Apple’s iPhone 7 made huge waves in the smartphone industry with its cutting-edge features—or lack thereof. The iPhone 7 does not have a headphone jack, thus presenting another opportunity for innovation. This missing feature was a segue into Apple’s newest product: Apple AirPods. Learn everything you need to know about the AirPods in this review and decide if they’re the right fit for you.
Basic Apple AirPods Information
The AirPods officially hit the market in mid-December of 2016. If you’re looking to add these headphones to your gear, read up on some of their basic specs before you make the purchase.
What You Get
Apple AirPods are available both online at Apple.com as well as in Apple stores. With a price tag of $159, the headphones come complete with a charging case and a lightning to USB cable. It’s important to mention that these headphones do not come with the purchase of a new iPhone 7 or 7 Plus. AirPods are always sold separately, and iPhone 7 users will either have to make do with the traditional headphones or spend the cash to upgrade to the Bluetooth headphones.
How They Work
The connection between the AirPods and other Apple products is so seamless due to the W1 chip installed in the headphones. This Apple-exclusive chip is responsible for providing users with a host of neat features. The AirPods take “smart” to a higher level and can detect when they’re physically in your ears. Even further, the headphones can recognize when you remove one or both of them which will automatically pause your music. The headphones are also equipped with recognizing your voice, and honing in on that sound rather than background noise while you’re talking on the phone, too.
The W1 chip also shows its strength in the battery life of the AirPods. Apple says the AirPods can handle 5 hours of music time, 2 hours of talk time, and a quick 15-minute charge can provide 3 hours of juice. As a backup, the charging case that comes with the AirPods is equipped with 24 hours of power, too. To charge the headphones, place them in their respective spots in the case and let them sit for a few minutes. A lightning to USB cable is needed to charge the case.
What They Work With
The AirPods work with just about every existing Apple product. To see if your device is compatible, you can see a complete list here. To connect the headphones to your iPhone, just open the AirPods case near your iPhone and select the “Connect” option when prompted.
It’s also possible to connect the headphones to a non-Apple device, but some of its main features won’t work. But, for basic listening, the headphones are a still a great option. To learn how to connect your headphones to a non-Apple device, follow these steps.
Making a Decision
Though most of the reviews on Apple AirPods are positive with fans loving the cordless experience, there are a few shortcomings. Some Apple fans pointed out the likelihood of misplacing one of the AirPods since they’re so small and cord-free. As a response, Apple created a feature located within the “Find my iPhone App” which will help you locate the lost AirPod(s). To see how this works, check out this guide. If you still can’t find a lost headphone, you can either purchase a replacement one for $69 from Apple or bite the bullet and purchase a new set.
If you’d prefer to take more precautionary measures for keeping your AirPods in sight, consider purchasing a cable. Though this defeats the purpose of having a cordless listening experience, it does make keeping track of the headphones easier.
Another possible pitfall to the AirPods is their overall design. The design of the earpiece that sits in your ear is the same as Apple’s other headphones. If the previous model of Apple headphones did not fit comfortably and securely in your ears, the AirPods won’t either. However, if you’ve had luck with the previous headphones, then you shouldn’t have any issues with the fit of the AirPods. This point is subject to each user but should be considered before making a purchase.
If you’re crazy about wireless headphones but aren’t sure if the AirPods are for you, there are some other comparable options to consider.
Apple rolled out the BeatsX earphones in February. While these earphones are not entirely wireless and feature a cord connecting the two earphones, they did get Apple’s stamp of approval. The earphones are $149.95 from Apple.com and come in 4 color options. Apple also features a few other Beats options to choose from that are all also good alternatives to AirPods.
SmartOMI Boots Mini Bluetooth Wireless Headphones
At just $69.99, these headphones are a steal. They are budget-friendly and even feature most of the same capabilities as AirPods. These headphones are also Apple and Android compatible and are available on Amazon.
If you have any questions on smartphone accessories or need an audio repair on your phone, stop by your local CPR location! Our experienced technicians are happy to help you find the best accessories for your needs, or even give your phone a quick tune up. Find a CPR store here for expert tech advice and repair services.