Apple AirPods – putting magic to the test


As with any new pieces of tech I’m always a little sceptical as to whether the price tag lives up to the novelty factor – often the novelty wears off within a few days.

Just so you know, I’m writing this honest review with no endorsement incentive (as much as I’d love to be offered the cash), unlike a lot of the reviews that topped Google before I purchased them.

An early delivery – yay for me!

When Apple announced that they were releasing the AirPods following the removal of the headphone jack for their much anticipated iPhone 7, I, like a lot of people snubbed the concept off thinking I’d cope with the supplied aux to lightning adaptor – I’ll admit I was wrong.

Apple pushed back the release date of these from the end of 2016 to be made available to order in January 2017, by the release date my mind was made up – I needed these in my life.

I ordered them via the Apple Store with an estimated delivery of February 6th so I was pretty excited last week when I had an email saying they’d been dispatched for next day delivery several weeks early!

Usability – Apple got the ‘Effortless’ part right

Straight out of the box these were ready to use, I found a quick setup guide online to check how to get them setup and it’s literally a matter of having Bluetooth enabled on your phone, opening the AirPods case near your device, and bam you’re connected.

Put them in your ears and they make a sound to say they’ve detected your ears.

Take one out and your audio pauses, and a sharp double-tap while in your ear prompts Siri to prep for a query.

Put them in the case and they charge – 15 hours for the case and 24 hours for the pods.

These are so simple to setup and even simpler to use – awesome.

Keeping them in-ear

I’m not a marathon runner, nor am I by any means a fitness fanatic, but I do attend the gym a few times per week. I have religiously worn these throughout my hour long workout, and trying them out on the various cardio machines I can openly admit there was absolutely no movement whatsoever from the pods.

Sound quality, what’s the comparison to Apple’s wired EarPods?

I have a pair of the Apple EarPods which are now thrown in the bottom of my work bag somewhere, as I find the sound quality a step down when comparing these to my shiny new AirPods. The sound is crisp, clear, and best of all they seem to offer a bit more bass than what is currently on offer with my EarPods.

Although the AirPods don’t offer a noise cancelling functionality, turn up to a decent volume (don’t deafen yourself of course) and it cancels out a good amount of external sound.

The built in microphones are pretty awesome to say the least, I have tested having just one AirPod in my ear with a call and the feedback from the call is crystal clear, and asking those on the receiving end if they can hear me ok has responded in nothing but positives.

Have I had any issues…so far?

Like most tech there’s usually something about your purchase that you might not think lives up to the hard-earned cash you’ve handed over, but with these wire-free audio amplifiers I can safely say my money was well spent.

In terms of the Bluetooth connection to my iPhone 7 I have noticed ever so slight occasional breaks in the audio being streamed – when I say occasional I mean around once in several hours of listening time. This is very minor in my opinion and I’m aware there could be several factors that can make this occur.

The only other issue I have noticed was when I had an incoming call with the AirPods in-ear and tried to answer the call by tapping my Apple Watch, the connection dropped out and the call was outputted through my phone. I do not think the AirPods were to blame however as I noticed my Bluetooth setting on my phone had actually gone AWOL, and wouldn’t let me turn it off to switch on again – it seemed the phone was the culprit as everything was fine following a restart.

Would I recommend these?

If like me, you are a user of wired earphones throughout your daily routine and you want to ditch the old fashioned cables then these are a definite win.

Sure the price tag may be quite hefty at £159 but in comparison to Apple’s Beats headphones at double the price I know the option I would choose.

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