Apple has been trying for sometime to bring in another product that proves to be a game changer like the iPod, iPhone or iPad. It has had limited success with the Apple Watch. Now, it is trying again with the Airpods, which it hopes will change the way we interact with our devices and, of course, consume music.
Apple AirPods are as the name suggest earpods that stream music from your iPhone or iPad and let you control that device, to a certain extent, with voice. I first encountered these devices at the launch event in San Francisco last September. My first reaction was that at least one of the pods didn’t seem to be fitting my ear. Also wearing the pair, I got a feeling that I was a connoisseur of some long lost tribal fashion. A few months on, and I finally have a pair of AirPods to review.
Apple AirPods setup
Apple AirPods come with a charging case, and you slip in the two pods to charge them. The case itself is charged using a lightning cable. On full charge, the AirPods offer about five hours of music. About 15 minutes in the case is good for another session of listening. AirPods connect to your iPhone via Bluetooth, and it’s really easy to pair.
What is good?
Apple AirPods might be the pinnacle of wireless technology, but for me they will be a pair of great earphones first. In fact, I would not have really cared if the audio quality was a notch below where it is now, even for the sake of cutting edge technology. However, this is Apple and they clearly don’t believe in doing anything in half measure. So these wireless AirPods are as good as anything that you can buy in this price range when it comes to audio accessories. It offers a perfect mix of bass and rich notes, and all music feels good on it.
But then this is not just about music. You can tap the right AirPod and start a conversation with Siri. I often end up with my phone charging in a different room as I try to complete work in the bedroom. In these scenarios, I could tap on the earpods and say “Play Music” to start my play list. I could skip music, check the volume and even get the iPhone to search some stuff for me, all sitting comfortably in my bed.
AirPods also offer great audio quality and you can easily take a call with a tap. They cut off ambient noise to make conversations better. The fact that this has the mic dropping down towards your mouth makes the sound clearer for the other side.
The battery life is pretty neat and close to five hours for a single charge. And you always have the case to recharge the pods on-the-go. In case you drain that too, Apple has thankfully made the pods chargeable with a regular lightning cable.
My biggest fear with the AirPods was that one of them will fall off soon. However, I wore them in office, took them for morning walks with small sprints in between, and they didn’t fall off, even though they felt loose. I would think that’s both physics and good design at work.
What is not that good?
We spoke about the design and how the AirPods stayed on. However, I have an issue wearing these where I am more visible. The one day I ventured out to a public park, there were stares and muted comments. In contrast to other products like Samsung’s Icon X, the AirPods to stick out and cry for attention.
You do end up missing an easier way to adjust volume on the AirPods. Of course you can ask Siri, but a touch panel might have been easier.
Some technology is way ahead of time. That is another way of saying there is not much you can do with it at this point of time. Apple AirPods seem to be in that space at the moment. It can do a lot and improve our world, but we can also live well without it. This is a must-buy for compulsive Siri users, others can consider these a great pair of wireless earpods. At the end of the day, do remember the regular Apple EarPods are as good too, if you can live with the wires.