At the launch event of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, Apple introduced their new totally wireles earbuds called AirPods, which will sell for $159 and ship in October. Apple took courage to remove the headphones jack from their latest phone, which may completely change the headphone industry. For a better part, audio makers now are encouraged to produce better Bluetooth earbuds otherwise, they need to change the 3.5mm jack of wired headphones to lightning jack.
The latest iPhone don’t feature the headphone jack, but they provide earpods with lightning cable. If you don’t like the earpods you have two options: wireless Airpods or wired headphones with an adaptor to connect to the lightning port. Currently there are a few choices for lightning earbuds.
Airpods appear to be alike to the white Apple earpods without a cord, the housings are rediculously the same, except the venting positions. You wear Airpods as regular Apple wire earbuds – they fit in the ear similarly. It seems they are comfortable to wear and sound good, and as open-designed they don’t isolate noise well so they don’t need audio transparancy feature like the Dash or Gear IconX.
Apple doesn’t advertise Airpods as a sport gear, rather they are for calls and music when connected with Apple devices like Iphone and Apple Watch.
To improve calling experience, the Airpods can filter out the ambient noise by focusing on the sound of your voice. This feature is processed by the W1.
Apple developed their own patent chip W1, integrating in their product, and according to the company, the chip uses ultralow-power Bluetooth and keep two earbud paired stablely without connection loss or lagged, the common issue that wireless earbuds encounter. The W1 is expected a game-changer for both Bluetooth audio and connection. There is a built-in infrared sensor and accelerometers that will detect when you wear it and automatically play music. The accelerometers also trigger to play, pause, or skip tracks when when you tap the earbuds.
Apple AirPods battery is slightly better than average wireless earbuds available today, roughly 5 hours, but a travel case which double as charging dock, providing 24 hours of juice for earbuds. Once the earbuds are out of the case, the pairing requirement will pop up on the phone screen and it is easy to connect by a single tap.
The wireless earbuds are only compatible with Apple devices.
To keep the Airpods from loosing, Spigen, a Korean company, offers a simple solution – a wire to attach 2 independent earbuds. So just in case the earbuds accidentally fall out, they are always by your side. The spigen’s Airpods Strap is available next month for $10. It is durable, free-tangle cable.
We’ve seen at least 13 companies, Kickstarters and Indiegogo campaigns that are competing for truly wireless earbuds, more probably listed in the future. But for now only the Gear IconX may be the good choice, others repreasent some drawbacks like connection and poor fit.
Apple Airpods’ highlights:
- Price: $159
- Play time: 5 hours
- Weight: earbuds (each): 0.14 ounces (4 g)
13 things you need to know about Apple earpods