Apple AirPods: One Month Later [Opinion]

Don’t listen to the hype; Apple is still the most innovative tech company in the world. While it’s true that the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus weren’t huge upgrades, a recent Inquisitr article notes that the iPhone 8 may be completely redesigned.

Then, there is the issue of the 2016 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar series. While Apple would have been better off referring to it as the “2016 MacBook Air with Touch Bar” series, Apple’s new 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pros are solid performers with beautiful screens and greatly improved keyboards (though not everybody likes the butterfly keys).

Apple's AirPods are on sale now

Then, there are the AirPods, Apple’s latest wireless earbuds, which were delayed by two months. Apple was criticized for saying that they don’t like shipping items until they’re “ready for our customers,” but once Apple shipped them at the end of December, the wait (if you were actually waiting) was worth it.

The reason that not everybody was exactly waiting for the AirPods is because several different companies have tried to push usable earbuds to customers and have failed miserably. Leave it to Apple, once again, to swoosh in, take something that other companies have failed at and produce something that’s not only usable but groundbreaking.

The AirPods aren’t like any other wireless buds or headsets in that they actually feel like an extension of your ears. Connecting them is incredibly simple (they connect once you take them out of the dental floss-shaped charger box), and after they sit in your ears for a short amount of time, you don’t feel like they are there. And despite fears that they will fall out, it’s almost certain that they won’t. If you are at the gym wearing the buds and forcefully take off your shirt, it’s possible the cloth can hit one of the buds and force it out of your ear. But that’s an example of a very rare occurrence.

The best thing about the AirPods isn’t the way they fit or how easy they connect; it’s the sound quality that makes these shine the most. If you are expecting these to sound as good as your $300 – $400 Bose or Sennheiser wireless headphones, you’re missing the point of the AirPods. They are meant to be an affordable wireless solution that makes your life a lot more convenient. The technology isn’t there yet to make earbuds sound as good as wireless headphones with 40mm drivers.

Apple's AirPods come in a small white case

But that doesn’t mean Apple overlooked sound quality. As a matter of fact, as even Pocket Lint notes, the AirPods not only sound better than the regular EarPods that ship with the iPhone, but they sound better than just about any other in-ear buds. There is a noticeable bass presence, but the real star here is the clarity, which compares to that of many wired headphones.

The AirPods don’t have noise cancellation yet as that would make the battery life last less than an hour. But if you used headphones with noise cancellation for the past several years, it will feel great to be able to hear an oncoming car while jogging. Sometimes, you don’t want to shun the rest of the world out. You will still use my Bose QC35s when sleeping (best sleep aid ever!) or writing articles at Starbucks, but the AirPods certainly have their purpose.

Apple’s new buds represent the first product from Apple in several years that isn’t overpriced. For $159, Apple’s wireless AirPods offer a variety of features that will make your smartphone experience a lot more convenient. Your turn, Samsung.

[Featured Image by Daryl Deino]