Are the AirPods really THAT good?

After the anticipated iPhone 7 was launched by Apple, one thing became clear; all iPhone users will be using AirPods instead of wired headsets. This is because iPhone 7 has no headphone jack. Luckily, the package comes with an adaptor that allows for the headphone jack. Unfortunately, this adaptor sticks out of the iPhone like some extension, and a few people like it this way hence they resort to using the AirPods. Most iPhone users have had an experience with the AirPods, are they really that good?

To answer this perfectly, a deep look into the AirPods is necessary in all aspects.

AirPod’s Design

Apple adheres strictly to its design rules and due to this, all of its products have a certain aesthetic. The AirPods look similar to the standard EarPods except they are wireless and have long stems which are considerately bulky. They are also packed with a microphone for voice control. So, if you liked the EarPods, you will probably like the AirPods too.

Sound quality

Compared to the wired EarPods, the AirPods’ sound quality is somehow better especially the bass which is clearer and louder. The only downside is that they offer less or no zero noise cancellation; you can still hear some background environmental noises.

Connectivity  

In order for the AirPods to work, they must pair wirelessly to the iPhone. This is made possible by the W1 chip which uses Bluetooth technology for pairing. For some users, the AirPods connect automatically while others must toggle their iPhone’s Bluetooth menu. ‘The hurdles of using Bluetooth’. The AirPods automatically pair every time you place them onto your ears and disconnect when you remove both of them. The seamless connection works across all Apple devices except on the Mac which has a little lag.  A piece of advice, stay close to your device, Bluetooth range is 10 meters.

Controls

This is where most users agree that the AirPods are not really that good. And in some cases, the AirPods are really convenient. Unlike the wired headsets, AirPods are not coupled with remote controls. They entirely rely on Siri to carry out their functionalities. The pause function is perfect as you only need to take one AirPod out. Double tapping will skip a track or raise the volume. The problem arises when your playlist skips into the tracks you don’t want to listen to, imagine how many double taps you will perform and how that will look in the public. Let alone what people will think when they see you speaking to yourself (when giving Siri commands). The audio playback Voice commands are; play/pause, return, skip, play specific songs, albums, artists and even playlists. These preset commands do not need internet connection. Most of the time you will end up taking out your phone to perform the basic music control tasks. This beats wireless.

Siri, on the other hand, takes commands accurately from the AirPods except when you are whispering. Apart from playing music, other commands require an internet connection.

Battery

The battery is excellent as Apple claimed, the only problem is that it’s too big. The charging case LED gives real-time feedback on the charge/battery status, the status can be shown on the screen too via a widget. The widget indicates the battery status of each bud as well as the case itself as a whole. The LED colors change from green to orange and finally red. Green means the battery is full or near full whereas red means you need to recharge sooner.

Verdict

The AirPods have an amazing sound quality, the connectivity is seamless and they are packed with an excellent battery life. The lack of inline remote controls is just a big blow; you have to rely on Siri to control the audio playback. Although Siri works well, it’s not a perfect alternative for the remote controls. What if you travel to areas with no or poor internet connectivity? Or when you are in a call and you just realized you need to increase the volume.

Besides the controls, what if you lose the AirPods? Although they manage to stick to the ears they don’t feel secure at all, considering the price of replacing them.

Final verdict: The AirPods are not really that good.