AirPod Headphone Review: The Perfect Headphone for Apple Devices?
After getting up early and a 5 hour train ride we were exhausted. My girlfriend laid down on the couch, but what was supposed to be a time to rest her feet quickly turned into a long siesta. As to not wake her I pulled out my phone from my right pocket and a white tick tack shaped case from my left. I flicked open the case and popped the ear buds, one by one, into my ears. I then closed the case and placed it next to me and proceeded to open youtube and get lost in the mindless content of the internet.
An inaudible noise came from next to me. I pulled out my right earphone and asked into the room ¨Did you say something?¨.
A subdued voice responded ¨Can you get me a blanket?¨
I put back the earbud and stabilized the phone in front of me as I walked to the bedroom to procure a blanket. With a double tap to my ear, I spoke to the air, “pause”, then set down my phone, and proceeded to cover my motionless significant other. I picked up my phone and after sitting down resumed watching Casey Nienstat.
What might seem like normal experience is actually a painless event in the world of headphones. There is a lot of work being done in the background that me, the user of the AirPods, does not need to be conscious for. These subtle features are what makes these bluetooth earphones, apply named AirPods, such a pleasure to use.
Let me explain what was actually and covertly happening that evening when i got home. To begin the AirPods had been conveniently placed in my pocket because I had been previously using them on the train for 5 hours. The airpods are housed in a small plastic case which makes them easy to throw in and out of my pocket without fear of losing them. Separate earphones would have been lost while wired earphones would have required me to play a puzzle game of trying to untangle the cable. Larger headphones would have required me to take off, unzip, and place them in my backpack, a chore that gets repetitive after a while.
Next by flipping open the case I have done two things; the first is I turned on the headphones. No need to hold down or flip a power button or switch. The second is I just connected the headphones to my phone. The process was easy and without much effort.
Unbeknownst to me, after opening the case, to confirm that the AirPods had connected, a large confirmation notification appeared that clearly showed an image of the AirPods and their battery life. Every time the headphones connect I get presented with its battery percentage which helps keep track of battery life on those long days of travel.
Because the AirPods sit in a well inside the case, I have no fear of them falling out. To further ease my mind the headphones are magnetically held inside the case so that if the case is turned upside down the AirPods will not fall out. Same can be said of the hinged lid of the plastic case. When retiring the AirPods the magnets ensure that the earphones fall into place with a snap. In this instance that wasn't necessary, but on the turbulent train ride this gave me a feeling of ease.
One might wonder how these tiny earphones would have had a charge since I finished using them on a 5 hour train ride. You would be right in guessing that they are almost dead as the earphones only last about 5 hours when fully charged, but that is not taking into account the extra 24 hours of battery life the case provides. You see when the AirPods were stored back in their case, as they always are after being used, they begin to charge, so that hour between leaving the train and sitting on my couch the AirPods were able to fully charge giving me another 5 hours of listening time.
When removing the headphone to ask my girlfriend to repeat what she said the AirPods proximity sensors noticed that an earphone came out and automatically paused the video. Previously I would need to fumble with touching the screen once to bring up play/puase button, then attempt to hit play button, miss and make the play/pause button to disappear, touch the screen to bring the button up again, successfully hit the button, remove the headphones, put back on the headphones, and lastly hit the play button to resume the video. This has all been simplified to remove and put back in the headphone from my ear, and the AirPods never fail in sensing the removal of the earphone.
This feature would be great if a headphone fell out of my ear, maybe while running or preforming other activities, but even though the AirPods don’t feel as secure as headphones with silicon tips that jam into your ear canal, the AirPods have yet to fall out of my ear even on long runs.
All these small but innovative features that the AirPods so conveniently have work the other way around. For example if one happenes to only take out one AirPod then music would only play on that one earphone, but if one were to put in the other earphone then music would start playing through both. No buttons or software configuration needed. Just put in the earphone and the AirPods do the rest.
If you are playing a video then the audio will seamlessly start playing on the airpods as you place them in your ear without puasing or skiping. No software or hardware interaction needed. If you have two in and you only want to play audio through one then put back one AirPod in its case and hit play on your device. The airpods know what you want to do and work with you. These are the type of headphones that dont wait for you to tell it what to do but instead are one step ahead of you.
The AirPods do not have any physical controls which I am fine with. Small earphones such as these rarely do and I end up using my phone to control them, but the AirPods have one powerful trick. When any of the two AirPods are tapped on twice Siri is activated which can then be used to initiate advance commands that can go beyond play, pause, or skip.
Apple built in wireless charging into the case so at night before going to sleep, if I had a wireless charging pad of course , I could easily place my AirPods down and they would be fully charged the next morning. Placing a smooth white case down on your night stand is much easier action than fumbling with wires while fatigued. This guarantees me at least a full days worth with at most 5 hours of constant use. That is more than enough battery for basic everyday use. On the plane however I might use a full set of over the ear headphones to block out plane noise.
As far as sound goes the AirPods really surprise. They sound great and surprisingly have a good level of bass. Apple did a great job in the audio department, among other things. Sound leaking is low so your SO wont be bothered with noise coming from the earphones, but because the lack of seal in or around your ear, you will hear the ambient noise around you which can be good or bad.
I try to be minimalist in what I carry day to day. I usually only keep my phone with its slim wallet case in one pocket and not much else. Because of the connivence and joy of use of the AirPods, I never leave home without them. This provides me with headphones, an item I find indispensable, that have all day battery life.
If I could think of a unsatisfactory trait for the AirPods it would only be that the case statically attracts hair and debris. That is it. In all other ways the AirPods are perfect. I do not normally give ratings on products, but if I would give a rating on these headphones it would be a 10/10. They go beyond just providing secure fit headphones with great sound quality. The Apple AirPods push innovation and convenience to a whole new level. Knowing that there are headphones for $150 that do half as much as these, in my eyes, tremendously increases value of these headphones. If you have an iPhone, mac, or ipad then I absolutely recommend the Apple AirPods as your next headphone purchase.