Disclaimer: The review is not intended towards an audiophile. It is being used and consumed for regular media purposes.
Apple EarPods have been the go-to earphones for years now. It all started after buying the first iPod Touch in 2009, with which the earphones came along. The comfort and sound output were enough for persistence and continuation with every device owned since then. Irrespective of use with mobile phones or laptop, it felt great to use them day-in and day-out.
During the last decade, the only device that did not work well with EarPods was the OnePlus One.
In 2017, Apple got trolled for announcing the wireless version of the AirPods, the AirPods. The social media was strolling with memes of AirPods for their style and looks. Come 2019, Apple managed to change the people's mind towards the AirPods.
While Apple launched version 2 of the AirPods, the original one's arrived as a surprise gift, but that's another story. Being the first wireless earphone or headphone, AirPods have become a part of daily carry along with the phones.
AirPods match the title and delivers on 3C's - Convenient, Comfort, and Charge.
The AirPods come packed in a package Apple has been known for, minimalist. Included in the pack are the AirPods, the carrying case, instructions, apple stickers, and apple's lightning cable.
AirPods in themselves is a smart piece of hardware. On the first look, they just look like the EarPods (the original wired earphones by Apple), without the wires. On use, they have a similar output as well. However, Apple packed AirPods with the simplicity of the EarPods too.
The AirPods do not include any buttons on themselves. However, they do support touch interactions on both the left and right earpiece. Using the settings in the iOS Settings menu (on iPhones and iPad), the user can control the actions when doing the tap action on AirPods.
To set up the AirPods, the included carrying case plays a vital role. The case which is minimalist as well consists of a button to enable Bluetooth pairing with devices. Apple packed an exciting trick to maximize the battery life on AirPods. It included dual batteries, in the AirPods and an additional backup on the carrying case.
The carrying case for the AirPods acts as a battery bank. The moment the AirPods are tucked back in the carrying case, they start charging from the backup battery. So anytime the AirPods are pulled out from the carrying case, they are all charged up. When in user, the connected device shows the battery status of both the AirPods and the Case.
AirPods have found their way to be an essential carry for everyday business. Traveling to work or out with family, AirPods make is simple and tangle free to be carried around. The convenience of being able to use it with both iPhone and MacBook makes it worth it. Not to forget the wireless experience coming from wired earphones, it surely a welcome change.
AirPods have a built-in sensor to detect when they are in-ear. Once pulled out while the media is playing, it would instantly pause the media and play it once the AirPods go back in the ears.
The battery on these hasn't been a let down at all. More so, the option of charging the carrying case separately while AirPods are in use makes is even convenient. In the past few weeks of use, AirPods needs to be charged only once a week during regular use or max twice when binge watching a favorite series. Your mileage may vary though...
Apple integrated Find My iPhone (silly name, since it now works with all Apple devices) with AirPods too. If you misplace an AirPod, the Find My iPhone feature allows sending an alert to it, making it ring at a low volume. Find My iPhone may be initiated using any Apple device.
BTW, Apple had decided to rename Find My iPhone to Find My in the next release of iPhone software called, iOS13
The biggest challenge with AirPods is no option to accept or reject calls. The Siri shortcut (double tap on the AirPod, once set up in the iOS settings) helps initiate the call, but absolutely no way to disconnect the active call needs to be addressed by Apple. Another challenge that AirPods poses is no way of controlling the volume on the go.
During the daily use, AirPods have a habit of disconnecting and then automatically connecting back after few seconds with the paired device. The experience is similar with both iPhone and MacBook. The behavior could be due to both the Apple devices may be using old bluetooth technology, but it is an inconvenience when it happens.
AirPods are really a smart device, that subtly becomes a part of your daily routine. Its minimal and convenient at the same time to break free from the wired earphones. It delivers when required, however, most of the time the EarPods are a sure backup when needed, which is yet to happen.
Finally, if you are looking for bluetooth earphones without any fancy output, AirPods surely is worth considering.
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