by Bradley Dean Jones
With the highly anticipated release of Apple’s first Bluetooth earbuds and after several delays, the AirPods are finally getting to their owners. With some delivery dates still taking 5+ weeks, I was able to finally get my hands on them and here are my first 24 hours with Apple’s AirPods.
As for the build quality of the AirPods, they feel about the same as Apple’s EarPods without the cable. They are pretty comfortable and smooth in the ear. The battery is comparative to other Bluetooth earbuds, at least for the short period of time I’ve been using them. They were advertised as having 5 hours of battery per bud and the case providing an extra 24 hours of charge. I’ve been wearing them for about 3 hours and they’re both around 45% dead.
As some users stated, the AirPods do not fit well in their ears, however I found them fitting perfectly. I could shake my head, jump up and down, or even work out with them and they would stay in. Doing a small set of jumping jacks, push-ups, planks, and a mile run on a treadmill, they did not fall out or get sweaty.
Just like other Bluetooth earbuds, the AirPods don’t get in the way. With normal corded earbuds, I could be sitting in my bed listening to music, and it would seem any movement would pull the headphones out, sometimes even knocking my phone off the bed. With these you get the same Apple EarPods without the cord and the hassle it brings.
A feature the AirPods have that I really enjoyed was the mechanic that pauses music if you remove the AirPods from your ear. I found this to be really useful.
Besides the few times I’ve had to explain to people what these are or how they work, they don’t seem to stand out too much. I found them to help me throughout the day, especially as someone who constantly has earbuds in. They just work. Being able to open the case and have them automatically connect to my iPhone was great, with no extra hassle.
An issue I encountered was I found myself wishing I could change the song without needing my phone. On the old EarPods you had buttons to pause/play, invoke Siri, change the volume, and change the song, on the AirPods you can only double tap them to invoke Siri, though they don’t give you the choice to change that to a pause/play function. Another issue I encountered was water. I would have liked the AirPods to be somewhat water resistant in case of being caught in rain or sweat.
AirPods sell for $150, which is more or less competitive to the other Bluetooth earbuds. Definitely comparative to Beats’ higher quality wireless earbuds which run for $200.
Even for $150, I would purchase it again. The piece of mind of not having a cable in my way ever, the connectivity between all my Apple products, and the fact they just work well all make for a reasonable product. Being a guinea pig for first new Apple products is always a gamble, but if AirPods 2.0 can add even more battery and more functionality back into these products, I can see them being a good addition to the Apple lineup.
Ryan is a Music Media Production major who wrote the first ever Byte music review and has been involved with nearly every other section at some point. He is also an event planner at Village Green Records and the primary booking coordinator for the store’s outdoor concerts.