AirPods: Listen Different

If you enjoy dancing around the house with your headphones on, you’re going to love the AirPods.

As someone who runs a music and pop-culture website, I’ve listening to music basically all the time. My music library lives with me where ever I go. I’ll be listening to new music in the “For You” section of Apple Music, hit up my elusive driving mix on the road, and tune into Zane Lowe while wandering the streets of Toronto. In each of these situations, I have the ideal speakers to listen to my music. However, I’ve never liked wires hanging out of my cheap earbuds and pulling down on my ears. 

Design-wise, on the surface, they look pretty much identical to the iconic wired EarPods everyone knows so well. The AirPods have their cables snipped off, the base is a little more extended to house the microphones to talk. There are also gyroscopes and accelerometers that allow you to tap to pause and double tap to summon Siri Proximity sensors are built into the AirPods. As soon as you put them in your ear, they activate and being playing. When you take one out, they pause. They are surprisingly very comfortable, fit snug, and don’t fall out. It  It wasn’t really a surprise for the initial backlash. Skeptics complained when Apple announced that the iPhone 7 would not have a 3.5mm headphone jack. If someone is going to ditch old legacy technology, it’s going to be Apple.

On the inside, is a world of a new technology. Apple custom made the W1 chip which essentially solves many of the problems people associated with wireless bluetooth headphones in the past. Inconveniences such as poor pairing, unstable connection, and slow response times are over come with this elegant solution. You just flip open the AirPod case and interact with the notification on your iPhone and it’s all set up as well as across all of your iCloud devices. These hark back to the “it just works” motto.

The AirPods will last around 5 hours, and the battery case which admitted looks like a floss container can recharge up to 20 hours. 15 minutes will give you a solid 3 hours extra. The only issue I ran into during my testing, was microwaves. If you’re using them while warming up pizza pockets in the lunch room, the signal will cut out. 

Most importantly, the sound quality is shockingly good. The bass is totally there. It’s definitely way better than the standard wired EarPods. It’s no Beats Studio or Bose QC35, but for earbuds so small, I am so impressed. 

The AirPods are just the beginning of Apple’s wireless future as Chief Design Officer Sir Jony Ive envisions. And these technical achievements are an unprecedented first step towards that.

About author

Chief Editor & Founder of Live in Limbo. Host & Producer of the Capsule Podcast. Sean is an award-winning photographer and Nikon Professional Services member. His work has appeared on the CBC, Pitchfork, and MUCH. He is an Academy Delegate at the JUNOs (CARAS) and has been involved in the Toronto music scene since 2005. He is also an endurance and CrossFit athlete. You should follow him on Twitter @SeanChin.