Apple’s keynote is over, and the world now has an iPhone 7, an Apple Watch Series 2 and AirPods. Rumours about the lack of a 3.5mm headphone jack on the iPhone 7 had been doing the rounds for the most part of the year, and they have proved true. To listen to music on the new Apple smartphone, you either need a converter pin to connect your existing headphones (via the charging port), the new Lightning EarPods, or you can go and buy Apple’s new Rs 15,400 AirPods.
The AirPods are totally wireless earbuds with mic, dual accelerometers and optical sensors for detecting when they are placed inside the ears. With the lack of an audio port in the iPhone 7, wireless is one of two means to connect earphones to the device; the other being through the Lightning connector.
The new AirPods from Apple more or less look like Earpods with the chords chopped off. AirPods are clever, and so is the W1 wireless chips that powers them. There is no turning the AirPods on or off, as infrared sensors detect when they are in your ears – putting them in the active state. Connecting to AirPods is easy – you just open the carry case and press ‘Connect’ on your device.
There are no physical buttons on the AirPod earpieces, instead there are motion accelerometers that respond to your touch. Double-tapping on them will activate Siri, who you can ask to play, pause, or skip song and do more. In fact, you can ask Siri to do any function just like on an iPhone.
These AirPods can be used individually – two can be used for stereo, or just one can be used to talk with Siri or talk over the phone. So basically, when you end up losing either one of them (which many people will at some point or the other), you can still find some functionality with the remaining AirPod.
Apple AirPods are also fitted with Voice Accelerometers that can detect when you are talking, and the source of your voice which helps os external noise reduction. Apple claims the AirPods will give a playback of 5 hours on full charge, and when they die you need to put them back in the case for charging. So, in all honesty you end up charging the case, which in turn charges your AirPods. The AirPods case is slated to give you 24 hours of use on a single charge. The case is charged using the lightening connector that is used to charge your iPhone.
The problem I have with the AirPods is that this makes for another device I need to charge before I leave home, that is if I ever buy these. I already need to charge my phone, power bank, laptop, and now I am adding Airpods to the list. There are not enough charging ports in the entire house, if I end up charging all electronic I use on a daily basis.
The good thing about regular earphones was that you could just throw them in your bag, and use them whenever you want – no strings attached (pun intended). I remember the countless times my phone slipped from my hand, but had a soft landing because the earphones were still connected to my ear.
These things are not glued together to your ear, and when you run or get shoved around in a crowd – the odds of them falling out and disappearing from sight is pretty high. I might consider moving to an iPhone 7 in the future, but there I see no point investing in an audio device that I can lose easily – no matter how good it is.