Apple AirPods Review

April 5, 2018

Apple's AirPods are a very interesting product, that I was quite fascinated with, but I always felt the price was too high, but most of all, I found the design a bit of goofy and therefore embarrassing to wear, which was a bit off-putting. Then I got mine as a gift, started using them, and totally changed my opinion about that. Apple announced the AirPods in September 2016 along with the iPhone 7 and started shipping them in December 2017. It's a product that is widely praised for its seamless integration with the iPhone, but is it really that good? Let me share my experience with you.

The AirPods surprised me

The first thing that took me by surprise is the sheer size of the AirPods and the case: They're really small. They're easy to throw into any pants pocket or bag, you barely notice them. That's a big plus in my opinion. The case is very nice to hold in your hand, and very easy to open. They were obviously designed with the utter care for the perfect usability and user satisfaction, it's Apple at its best. Another great thing is pairing with the iPhone, which is seamless: You just open the case near an iPhone and it will automatically try to connect with it. Now I do have to admit, it does not work 100% of the time, I'd same something around 90-95%. Sometimes it does fail, but that's because the Bluetooth connectivity has its kinks, that will hopefully be ironed out by Apple in the future.



The battery life was great so far, I never used them up til zero, but that's probably because I'm not such a heavy music listener. It's mainly for podcasts and YouTube, to be honest, and that's something I do once or twice per day. I did notice that the case drains quicker than the iPods. Now this is a relatively new product, still (it was purchased in March), so it's no surprise that the battery is still as it should be. Let's see what happens after a year of use.



The sound is decent. It's as good as the wired Apple EarPods, which are already pretty good. The issue here in Taipei is that it's a very noisy city, so if I walk around with these, I still have some disturbance. That's not Apple's fault, though. I do have to say that if I turn the volume up to the fullest, it does cancel some 80% of the noise that surrounds me, so that is quite good.



I still don't like how they look, and sometimes feel shy, especially if I am passing by some cute girl. I also sometimes feel people are gossiping about me, or secretly taking pictures of me, especially in the Taipei Metro, so I sometimes take them out. Other than that I don't really give a damn how I look, because they're so awesome to wear. In fact, they fit perfectly into my ears, feel firm and snug at the same time. I'm jogging with them almost every day, they've never fallen out. That's really a big plus.



Conclusion

I'd definitely recommend the AirPods to anyone who's an Apple user, probably also to non-Apple users as well. Since I'm also an iPad Pro and Mac user, I find them very convenient, when I am switching devices. I would only hope Apple would make the switching easier (possibly automatic), so that less time would be spent on manually connecting via Bluetooth. The AirPods cost $159 in the US and 5490 NTD in Taiwan, which is not cheap, but somewhat OK, because the user experience is really great. They're also not priced much higher than similar wireless headphones from other brands.

Appendix

Here are some screenshots from the iPhone's settings related to AirPods:

This is the pop-up image that you get when you pair them with the iPhone.

You need to go into the "Bluetooth" menu to see whether they connected.

If you press on the ⓘ, you will get into the settings menu of the AirPods.

And these are the double-tap options you have available.

The AirPods are listed in the the Find My iPhone App, so if you lose them (or one pod), you can locate them through the app. You can even trigger a sound through the app, so that you hear them, if they're not visible (but it works only, if they still have juice). Nice little bonus feature.

Related: Apple AirPods product page

4 comments:

  1. Great article! I bough them after reading your review.

    ReplyDelete
  2. How do they not fall out of your ears?
    Are they the same shape as the wired ones? If so I wouldn't be able to walk 10 meters without losing them...

    And if you say the sound is the same as the wired ones then 160$ is massively overpriced as the quality is mediocre at best.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They don't fall out of my ears, even when I go jogging. They just fit perfectly, I guess I have average-sized ears.

      Sound is not what you pay for with these, it's the convenience of having no wires, and easily switching between Apple devices (I use them with an iPhone, iPad Pro, iMac and MacBook Pro). The best thing is when your phone is in one room, and you can walk around your house and still listen to music or podcasts. If you have a wire, you always have to lug around whatever device you are connected to. You pay for the pure convenience. They are also so small and light, I sometimes forget I wear them (not possible with big wireless Bose over-ear headphones for example).

      Delete
    2. Yeah you're right about that. I'm using the Sony 1000X and they are impossible to wear in warm weather.

      For in ear I guess I just prefer the snug fit of other in-ear earphones.

      Thanks for your answers, i really like your blog!

      Delete

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