods, and would I recommend it to anybody, except the following people:
- People who didn't like the old Apple's EarPods
- People who use Android most of the time
- People who want the best possible audio quality
- People who don't like the eye-catching design.
Otherwise, the AirPods are a great buy, and the essential part of my Perfect Setup 2017.