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As we turn our backs on old, wired technology (who needs it, right?), Apple are keeping right on top of the changing trends with the Apple AirPods: basically Apple EarPpods reimagined for the wireless world.

Now, some of us love Apple and some of us… well, let’s just say we’d prefer a pear… but whatever your feelings about the brand, you won’t be able to deny that these things are incredibly nifty. With instant connection to your Apple device (yes, even to your Apple Watch 3!), and with automatic play/pause as you insert and remove the pods, the Apple AirPods are probably the most no-fuss technology out there.
 

The Apple of Your Eye?

They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but you’ve really got to look deep to find anything nice to say about the AirPods. It’s not that they’re actively ugly, because they’re not, but they’re not quite up to the sleek and suave standard that we’d expect from a 2016 Apple product. Remember the iPhone bluetooth headset from way back in 2007? Imagine that… in white. Not bad, but not catwalk-worthy.
 

Quality & Functionality: The Big Debate

Sound quality from the Apple AirPods is fine. Not good, not bad, but fine. If you’ve got the old wired EarPods, then what I’m saying is don’t be expecting any sort of quality upgrade here. So the question is, why hasn’t the sound quality improved any from the 2012 EarPods? Hasn’t technology advanced since then? Of course it has! We now have pizza scissors for Pete’s sake! You’d have to ask Apple why they’ve failed to make sound the most important aspect of their earphones, but I do have an inkling: Siri.

Apple, it seems, have decided to focus on Siri integration here. The AirPods are massively Siri centric, with Siri being the easiest and quickest way to change volume, skip a song, and so on. You’re going to find yourself needing to talk to Siri a lot if you want any sort of control over your playlist, even when you’re out in public, so these are not the earphones you want if you suffer from social anxiety! You can, of course, use your phone to control the AirPods, but it’s a bit of a palava. On the plus side, the microphone is excellent, so if you’ve never gotten along well with Siri in the past, give her another shot.
 

Perfect Pairings

We’ve already mentioned that the AirPods are compatible with the Apple Watch 3, but let’s not forget that they also work with iPhones, iPads, Apple TV, and even Macs. How about Non-Apple devices? Well, technically yes, they are compatible with alternative brands and off-brand products, but Apple obviously isn’t too happy about you using their products for evil. How do I know? Firstly, trying to set the AirPods up with non-Apple devices is trickier than pretending you don’t want that last slice of pizza (can you tell I’m thinking about Pizza today?). Secondly, the USP (voice control) is completely lost without Apple.
 

All Charged Up

The Apple AirPods feature the custom-designed low power W1 chip. If you’re not sure whether that’s good or not, keep in mind that the BeatsX, Beats PowerBeats 3 Wireless, and Beats Solo3 Wireless headphones also have the exact same chip. So yeah, it’s pretty good! The chip is responsible for the effortless device syncing, but it’s also responsible for the incredible battery life of the AirPods. 15 minutes charge time gives you around 3 hours of playback, while a full charge can last for 5 hours.
 

Jump In or Act Cool?

We’re in the age of technology, and tech firms are constantly churning out new products (my bank balance really isn’t too appreciative of this). So is it worth jumping in now and getting the Apple AirPods, or waiting for the rumoured AirPods 2? Honestly, if you’d asked me this a few months back, I would have said wait it out, but we all thought Apple would have announced them by now! Instead, they announced an improved charging case for the existing AirPods, so it looks like they are sticking around for now.
 

Final Thoughts

They’re good. Whether or not they’re great really depends on what you’re looking for from an earphone. Unbeatable sound quality? Nah, you’re not going to get that here. You’ll get good sound, sure, but it won’t be knock-your-socks-off, tell-your-friends good. If you’re willing to compromise on sound quality for the addition of a few extra features, like instant connectivity, autoplay, Siri integration, and a low-power, long lasting W1 Apple chip, then you’re gonna be pretty happy with the Apple Airpods.

What’s in the Box

  • Apple AirPods (MMEF2ZM/A)
  • AirPods Charging Case

Apple AirPods
Design72%
Feel75%
Sound Quality89%
Durability67%
76%Overall Score
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