This AirPods review is late because I needed time to process my buyer’s remorse. Here’s a bit of background: I genuinely love wireless Bluetooth audio because of the freedom it allows you and dream of a truly wireless future. I also forget to charge things and needed a replacement for my ailing Jabra Sport Wireless+ headset. My solution? Powerbeats3 Wireless. Up to 12 hours of battery life, leaks in more than enough background noise for good situational awareness and delivers some decent bass in gym environments. What wasn’t to love?
Then Apple came in with AirPods.
My ears love EarPods. They offer good enough audio quality and good sound penetration so I can still be an active participant in the world from within my aural bubble. Music and podcasts can be overlaid on the real world and I can have a buffer from interruption. Apple then sliced the wires off of each earbud and stuffed some of the most advanced wireless communication tech inside. The dream had become reality.
Don’t get me wrong, I still love the Beats, but the AirPods solve many of the problems I have with them. I wear glasses, so the over-ear hooks aren’t an ideal solution. I don’t like earbuds that sit in the ear canal. In a world of Lightning connectors and USB type-C I am more likely to not have a micro-USB cable on my person. That said, AirPods also add some bizarre problems. They can and sometimes did fall out in extreme circumstances. You can lose just one. You can’t charge them without the carry case. And my personal favourite: it just looks weird.
Where they did come to my aid was at the Two Oceans marathon. Officials aren’t big fans of earphones, but the AirPods were inconspicuous enough to go unnoticed under my Buff. And then the beam forming microphones were excellent in isolating my voice from the humdrum of the finish area while trying to locate a friend.
Yes there’s no volume controls on the units and Apple is trying to force you to communicate more frequently with Siri, but the W1 chip makes pairing with an iPhone stupid easy and the auto pause and resume when you take one out is pure magic. If your ears are kind to EarPods (the earphones that came in the box with your iPhone), you’ll be fine with the fit of these. It works like ordinary Bluetooth earphones on Android, just without the instant pairing, voice assistant and auto pause wizardry.
They work well and sound good. Good luck finding stock.
R2 600, myistore.co.za