Headphones AirPods are already on sale and it seems that there are more positive reviews than negative ones regarding the first attempt Apple to create truly wireless headphones.
I have been using AirPods for some time now, having no problem eradicating wired EarPods from my daily life and replacing them with the wireless version from Apple. After some time using truly wireless headphones, in a sense AirPods I was not impressed with their functionality at all, in general I can say with confidence that I am satisfied with this first attempt of the company Apple.
And there should be no doubt that AirPods is the first generation of this kind of device from Apple. They work, but they are missing some of the details that are key to creating a cohesive positive experience. But in areas where they are really good, they neutralize the disadvantages somewhat and make their use a little more bearable.
Let's start from the very beginning.
Apple did the right thing by mentioning that inside AirPods (and their other wireless earbuds) uses a W1 chip. The W1 chip works great and thanks to the service iCloud that links all devices together, the syncing process is smooth. I sync mine AirPods with iPhone 7 with a simple swipe – opening the charging case and pressing the pop-up menu on the phone display. And it's all.
Ease of use continues as you move from one device to another. I go into my MacBook and all I have to do is select the option Bluetooth in the menu bar and I can easily connect AirPods – they are already present as option of choice, effortless and no need to perform re-pairing. The same goes for mine iPad. The selections AirPods are right in the Control Center as an option to start listening to music, podcasts, any media.
Given that AirPods is a first generation product, I assumed that switching between devices would probably spoil the experience at some point in time, but this did not happen. On the first day of using AirPods, I tried to switch between MacBook, to iPhone, iPad as often as possible, just to see and not whether the connection will be interrupted, but this has never happened. Every time I connected the headphones to the device, the pairing process was quick and smooth.
The earbuds AirPods sound better than the EarPods, at least as far as I've noticed. AirPods have a wider range and the bass is definitely more noticeable. But, just to be clear to everyone, they won't make much of an impression on audiophiles – and neither will the EarPods.
However, considering the price AirPods and their really wireless design, they are quite usable. And they sound good. If you want, they will sound very loud, isolating you from the rest of the world.
However, this does not apply to the quality of phone calls. I made several calls, and although, so far no one has complained about the sound quality on my part, they sounded like they were in a tunnel or something similar. And on top of that, you can answer an incoming phone call by simply tapping twice on AirPods. You can end the telephone conversation in the same way.
On the other hand, Siri sounds loud and clear.
Features and functionality
Despite the fact that there is nothing supernatural in this product and it is a fairly simple product, the company Apple managed to add additional functionality. This also applies to the possibility of double tap on the rod of the calling device Siri. Apple allows you to disable this feature completely or replace it with the Play / Pause feature.
Apple also added 'Auto Ear Detection' feature. With this function, headphones AirPods can automatically transmit audio from a connected device as soon as AirPods is placed in your ears. So, if I listen to music on my iPhone through the phone speakers, then as soon as I insert AirPods into my ears, the music automatically starts to be transmitted to the headphones.
This feature also means that when you remove one or both earbuds AirPods from your ears, the music stops playing. It's an easy and quick way to start and stop playing music, especially if you need to talk to someone for a moment or two, this feature works really well.
This is a feature that takes some getting used to, but will change the way you normally interact with your headphones. I always have at least one earbud plugged in when I am outside the house, but this feature does not work very well outdoors. At the moment, I have turned off the 'Automatic ear detection' function for a while, but I plan to turn it on again.
Do they drop out?
I've read about it everywhere, as soon as AirPods were announced: they will drop too easily. But I don't think so, these are just exaggerated fears. The same sentiment was present when the EarPods were first released, so it really comes as no surprise that this is said over and over again. In addition, there is a lot of evidence from videos where people show on camera how easily they fall out AirPods with a simple shake of the head.
The deciding factor here for Apple will be whether they fit or not, which is no different, as was the case with the EarPods. If EarPods are right for you and you find them comfortable, then the situation with AirPods will be no different.
For me, they fit very well. They have not yet fallen out and nothing like that has even come close. I ran in them, I did other exercises, I shook my head. For them to fall out, I had to deliberately try to do it. I'm sure they hold up like the EarPods.
What is missing?
In all of the above respects, the headphones AirPods do an excellent job of doing what they are for. But there are also disadvantages. First of all, these are options for controlling media playback and volume on AirPods. The ability to double-tap the earpiece to wake up Siri or call the play / pause function is one thing, but not enough. In the wireless future from the company Apple, these two options for controlling these elements should not be just 1) Use Siri or 2) Use your phone.
The charging case uses a Lightning port (even if it seems like a USB Type-C port would be better), which as an accessory for iPhone makes technically sense. But I can’t connect the device to iPhone and I don’t know why I have to do that, so this is another new device from Apple which seems to confuse the situation with the used ports much more. The fact itself does not become a stumbling block, but it is certainly an interesting step from the outside Apple.
This charging box has a status light so you can easily see if AirPods is fully charged or vice versa, and the same goes for the charging box itself. But this charging indicator is on the inside, so you must open the cover to see the indicator. I don't mind that this indicator is on the inside, but I would prefer there was another indicator on the outside. This makes it much easier to check the charging status at a glance.
For better or worse, headphones AirPods are a typical product from Apple first generation. Being one of the early adopters of first-generation products has its positives, but at the same time, if someone said that he would like to wait for the next iteration of the company's truly wireless headphones to see if Apple new functions to the existing ones, then I don't think I would blame them.
At the same time, I am generally happy with this first attempt. The lack of playback controls or volume controls is, of course, frustrating. I think this is a simple omission or oversight on the part of the company Apple – especially given the level of competition in the number of features and functions, but it worked out well. Everything else stated works great in headphones AirPods, so I can temporarily turn a blind eye to the rest.
Of course, the situation may change in subsequent releases of this model, and in a month or two I will still be annoyed with the need to still pull my phone out of my pocket just to switch songs. As I see it now, it could be worse than simple (slight) irritation.
If you want to stay in the ecosystem Apple and want to get yourself a pair of lightweight headphones that sound good enough and pair easily with your devices, then you should try the headphones AirPods in practice.