Like everyone else, I couldn’t get past the looks of the Apple AirPods when they were initially launched. Even till now, they still resemble a broken pair of EarPods and the case looks like a box of dental floss to many. The criticism on the design of the AirPods is definitely debatable. I guess the design of all things is debatable. However, after months of research and seeing people rocking it in their ears, I managed to see past the negative reviews and bought one myself. Here’s my review of the Apple AirPods.
Design and functions
The Apple AirPods sure looks like a spoilt EarPods with their wires cut. What differentiates the former to the latter, is the most crucial part of everything – the technology embedded in these two tiny earpieces. I am glad that Apple went with earpieces than earbuds. I often find myself removing earbuds from my ears after wearing it for a long period of time, because they hurt.
This is where the AirPods hit the right spot for me. They fit well in my ears and I can wear it all day at work without feeling uncomfortable in any way. They are light and sometimes I have to touch them to know if they are there when I’m not listening to music.
On each side of the AirPods, there are sensors to detect whether it is in your ears or whether you have double-tapped to command them. However, do not be mistaken that the sensors start or stop your music because they detected that they are in your ears. On the contrary, they actually sense whether the AirPods are covered, which is the best indication that they could be in your ears. Just cover it with your own hands and it will continue to play your music.
Speaking of playing music, the double-tap functions come in really handy, though I wish that Apple had included a single-tap feature so that more functions can be added. Currently, you can only double-tap to Play/Pause, activate Siri or go to the next song.
The flexibility to set a specific function to both sides of the ears is a welcoming move. At least, I don’t look dumb saying “Hey Siri” just to wake her up. Double-tapping drives you straight to asking her questions, set reminders and etc.
And how can I forget the most useful and important functions of all – the auto-pause mode. When you take one of the AirPods out of your ears, it auto-pauses so that you can attend to people asking you questions and it resumes when you stuck it back into your ears. This is a great function but people really need to learn that when someone puts on their earpieces, do not disturb them.
The box of “dental floss”
The casing for AirPods looks more like a futuristic space pod to me now than a box of dental floss. So let’s get over the availability biases and start thinking straight.
I had to charge the casing for my AirPods only once this week, which is always a good sign. What makes it even better is that it took me only 30 mins to charge it fully.
I like the music coming out from the AirPods. They are not bassy as compared to some wired earbuds or headphones. Audiophiles may find it lacking in that department but I think they are just right. What matters is that the music projected out from the AirPods sounds clear and I don’t hear any interference or noise. I also had a few phone calls while wearing the AirPods and they all sounded crisp and clear even in a noisy environment. Thumbs up to that.
Buy or Bye?
So far, I haven’t had any major qualms with the AirPods. They are extremely portable and being wireless, they allow me to be more mobile than ever. I can easily double-tap to control Siri and the music without the need of taking out my iPhone. This is definitely a plus because I often have a book in my hand when I commute so this function gives me great convenience i.e. reduce the incidences of fumbling and dropping my iPhone or the book.
The battery life is the least of my worries. I usually get around 4 hours of juice out of the AirPods and I can get it recharged in around 40 minutes. So for the whole of this week, there’s never a day where my AirPods ran out of battery. I always have enough when I needed them.
Oh yes, I mentioned that the AirPods are earpieces. This also means that while commuting in a crowded train may require you to increase the volume of your AirPods so that you can drown out most of the noises. Other than that, the sound quality is pretty decent.
I would say if you have an affinity with Apple and its ecosystem, buy the AirPods. It will definitely enhance your music and Apple experience. Don’t get it if you really couldn’t get past the looks, you superficial human. Haha!
The Apple AirPods are now available for purchase through the Apple Store at S$238. Get them while they are still in stock.