Apple Air Pods

Apple’s newest earbuds are a whole new way to experience the world of audio. You’ll either love em’ or hate em’ there’s really no in between. The wireless earpieces offer up good sound quality and crystal clear call experiences. Comfortable - though not for every ear - the audio buds hang freely inside your ears, so you don’t have to contend with annoying wires. Never accidentally get caught in your headphone wires again and find your phone flung across the room or torn from your jacket pocket. The newest line up of iPhones no longer have the standard 3.5mm headphone jacks. The Air Pods are Apple’s answer to a jackless world. Change is hard, and Apple aficionados may find the pods a little alien but convenience might just make these the new favorites for many iPhone users.

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Where to Buy
Where to Buy
Pros & Cons
  • Very lightweight design
  • No wires to mess around with
  • Easy to pair
  • Can take calls
  • Dual function carrying case protects and charges
  • Cons
    • Won’t fit perfectly for everyone
    • Not sound isolating
    • They look goofy
    • Key Features
      You can use the Air Pods for any situation where you might want to be handsfree. They’re good for working out but only IF you have the right ear shape. They’re not sweat resistant, but it’s unlikely that you’ll be sweating out of your ears too much. The issue that might arise for some, however, is that sweat might cause these pods to move around more than you might like when exercising. Otherwise, use these Air Pods as you would a set of Apple Ear Pods.
      Basic Features
      The Air Pods can play music in stereo or mono. They pair easily with Apple devices and can be used for listening to audio or taking calls. Basically, the same deal as the previous Apple brand earbuds. This time, though, there are no wires to get in the way of your listening experience. Listen to the newest True Crime podcast or close your eyes and listen to the latest charting album without worrying about wires snagging on doorknobs or on your hands. The headphones also come with a nice magnetic storage case that also works to charge the Air Pods.
      Advanced Features
      The Air Pods contain a high tech W1 chip. Like previous Apple make earbuds, these can make and take calls. Nothing new in that realm except for brand new sensors (optical and accelerometer) that can tell if you’ve removed your buds. Take one or both pods out to pause your tunes, and put them back in to restart whatever you were listening to. There’s some limitation with this feature, however. It’s not quite entirely seamless unless you’re just using Apple Music to listen to the audio. With other apps, like Spotify, you might experience some lag. The all-knowing Apple helper, Siri, is easy to access with the Air Pods. A simple tap summons her. Initially, users were required to control the pods using Siri, which was a significant functionality issue. Since the release of the headphones, improved controls (previously mentioned) have been introduced. It should also be noted that because of the new chip included in the headphones and the brand new sensor technology, call quality has improved significantly.
      Sound Quality
      The sound that comes out of the Air Pods is good, but it’s about on par, if slightly better than Apple’s wired Ear Pods. Unless you have the perfect ear shape for these, you’ll likely experience quite a bit of sound leakage. Even then, they’re not designed to block out outside sound. Call quality is excellent, though, thanks to the Air Pods’ beam-forming microphone technology. In a quiet location, the microphone picks up your voice really well so that it sounds crisp and clear on the other line. Reviewers also describe the headphone sound as balanced but note that treble could be improved.

      Chances are, you’re not buying these for their ability to produce fantastic sound. Considering how convenient and well-designed they are otherwise, the sound quality isn’t bad.
      Unsurprisingly the Air Pods pair to an iOS enabled device via Bluetooth. Once paired, there’s virtually no need to re-pair. The pods should be recognized automatically by your device. When pairing, you just need to pop the pods next to your Apple device, and you’ll automatically be prompted to start the pairing process. Reviewers describe the pairing process as extremely easy and effortless. Since the original release of this Apple audio accessory, firmware updates have significantly improved the connection quality over time. Connection dropouts aren’t at all common anymore. When using the controls (via tapping or by summoning Siri), the response is virtually instantaneous with virtually zero lag.

