At the launch event of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, Apple introduced their new totally wireless earbuds called AirPods.
Apple was the first phone company to totally remove the headphone jack when they introduced the iPhone 7, a move which may completely change the headphone industry. It also frustrated a lot of new iPhone owners that were not prepared and found themselves in need of a new pair of earbuds even though they had a pair which worked fine with their old phone. People have become more accustomed to “true wireless” earbuds since many competitors have entered the game to compete with Apple.
Luckily for consumers there are now many affordable and compatible alternatives like these true wireless earbuds from Langsdome which sell at a fraction of the cost and work with iOS and Android.
For the most part, audio makers are now working to produce better true wireless Bluetooth earbuds which free them from the limitations of the 3.5 mm jack used for wired headphones. Lightning jacks increase sound quality, Bluetooth pairing connectivity and stability.
The latest iPhone models don’t feature the headphone jack, but they provide EarPods with a lightning cable. If you don’t like the EarPods you have two options: wireless AirPods or wired headphones with an adapter to connect to the lightning port. Currently there are a few choices for lightning earbuds, click here to see our comparison article.
AirPods have the same appearance as Apple EarPods, but without a cord. The housing is the same except for the position of the vents. AirPods fit in the ear just like wired EarPods. Just as with the older models of EarPods, AirPods are comfortable to wear and sound good, but don’t isolate noise well because of the open design. Because of this they don’t need audio transparency features like the Dash or Gear IconX.
Apple doesn’t advertise AirPods as sports gear, rather they are for calls and music when connected with Apple devices like the iPhone and Apple Watch.
To improve the calling experience of the iPhone, the AirPods are able to filter out ambient noise by focusing on the sound of your voice. This feature is processed by the W1.
Apple developed the new W1 chip which uses ultra-low powered Bluetooth and keeps two earbuds paired without connection loss or lag, a common issue that wireless earbuds encounter. The W1 is expected to be a game changer for both Bluetooth audio and connection. It features 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 AirPod battery life is slightly better than the average wireless earbuds available today with roughly 5 hours of life. AirPods come with a travel case which double as a charging dock, provides 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 you can connect by a single tap.
Unfortunately, AirPods are only compatible with Apple devices.
To keep the AirPods from coming loose, a Korean company called Spigen, offers a simple solution: a wire to attach the independent earbuds. This way, in case the earbuds accidentally fall out, because they attached to a durable, tangle-free cable.
We’ve seen at least 13 companies, Kickstarters and Indiegogo campaigns that are competing for truly wireless earbuds, and more will surely be listed in the future. For now, the Gear IconX may be the best choice. Others have some drawbacks like bad connection or poor fit.
Apple Airpods’ highlights:
- Play time: 5 hours
- Weight: earbuds (each): 0.14 ounces (4 g)
Apple AirPods: Compatibility with iPhone models
13 things you need to know about Apple earpods