Apple’s first totally wireless earbuds, the AirPods, were revealed at the iPhone 7 launch event. This caused a huge buzz on the internet and not much was known immediately about the AirPods. Here’s everything you want need to know about them – the bad, the good and the weird.
- 1. Price and Release Date
- 2. Great Portable Charging Case
- 3. Automatic Pairing
- 4. Style
- 5. Size
- 6. They Can Pair With Any Bluetooth Device
- 7. Fit
- 8. Processor to Manage Battery Use and Bluetooth
- 9. Caution
- 10. Battery
- 11. Sound Quality
- 12. Bluetooth Connection
- 13. Phone Calls
- 14. They Play When You Put Them On
- 15. You Can’t do a Lot with the Tap Control
- 16. No Smart Features
- 17. Better Fit
- 19. Apple’s iOS 10.3 Beta
- 20. Custom Colors
- 21. The Future of Listening
- 22. Design Inspiration
- 23. PodSkinz AirPods Case
- 24. Upcoming Features
1. Price and Release Date
The Apple airpods originally lauched in Dec 2016 for $159, which at the time was cheaper than other competitors like Samsung Gear IconX.
2. Great Portable Charging Case
The carrying case supplied with AirPods is one of the best designed cases on the market. It is white, simple and makes it easy to store the earbuds. By simply slipping them in, the case will lock magnetically. If you have a chance to look at competitor cases like The Dash, Samsung, or Jabra you’ll realize the brilliance of this case. Even more, the AirPods charge up for 3 hours of playtime in just 15 minutes.
The case can provide the 24 hours of additional charge for the AirPods. It also features a lightning port for charging, and there is a button used to trigger a connection with your iPhone or Android phone. When placing the carrying case next to your phone, you press the button and the connection notification pops up on your phone screen, then just tap to connect. If you own other Apple devices that are compatible with AirPods they will automatically pair via iCloud.
3. Automatic Pairing
The Airpods can detect and automatically connect to all Apple devices runningor Mac OS Sierra with the same iCloud account once they have been paired with one of your Apple devices. For first time using them, just open the case and place it near your device. The device will be detected and you OS will ask for pairing. With a single tap on connect, everything is up and running. You can easily switch back and forth between devices. This feature is not available for Android devices.
To be honest, they look a bit weird on your ear: when you have them on, it looks like you’re wearing earrings. A photo of CNET editor, Scott Stein wearing the AirPods at the iPhone 7 launching event quickly went viral on internet.
AirPods look very much the same as lightning earpods included in-box with iPhone 7 and about the same size. The buds are incredibly light, and you won’t even notice them in your ears after a while.
6. They Can Pair With Any Bluetooth Device
Apple AirPods can connect with any Bluetooth supported devices such as Android devices, laptops, tablets, etc. There is a small button on the case for pairing, just follow these steps below to pair:
- Open the Bluetooth settings on the Android device/laptop you want to pair with Apple AirPods.
- Open the lid of charging case.
- Press and hold the button on the back of charging case for a few seconds.
- Once they are paired, you’ll see the indicator light on the case (between the earbuds) blinks white.
Unless you pair with an iPhone, you can’t use typical features like touch control and auto-pairing. You’ve seen NFC (tap to pair) from Android devices, which is somewhat similar to Apple’s auto pairing.
Let’s face it: one size doesn’t fit all. As Tim Cook said, AirPods stay securely in his ears even when he dances. The AirPods definitely won’t slip out, but the un-sealed design, just like most earbuds without eartips, won’t provide a tight seal and AirPods let you hear surrounding noise.
8. Processor to Manage Battery Use and Bluetooth
Apple equipped the AirPods with a processor called W1. This chip will process the sound and connection and optimize the battery use. Other Apple products, including Beats X (first Apple/Beats around-the-neck Bluetooth headphones), Solo 3 and PowerBeats 3 also use this chip.
