Apple AirPods

7.9/10 AVG.
RATING

  • Apple AirPods
  • Apple AirPods
  • Apple AirPods
  • Apple AirPods

Appleā€™s AirPods are the best fully wireless earbuds you can buy.

- Caleb Denison , Digital Trends 

The company's first wireless earbuds aren't perfect, but they have potential.

- Chris Velazco , Engadget 

Specs / Features


Specification

Brand Apple
Weight 4 grams (0.14 ounces)

Reviews summary

7.9/10AVG.
RATING
Based on 32 reviews

What's good  

  • Simple charging
  • Simple pairing with iOS devices
  • Rich sound (for earbuds)
  • Plenty of volume
  • Great mic
  • Decent battery life
  • Great range

What's bad  

  • Expensive
  • Less useful for Android or Windows users
  • Fit issues for some
  • Voice-only controls not ideal for basic functions

After some delays, Apple’s AirPods promise a future without wires and an experience unmatched by existing bluetooth headphones. Does the lack of wires and improved connectivity make these earbuds worth buying?

Reviewers have spent the last few weeks running around with shiny white sticks coming from their ears. Let’s see what they’re saying!

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Apart from the wires and subtle differences to the shape, AirPods look almost identical to the wired EarPods that ship with every iOS device in existence. Reviewers who had issues keeping EarPods in place during moving had similar issues with these. Then again, there were reviewers mentioning jogging, doing flips and living with their AirPods in with zero issues.

As with any earbud, fit will be the ultimate factor in how much use you get from your AirPods.

Ars Technica summed up fit and design opinions well, saying, “The AirPods are shaped exactly like Apple’s standard EarPods, so if you hate the way the wired earbuds feel or if they physically don’t fit in your ears, you won’t like these either. But the sound quality is noticeably better than the 3.5mm or Lightning AirPods.”

In particular, reviewers noted improved audio quality—particularly for bass response.

While each AirPod includes a mic for use when taking calls or using Siri, you'll find no other dedicated hardware controls. This concerned many reviewers. Simple tasks, such as skipping tracks or changing volume levels require pulling out your phone. However, the quick double-tap to launch Siri received rave reviews. You can also pause playback by removing one earbud from your ear. But, resuming requires interacting with your device yet again.

This was the biggest issue reviewers faced. Apple Insider said, “There's room for improvement. It'd be nice if Siri could handle a subset of common tasks on local devices, particularly for music and volume controls that beg for a faster response than an iCloud roundtrip can logistically accommodate.”

Charging and pairing we’re both high points for most reviewers. Using the W1 chip, the AirPods pair with any iOS 10 device by flipping open the carrying case and tapping connect on the device you wish you pair with. Pairing with your iPhone will also pair the earbuds with your Apple Watch, MacBook and other Apple tech.

Charging is equally simple. Just drop your AirPod back into their carrying case. AirPods offer 5 hours of streaming with a single charge. The carrying case hold enough power for 24 hours of use before you must plug the carrying case in to charge. A full charge of the earbuds takes less than an hour.

You'll need an iOS device to use many of the AirPods' featues. Android users must use a dedicated button on the carrying case to pair with each device you want to use. You’ll also lose access to Siri, with the double-tap pausing and resuming audio playback instead.

Overall, reviews had no problems recommending the AirPods as long as you don’t mind the price. Ars Technica stated, “The AirPods are pretty good wireless headphones for a specific sort of person. You need to like Apple’s EarPod design and be OK with the way they sound and fit in your ear—the audio quality in the AirPods is noticeably better, but it’s not night-and-day. To get the most out of them, you’ll want to be embedded deeply into Apple’s ecosystem, since only Apple devices can seamlessly pair with the headphones.”

Reviews (7.9/10 Avg. rating)


Reckoner

Super simple to setup but lacks solid control scheme

from Reckoner
Apple’s AirPods are a beautifully designed, well crafted and extremely intelligent set of wireless earphones that manage to destroy that praise with an insidious wonderment of a distant future... Full review
Recombu

Seemless connectivity, decent audio quality

from Recombu
Whilst some have likened AirPods to electric toothbrush heads and the verdict is still out on whether or not anyone can really pull them off, they do an excellent job of realising the promise of truly wireless buds thanks to their smart engineering, near-seamless operation, respectable battery life and pleasantly surprising audio quality... Full review
The Indian Express

Great audio for Siri lovers

from The Indian Express
Some technology is way ahead of time. That is another way of saying there is not much you can do with it at this point of time. Apple AirPods seem to be in that space at the moment. It can do a lot and improve our world, but we can also live well without it. This is a must-buy for compulsive Siri users, others can consider these a great pair of wireless earpods. At the end of the day, do remember the regular Apple EarPods are as good too, if you can live with the wires... Full review
Tools & Toys

Trading tedious and irritating for effortless

from Tools & Toys

For Apple’s usual, less price conscious early adopters, AirPods are a no-brainer instant buy. If you’re considering them and know that you usually like Apple gear, just get them. You’ll love them (and be frustrated with all the same things you are with Apple these days). If you tend to find the best deal on peripherals that will work with the iPhone or Mac you carefully saved to buy, AirPods just aren’t worth their current price tag. You can get a better sounding pair, or a pair with longer battery life (sans case charging), or just use the EarPods that came with you... Full review

Techgoondu

A wire-free future

from Techgoondu
What has been a great experience is the tight integration between hardware and software that is Apple’s signature. Because the AirPods are part of the Apple family, everything works seamlessly. This is a feature I would pay for because it removes the pain from often patchy Bluetooth pairing... Full review
The Wirecutter

Sound and feel like wired EarPods

from The Wirecutter
If you like the sound and fit of standard Apple EarPods that come with an iPhone but hate the cord so much that you’re willing to pay over $100 more, these are for you... Full review
Kevin Rose

Great balance of portability and sound quality

I've worn them everywhere since receiving them this Christmas. The auto-pause feature (when you remove a single AirPod) works great when co-workers walk up to your desk to chat. For my particular ear canal they hold just fine, including on the treadmill. Recommendation: Buy.. Full review
The Telegraph

Wireless magic with compromises

from The Telegraph
The AirPods are one of the most intriguing things Apple has done in a long time, and most of the time are a delight to use: the set-up is simple, using them is easy and the sound quality is good. At the same time there are frustrations: Siri is not as good as it could be after five years, and at £159, they’re not cheap, although few decent sets of wireless headphones are... Full review
Canadian Reviewer

Compact, loud and well-balanced in-ear Bluetooth headset

from Canadian Reviewer

The Apple AirPods aren’t for everyone, but if you want the most seamless all-day iOS connected headphone experience, this is worth looking at. As someone who has been using Bluetooth headphones or over a year, I found the simplicity and elegance of the AirPods to work well for my needs. Yes, they are expensive, but if you’re like me and use headphones for work and leisure multiple times on a daily basis, they are a very cool set to consider specially if you want to experience a completely wireless experience. Siri has to become a bit faster, but it’s nonetheless clever to... Full review

PhoneArena

Minimalistic design, clear and surprisingly punchy audio

from PhoneArena
Apple’s AirPods certainly may be one of the more controversial products that the company released this year, but after spending some good quality time with them, they just might be one of my favorite gadgets of 2016... Full review

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