      You can also use the Air Pods with an Android device, but they obviously won’t work as well as with an Apple product.
      The earbuds have the same feel as the previous wired Apple brand Ear Pods. They’re one-size-fits-all like their predecessor so some users may find they don’t fit right in their ears. You either have the right ear canal shape for them, or you don’t. Reviewers who could fit the pods in their ears felt they fit snugly and stayed put, even during workouts or in situations with lots of movement. Most Air Pod wearers should feel comfortable dancing around their living rooms, at the very least. A few users did complain about the earbuds feeling loose. The design is lightweight (each earbud weighs only 0.14 ounces) which makes them comfortable to wear, but it also means they’re pretty easy to lose if they don’t fit tightly in your ear.
      They’re almost identical to the previous EarPods but with a dorkier look. The wireless design is convenient, but the pods are no fashion statement. Chances are you’ll feel a bit self-conscious wearing these at first, but without a wire, they’re so much more pleasant to use so you’ll be laughing heartily as you hum along to your newest album purchase.
      If you don’t have the right ear shape, you might find yourself worried that the pods will easily fall out. This is definitely true for those for whom the AirPods don’t fit securely. If that’s you, you might find yourself cursing their existence should you lose them. For some, though, the fit is perfect and truly secure. The fit is highly dependent on your ear shape though. Otherwise, the pods are well-built and just as long-lasting as Apple’s previous earbud offerings. They also come with a handy case that doubles as a charging base so you can rest assured they’re safe and sound while they juice up and won’t unknowingly fall off your desk into the trash can.

      Ease of Use
      For some, the buttonless design may feel limiting. Initially, the Air Pods could only be constrained by calling up Siri. It’s no surprise that this bare-bones control method was quickly improved with a firmware update. The newest way to control the pods is via a double tap. Users can customize what performing a double tap will do to make the experience feel a little more natural. Each ear pod can be set to perform a unique action upon tapping. A few users found the tapping unnatural no matter how they customized the settings.

      Outside the realm of controls, the wireless design makes the headphones a lot easier to deal with. No longer will you need to spend fifteen minutes untangling your headphones after you’ve pulled them from your backpack or purse. No wires also means no more annoying wire breaks.

      The biggest drawback, though? The Air Pods are super easy to lose. You can’t just stick these around your neck should you have to pull them out to order a latte or say hi to a friend. A lot of reviewers missed the convenience of being able to wear their headphones as a necklace.

      Power Source
      The Air Pods are rechargeable and can be charged via Lightning cable. Just pop them into their little case and connect the case to a power source to bring the battery back to life. The case also works as a portable charger. A quick rest period in the case for 15 minutes can power up your headphones for up to 3 hours. Pretty impressive. The battery life overall, however, isn’t superb, at least compared to other wireless earbud options. You’ll get a maximum of about 5 hours. Both Air Pods also have individual batteries, which is sometimes a pain since it’s possible for one headphone to run out of juice before the other.

      These earbuds are expensive compared to similar wireless designs, but they’re not the priciest. For the look and design, the cost is relatively high. They aren’t the most inconspicuous or fashionable option available, that’s for sure. You’re mostly paying for the excellent microphone that makes crystal clear calls and the standard Apple features like Siri. The Apple integration is also hard to ignore. It’s superb. Setting up the pods is effortless, and there’s no need to continually re-pair your headphones like with other Bluetooth-enabled devices.
      Key Features
      - Wireless design
      - Protective charging case
      - W1 Chip
      - Optical sensors
      - Accelerometer
      - Beamforming microphones
      - 5-hour max battery life
      - Bluetooth connectivity
      - Compatible with iOS and Mac devices
      Bottom Line
      The Air Pods are a good pair of headphones and a must-try if you’re an Apple user. If you can get past the goofy look, the wireless design is ultra convenient. You’ll either swear by these or hate them with a passion depending on whether they fit your ear cavity properly. For the newest iPhones that don’t allow for wired headphones, the Air Pods are a solid solution, but it’s understandable if you’re still attached to the old Ear Pods. Still, these take and make calls better than before, are ultra easy to pair, and make it so you have no wires to deal with. Sure, they’re a bit weird, especially if you have a short haircut, but they make up for their strange design via convenience.
      Where to Buy
      By Steph Coelho
      Last updated:
      Where to buy
      Best offer on: Jul. 27. 2021

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