The skeptical cardiologist began using Apple products during his cardiology fellowship in 1984. My first research was done on an Apple II and my first personal computer was an original Mac.
These days I am unabashedly and totally immersed in Apple stuff which I use at work, at home, on vacation and while exercising.
In the last year I have fallen in love with Apple AirPods.
I use these bluetooth earphones for listening to music and podcasts and telephone conversations and I like them far better than anything I have previously stuck in or around my ears.
Apple AirPods are amazing.
Here are a few things off the top of my head that I find amazing about them…
- They come in an incredibly slick little white case that serves as storage and charging dock and looks like a container of dental floss. You literally never run out of juice if you put your earphones back in the case when you are done and charge it occasionally.
- Pairing with my iPhone and my various Macs is a breeze. Once paired the device automatically plays music through the AirPods if they are in your ears and nearby.
- They sense when they are in your ears, give you a tone that they are working and start playing from your paired device on their own.
- If you double tap on one of them you can have it advance to next song, bring up Siri, or stop playing.
- If you bring up Siri you can give complex commands like call the Eternal Fiancée or remind me to bring in Jen’s new shoes package on the porch.
- They are so comfortable you don’t notice you are wearing them.
- What about appearance you may ask?
Well, when I first started wearing them the Eternal Fiancée made fun of me because, she said, it looked like I had q-tips in my ears. Four months later she borrowed mine to go on a run and decided to order her own the next day
- What about the sound you may ask? I think the sound is awesome. I’m a musician and a music fanatic but don’t consider myself an audiophile. I find the sound quality on these little things perfect for my needs and equivalent to any headphones I have used. I spend a lot of time while listening to songs picking out individual instruments and these are great for that.
- What if you forget and leave the AirPods out and they become almost fully discharged. Have no fear, within 10 minutes they are fully charged in the case and ready to go-amazing.
- They can survive a washing machine/dryer assault (see below).
AirPods: The Cons
There are some downsides…
-Because they are so small and unobtrusive I forget about them and lose them easily. You can actually use the Find My iPhone Apple feature to have them make a sound and track them down but a few months ago I misplaced one so badly I had to replace it.
–One quick visit to my local Apple Genius Bar and 69$ later I had a new right AirPod.
-Early on in my AirPods experience I left them in my running shorts pocket and they went through an entire washing and drying experience….. and after a several hour period of dormancy they worked perfectly well!
-The case is so small and unobtrusive it is very easy to forget. I have left it on treadmills innumerable times. One time I left it on an airplane….Another visit to Apple required.
I am not alone in my love of the AirPods.
I came across this review on The Verge by Vlad Savov (“‘The Verge’s resident Bulgarian, headphone and mobile reviewer”)
But when I look at the limits of what’s possible today — in terms of miniaturization of audio and wireless components — I can’t see a better combination of price, features, and performance than what’s offered by the AirPods. The price is fair and the compromises are acceptable. I make it my job to review (and enjoy) super heavy and expensive headphones that do amazing things with music, recreating and illuminating every minute detail of a recording. That makes me extremely picky about any products I listen to, and the thing the AirPods share with the giant cans built by the likes of Audeze and Focal is that they convey the sense and intent of the music. And the reason I now reach for the AirPods even when I’m at home, the unique thing that delights all their users, is their unrivalled ease of use
N.B. The AirPods greatness at unobtrusively staying in your ear was initially thought to be a design flaw. This writer at Business Insider recently noted that
Most earbuds have gummy tips, which create a “seal” around the inside of your ear that’s important for two reasons. First, it creates an environment where outside sound can’t leak in, so you can listen to your music without being interrupted by outside noises, like a subway car or people walking on the street. Second, by creating that ideal environment, your music will actually sound better, especially lower bass frequencies.
The AirPods break that design rule. Instead of having gummy tips, they have a hard plastic shell, like Apple’s wired earbuds, the EarPods. They don’t create a tight seal, and sit on the inside of my ears instead of totally plugging them up. This design lets outside sound leak in, which is annoying, but it actually helps the AirPods stay in my ears.
Totally wireless earbuds rely on their seal for more than just audio quality. They actually need that tight seal to stay securely in your ears. Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter if I’m sitting, walking, or running — all of the gummy-tipped wireless earbuds I’ve tried fit into my ears nicely for a couple of minutes, then start loosening up.
Eventually, the seal the earbuds created breaks, and one or both of them fall out of my ears. Because the AirPods don’t have to maintain a seal, they’re the only totally wireless headphones I can reliably keep in my ears for more than a few minutes at a time.