Apple AirPods Review – Definitive Guide to A Buying Decision

Brian Bojan Dordevic
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Maybe you’re like me, and saw numerous people swagging these headphones and you thought: “Hey I gotta have em!”. Must be nice not to have cables! Or perhaps you are a late adopter, and you’re trying to figure out if they are the right product, before shelling out not so cheap entry price of $159 or so. Whatever your case is, you’ll know immediately wether this product is rigt for you, after reading this review.

If you thoght of buying them, you may have had some questions… Here are the answers…

One of the universal questions that I ask when I am tackling new tech: Will it help me think less about technology?

One of the main reasons why I was interested in AirPods was specifically because of the cable that kept annoying me during workouts as well as day to day life Issues such as messing up my seatbelt that I stopped wearing due to this very issue (I do wear it now!). Things like getting caught against the objects, entangling itself… Cable presented a HUGE pain point, that made me constantly concious of the regular EarPods.

For me this started a long journey of returning endless stream of wireless headphones. I’ve ran through Beats Solo 2, Powerbeats 2, Powerbeats 3 (these were actually decent!), JayBird and a couple of others that I’ve tried over time. None of them were making me nowwhere near completely satisified. I would try them out for a couple of days, and end up returning them way before the last day. They would cause more problems than solving.

Due to my previous experience with wireless headphones I was concerned about a lot of potential issues that I’ve previously experienced. The biggest one was pairing, but there were more: Will I lose them? Will I remember to bring them with me? How difficult are they to pair with your device? Will the battery last me the whole day? Will they fit my ear?

I’m going to give you the answer on all of the mentioned questions bellow.

Will You Lose Them?

When I was contemplating buying AirPods, numerous friends and family told me that they aren’t that inclined to get them, because they thought they would lose them easily. “They are so small, if I left them somewhere, I’d probably never find them again.” That was the argument that I’ve also seen online, one that it is very easy to fall into, and convince yourself that this product is not for you, due to your carelessness.

However, through my daily experience, I’ve easily learned that only two places where I am putting these headphones into their case, or in my ears. If I am taking them off briefly, more often than not, I am holding them in my hand, before putting them back on. For the 4–5 weeks that I have them, I believe I’ve left them outside of their case 1 or two times.

Of course, there is a possibility that you could lose them, but I feel that I am very heavy user of headphones in general, thus it is leaving me in the position of always knowing where they are. I believe that heavy users of EarPods would always be able to locate them. Furthermore Apple created a functionality inside of the “Find my iPhone” app, that will help you find them in a case of a loss.

So far I wasn’t in the situation to actually lose “Find my iPhone”, and I tried it out just for the sake of this review. The sound is being played from the headphones directly, so they don’t actually alert you when they are located inside of the case, which is my default way of storing them. Sound is pretty decent, and would help you locate them if they dropped into the couch or hid behind objects. Not super loud, but loud enough.

Further as far as losing goes, I bought a mini Spiegen stand for them, that incorporates ligthing cable into itself. This is my “default location” for them, and I always leave them on it when I am home.

It is far better sticking the case onto the stand, than digging through for the cable, and fighting your way around figuring out where the hell it is. These are similar grievances you may have while owning them, that stand easily averts.

What if I actually lose one AirPod or the case?

Hopefully it will cheer you up that Apple already had a plan. They will replace any of the 3 possible items for $69. Meaning if you lose an one pod, they will send you a new one for the mentioned price. I’d argue that it is not a terrible deal, and does offer some peace of mind in a case of an unfortunate event.

Will you remember to bring them with you?

The same attitude you had with your regular headphones will translate over to your AirPods. My past behavior was that I always headphones with me, no matter what. This attitude remained. There were instances where I would have them plugged into my ears, and I would forget the case.

Losing the case would cause issues if you didn’t have access to it for longer periods of time. It is a battery pack that guarantees the whole day coverage, especially the talking time. It was relatively easy to incorporate it in my daily repertoire, your mileage may vary.

How Difficult are they to pair with your device?

Pairing is always one of the biggest issues when it comes to ANY wireless ear buds. The main reason why I didn’t transition to wireless ear buds before was specifically this reason.

Air Pods and Apple’s proprietary chip have redefined wireless device pairing. There is no difference between using the buds with the wire and wireless ones. Misspairings and pairing errors are rare, and you need to work in order to reproduce the errors.

Air Pods are working remarkably and admirably well. If there is any “feature” why you would want to go for them, this feature alone is a reason for it.

Will the battery last you the whole day?

Apple is advertising them like they have a 5 hours battery life, but this is only true at 50% volume. Realistic battery life is 3–4 hours of at 75%–100%.

But that’s not all. Calls and simple listening differentiate dramatically. Talking time is spliting this number in half, easily. At 100% you are getting realistic full 2 hours of talking time. This is okay for most of the calls.

Will they fit your ear?

AirPods are mimicking the design of EarPods to the best of their ability. If your EarPods were good, AirPods will treat you the same. If that is not the case, you should look into a separate product, like Beats for example. It shares the same chip.

Unfortunately this product shape doesn’t bode well for a lot of people. I feel bad for everyone whose ears are too big or too small. I believe that at some point Apple better come up with different sizes and different shapes. One size fits all is a bad market approach in something so delicate like the shape of your ear.

Will they fit while I run?

Everyone That has seen me with these asked me this question, so it only felt natural to include it. It all depends on the previous question: your ear size.

However, I did notice that there are countless sellers that are creating AirPods accessories that are design to help them fit your ears better, even use them for running. Personally I use them during my runs without any problems whatsoever, or accessories for that matter.

Will they pair with all of my devices?

Supposedly AirPods should pair with everything, but I still use them the most with my iPhone. While both my iOS devices and Apple watch are pairing without problems, my MacBook Pro has issues with data transfer.

Unfortunately when I am at work, my laptop is connecting with 4 different wireless devices: my Keyboard, magic mouse, trackpad and a separate logitech mouse.

This is probably the reason why I am getting choppy sound and connectivity issues that I am not getting on my phone. Probably not the mistake of the AirPods themselves, but an issue of my computer.

Closing Thoughts

The decision is up to you, and solely relies on the predetermined set of criteria that you have when it comes to headphones.

Get Your Airpods


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