Apple AirPods Review
June 9, 2017 — by Per Christensson
When Apple announced the AirPods last fall, I wasn't too excited. I didn't understand why there was so much news coverage about them. I didn't get why so many people rushed to preorder them. They're just wireless headphones, right?
As the running season approached, I decided it was time to invest in some new headphones. I had recently bought my Apple Watch and needed a wireless pair to use with them. I looked at a few options and did some research. The AirPods, which I had previously been disinterested in, rose to the top of my list. I went to buy some at the Apple Store and of course they did not have any in stock. I put in my order and received the AirPods about a month later.
I've been using the AirPods for about a month and they are simply amazing. Why? Here are three reasons:
The AirPods sound incredible. They are as good, if not better than the Lightning headset that comes with the iPhone 7. They have crystal clear highs and surprisingly full bass. The overall frequency response is smooth and they don't hurt my ears, even after long periods of listening.
Additionally, the built-in microphone works great and I often use the AirPods to make calls with my iPhone. So far, everyone says the sound quality and their end is really good. Occassionally, I get a little static or breakup in the signal because of the Bluetooth connection, but it is rare. Overall, the AirPods serve as a convenient alternative to a wired headset.
3. Form Factor
Like most Apple products, the AirPods are meticulously designed. They are as small as possible, while still providing great sound and good battery life. Most importantly, they don't fall out. I have walked, jogged, sprinted, lifted weights, and cross trained with the AirPods and they haven't fallen out once. The only time they have come out of my ears accidentally is when I am changing shirts. (It's actually pretty difficult to remove a shirt without removing your AirPods a the same time.)
My only gripe when working out is that it takes awhile to start my music on my Apple Watch (since I don't carry my iPhone with me). I have to reselect my Apple Watch as the music source every time since it is not the default option. The Bluetooth connection also drops occasionally when I am on the edge of the reception distance from my iPhone in the locker room. Both of these issues are more related to the Apple Watch than the iPhone, but they take away from what would otherwise be a perfect user experience.
These small issues aside, the sleekness of the AirPods combined with their integration with the Apple Watch makes them the ideal choice for listening to some tunes while running or working out. There is simply no other solution that is more lightweight. Below are two photos comparing my previous running gear to my new solution. Before, I had an iPod nano, an armband, Apple headphones with BudFits ear hooks, a Garmin running watch, and a chest strap heart rate monitor. Now, I have AirPods and Apple Watch.
This is technological progress at its finest.
The best feature of the AirPods IMO is the battery — well actually, the three batteries. Each AirPod has a tiny battery that supports up to 24 hours of wireless usage. That is incredible when you consider how small the AirPods are and then how much smaller the battery is within each headphone.
The AirPods case doubles as a standalone charger, and therefore also includes a battery. Each time you put the AirPods in the case, they automatically recharge. This makes these headphones perfect for working out at the gym. I just place the AirPods in their case after my workout and throw the case in my workout bag. Each time I start my workout, the AirPods are fully charged. After a month of working out three times a week for about 45 minutes, the case still had some charge left. I only have to charge the case about once a month, which is much less often and much more convenient than I expected.
Apple was not overstating the truth when they announced they reinvented the headphone. These wireless headphones are futuristic compared to every other option available. I've been working out for over a decade and I've never worn headphones because I've found them intrusive and annoying. Now I'm actually listening to music as I work out and it's entirely because of the AirPods and Apple Watch.