Not these are not to be left around small children, because the AirPods are small and totally wireless, so they can present a choking hazard.
The average playtime for completely wireless earbuds is around 3 hours. AirPods did better than that and they offer 5 hours of playtime. You can check the battery status by opening the case or adding the battery widget to the notification center.
You can either open the charging case next to your iPhone, which should prompt your phone to display a popup with battery status, or you can add the battery widget to the notification center’s “today” panel using the instructions in this post. Keep in mind, the battery widget will only include AirPods if you are actively using them.
11. Sound Quality
Since the first EarPods appeared with iPhone, Apple didn’t revamp the sound and design of the EarPods. As you’d expect, Apple changed the way music is delivered to your ears by making EarPods wireless. AirPods are simple but very complicated in term of hardware. However, AirPods sound nearly exactly the same as wired EarPods, except that the low-ends become a bit too energetic and dynamic. Sometimes you may hear popping sounds from circuitry of the AirPods.
An interesting fact is that Apple built the AirPods with the same hardware components for audio that exist in EarPods. They sound better than other Bluetooth earbuds with a short cable like Bose Soundsport Wireless.
12. Bluetooth Connection
Apple did extremely well at keeping the pairing consistent. The AirPods have a rock-solid Bluetooth connection with any devices they pair to.
13. Phone Calls
Only one side works for calls, which would be the first one you put in your ear. If you want to switch to the other side, simply take out the first and put in the other earbud. However, the microphones in the AirPods don’t work for all apps, but Apple will surely fix this in the near future.
14. They Play When You Put Them On
With the built-in infrared sensors, the earbuds will automatically play/stop when you put them in your ears or take them out.
15. You Can’t do a Lot with the Tap Control
You can only single tap to stop or play and double tap to activate Siri. There is track navigation feature or volume control. To do this you must use the phone. Apple may have focusd on Siri/AI more than how the AirPods look and sound.
16. No Smart Features
Aside from limiting controls, the AirPods are not built with smart features like a heart rate monitor or fitness tracking.
17. Better Fit
To increase the security of fit for AirPods, the company Earhoox offer a silicon jacket that has a hook which provides additional fit and keeps AirPods tight and secure in your ear.
If you lose one of them either L or R earpiece, don’t worry you can buy a single replacement AirPod from Apple.
18. Apple AirPods Ad
The ad shows a dancer freely moves without a cable or AirPods falling out. They are automatically connected to the iPhone by just by opening the case. There is a moment that when the dancer removes his AirPods, the music stops and continues when he puts them back on.
19. Apple’s iOS 10.3 Beta
This has been released and updates the “Find My iPhone” app that include the most wanted features for AirPods users: finding lost AirPods. To locate lost AirPods open the app, and if they are within Bluetooth range and connected to your phone or any iOs device with the same iCloud account, the app will locate them for you. If the are outside of Bluetooth range, the app only shows where they were last charged.
20. Custom Colors
If you like AirPods in a color other than white, ColorWare offers custom Apple AirPods with colors you can pick by yourself on their website.
21. The Future of Listening
Airpods will be a speaker option for next generation of Apple TV, TVOS 11, and they will automatically pair with Apple TV.
A US survey from Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Research suggests that Airpods are more appealing to Apple iPhone owners than the Apple watch. Slice Intelligence also reported that Apple is taking on Beats, an Apple owned brand, to become the most sold bluetooth headphones. They gained roughly 26 percent of customers’ spending in the weeks since their first launch in December. However this analysis was conducted in a short period of time.
22. Design Inspiration
Apple’s chief designer Jony Ive said the AirPods’ design was inspired by Stormtroopers.
23. PodSkinz AirPods Case
PodSkinz offer a stylish solution to secure your AirPods. This slim silicon skin fits AirPods perfectly and protects them against bumps, drops and shock.
24. Upcoming Features
Apple will add the voice activation feature to the new AirPods in 2018 together with a water-proof design. To activate Siri you will now simply say “Hey Siri”.