By: Nick Gambino
Well the highly anticipated and, for some, dreaded day has come. Apple’s wireless headphones, AirPods, have launched.
Ever since Apple removed the headphone jack from the iPhone 7 we’ve been waiting for these bad boys to drop to see if they’re any good and if the tech giant was justified in putting the ill-fated jack out to pasture.
Obviously the selling point for the AirPods is that you don’t have to contend with the wires. While we have gotten used to the idea of two long wires draping down from each ear, there’s no getting around the fact that it can get kind of irritating.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve caught my headphones on a doorknob and ripped them from my ears (57). So instead of trying to wrap your brains around how I accomplished that graceful feat more than once, I’d like to direct your attention to the positive aspects of this new accessory.
The AirPods are almost identical to the EarPods if the old headphones cut off right at the stems.
They are apparently pretty easy to set up, a simple one-tap setup will have you streaming audio to your ears from any of your devices. There’s a built-in sensor so it knows when it’s in your ears and will pause when taken out, saving charge.
The accompanying carrying case also doubles as a charger for the AirPods. There’s a sort of magnet in the case that keeps them snug and attached while they charge.
Siri can be activated with a simple double tap so no need to pull out your phone. Additionally, a voice accelerometer picks up when you’re speaking, filters out background noise and focuses on your voice.
So now what are the negative aspects of the AirPods? Well, for one, they’re small. Sure this means they’re less cumbersome but that also means they’re easier to lose. While Tim Cook has assured us he hasn’t had them fall out of his ears no matter the activity he was involved in, it’s still hard to imagine they won’t find some way to disappear.
They only have 5 hours of charge. While that might seem like a lot it really isn’t. I’ve easily used my headphones for longer periods of time whether at work (don’t tell) or while out and about on errands all day. I’ve never had to worry about charge with my headphones before. I’d say the ideal length of charge would be about 10 hours.
Now apparently after only 15 minutes of charging it’s got enough juice to go for 3 hours. So that’s something. I still just think they should last longer. But hey, I appreciate the innovation and maybe I’ll love them.
Apple announced the AirPods and their availability in a press release. “Available today from Apple.com and will start delivering to customers and arriving at Apple Stores, Apple Authorized Resellers and select carriers next week,” the statement reads. “AirPods will be shipping in limited quantities at launch and customers are encouraged to check online for updates on availability and estimated delivery dates.”
To use the AirPods you will need to be running iOS 10, watchOS3 or macOS Sierra depending on your device.
You can purchase them now for $159 (yikes) at Apple.com.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nick Gambino is a regular script writer and tech beat reporter for NewsWatch. He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and daughter.