by Jim Lynch

Reviews: Are Apple’s AirPods worth buying?

Dec 14, 2016
Consumer ElectronicsiOSMobile

Are Apple’s AirPods worth your hard earned dollar? Check out these two reviews from Rolling Stone and Pocket-lint to find out.

When Apple first announced its new AirPods there was a lot of excitement among the company’s customer base. Then the release of the AirPods was delayed and some of the wind got taken out of Apple’s sails. Thankfully, the company is now shipping AirPods to eager buyers.

But are Apple’s AirPods worth buying?

So far two reviews have of the AirPods have appeared, one from Rolling Stone and the other from Pocket-lint. Find out below what the reviewers said about Apple’s leap into a wire-free future.

Rolling Stone: Apple AirPods Are Pretty F–king Cool

Greg Emmanuel of Rolling Stone was fairly impressed with Apple’s AirPods and labeled them as “pretty f-king cool” in his review.

If you’ve ever tried to set up a Bluetooth device you know the experience ranges from painful to excruciating. The AirPods by far clock the quickest time from out of the box to fully functioning of any device we’ve ever used. All you do is open the case in the vicinity of an iPhone (running iOS 10 or later) and a window pops up asking you to connect. Voila, they’re paired for life.

The AirPods are more than just earphones. As a companion to an iPhone, iPad, and even an Apple Watch, they are also a Siri machine. Instead of grabbing your phone to chat with the virtual assistant you simply double-tap on the outside of either AirPod and you summon her powers (get the weather, send a text, find a Starbucks, etc).

Taking calls (also with the same double-tap) on the other hand is a hands-free delight. The microphone is very clear, and we were even able to carry on a conversation while riding a bike. Also notable is how infrequent the AirPods drop the Bluetooth signal. While it does occasionally happen – Bluetooth is far from a perfect technology – it’s a much rarer than with similar devices on the market.

The AirPods are also cheaper than other wireless earbuds too. And while $159 is still a pretty penny to spend on far less than audiophile-grade headphones, it’s a bargain for the experience of walking around, totally wire-free, with a personal soundtrack pumped directly into your brain.

In a nutshell: pretty f—king cool.

More at Rolling Stone

Pocket-lint: AirPods are the benchmark for a wire-free future

Stuart Miles at Pocket-lint felt that Apple is setting the benchmark for a wire-free future:

Connecting the AirPods to your iPhone, and in fact any of your Apple devices, is easy: simply put the headphones and charger near your phone and that’s it. Done.

Pop the AirPods into your ears and the music starts playing. Take one out, and the music will pause – and rather than playing in stereo, will only play mono on the remaining single headphone in your ear. Remove them completely, and they automatically pause the music until you pop them back in. We do love that feature.

Want to turn the volume down? Tap the AirPod, wait for a beep, then give Siri the command, wait for that command to be processed, and then carry on. It’s the same with skipping tracks and other commands. All the while the music has stopped.

In terms of sound performance, the AirPods are virtually identical in performance to the EarPods included for free in the box. That £159 price tag is for the wire-free freedom, plus the included charger, rather than an audio upgrade.

However the AirPods are great in terms of connectivity, which is where they come into their own. They are really clever in terms of functionality and sound isolation for voice calls, whether you like the look of them or not.

The simplicity of connectivity, automated cross-device use via iCloud, and automatic stop/start controls based on whether one or both AirPods are in your ears is a glimpse into the future of wireless listening. In these regards Apple is setting the benchmark for a wire-free future.

More at Pocket-lint

So there you have it, two reviews of Apple’s AirPods. I suspect we’ll see many more in the days ahead, but these two will at least get you started in deciding whether or not to buy a pair of AirPods.

I’ll pass on Apple’s AirPods for now

I’ve decided to take a pass on Apple’s AirPods for now. While I find them to be intriguing, there’s not enough in them to get me to move away from my trusty EarPods. $159 isn’t an earth shattering price, but I just don’t see anything in the AirPods that make me want to grab a pair right now.

Plus, on a general level, it’s usually better to wait for the second generation of Apple’s products. I’ve violated that rule from time to time, but overall second generation products from Apple tend to provide better value for the money.

Now don’t get me wrong here, I think Apple’s AirPods are a great leap forward in some ways for a first generation product. But I’m in no hurry to move into the wire-free future, so I’ll hang onto to my EarPods until at least the second generation of Apple’s AirPods.

Your mileage may vary, of course. So if you buy the first generation AirPods, more power to you. You’ll probably be quite happy with them.

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