AirPods on an Airplane, sadly not good

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by chriscrowlee, Dec 27, 2016.

  1. chriscrowlee macrumors 65816

    chriscrowlee

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2015
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #1
    I used my Airpods on several flights over the last week of owning them. I will say I am disappointed, as much as I love the product. The Airpods are nowhere near loud enough to be a viable option for airline use. Obviously different aircraft and position in the cabin will alter this a bit, I have to say I'm disappointed.

    The volume isn't enough. I'll admit I like to crank a song when it's a good one and Airpods just don't have the volume to allow you to crank it.

    The noise isolation is horrific. Literally you hear everything going on around you. The crying babies, the people coughing, the noise of the plane etc.

    Admittedly I've always used noise isolating (not noise cancelling) earbuds that create a nice seal in the ear that drowns out much (not all) of the ambient noise around me. Additionally, that seal of the noise isolating earbuds makes for bass which is 10x better.

    Hopefully when the Beats X come out this will solve the issues I have with these earbuds. These buds are good for use at home and in quiet settings, but definitely disappointed me during a week of air travel. Maybe it's only part a product issue and part an issue where I'm used to better sound quality (even out of a $25 paid or Sennheiser Earbuds), but it just disappointed, bummer.

    Thought I'd share. The earbuds are great for some environments, but awful for air travel and train travel etc... any ambient noise is a huge distraction.
     
  2. eroslws macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2011
    #2
    To each his own. I found them more than satisfying and I'm a frequent traveller (2x a week). I don't like anything that sticks into my ear (comply tips, etc.) or stuff that goes over my ear so the AirPods and EarPod are as good as it gets.
     
  3. chriscrowlee thread starter macrumors 65816

    chriscrowlee

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    San Diego, CA
    #3
    You haven't used them on a plane, why would you defend them when you haven't even used them? Yesterday you posted that you were getting them today. I have a hard time believing that anyone who has used them on a plane doesn't find slight flaw at minimum.

    You're welcome to come back once you've actually used them on a plane and follow up, but for now, you're just making "fake news" on MR. :)
     
  4. GalaDaliGirl macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2014
    #4
    This is why I could never use EarPods in NYC.

    I don't know how people can use either in the gym or on a plane OR subway.

    My $29 Amazon Bluetooth headset cuts out all other noise.

    Oh and they're only $29 and don't require Siri to control.
     
  5. eroslws macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2011
    #5
    No; not fake news. I have them in possession now and they sound just like my EarPods. My EarPods serve me fine on a plane. You said you've only used noise cancelling headphones in-flight. No **** these aren't going to be good.
     
  6. chriscrowlee thread starter macrumors 65816

    chriscrowlee

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    Aug 10, 2015
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    San Diego, CA
    #6
    Yeah, I guess I should have also said I have never used Apple Earpods because of the lack of noise isolation. Not sure how people can watch videos\movies or even listen to music with all the background noise. :-(
    --- Post Merged, Dec 27, 2016 ---
    You haven't used them on a plane. Your comment gave personal testimony that the Airpods are fine on a plane. You wouldn't know as you haven't even tried. NO, it's NOT the same as Earpods because they don't have the volume limitation that comes with bluetooth earbuds that rely on battery.

    And no, I never said I ever have used noise cancelling. READ next time. I said noise isolating. But then again you likely don't know the difference since you don't seem to even care to read.
     
  7. eroslws macrumors 6502

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    Aug 18, 2011
    #7
    Cutting noise is dangerous during running and other physical activity where you are exposed to hazards like traffic. I never understood why PowerBeats and JayBirds are marketed to runners.
     
  8. chriscrowlee thread starter macrumors 65816

    chriscrowlee

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    Aug 10, 2015
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    San Diego, CA
    #8
    Do you run in traffic?

    If you're incapable of being aware of your surroundings without sacrificing sound quality, you might as well buy $9.99 crap bluetooth earbuds on amazon.

    The point of headphones on a plane is to hear your music\video\etc not the crying baby two rows away, but hey, seems there's a lot of "apple can do no bad" defending going on in here tonight.
     
  9. friedmud macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    #9
    I love my AirPods... but I'll continue using my Beats Studio Wireless on flights... different headphones for different purposes.

    As for walking in the city: I'm preferring the AirPods. I like to be able to hear some of the city around me... makes me feel safer.
     
  10. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

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    Apr 2, 2006
    Location:
    Shropshire, UK
    #10
    They're deliberately designed to have no noise isolation so it's not exactly surprising that they don't really work in very noisy environments

    Have you considered trying silicone covers when you need noise isolation?

    I don't know if it would be technically possible but it would be really cool if they could somehow use the built in microphones to do active noise cancelling - it would probably dramatically affect battery life but on the occasions you really need it, it could be a good option.
     
  11. chriscrowlee thread starter macrumors 65816

    chriscrowlee

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    San Diego, CA
    #11
    Kinda what I was thinking as well as far as use. For an earbud for convo in the car, or for around town\work\home, they're FANTASTIC. The only issue I have had is on planes. Thinking of grabbing a pair of the Bose QC35s now that they've shrunk down the carry case a bit, or maybe just hold out for the Beats X. I don't really need noise cancelling, just noise isolation is good enough for me.

    Part of the issue for me is without noise isolation, bass is almost non-existent on airpods.
    --- Post Merged, Dec 27, 2016 ---
    They don't have silicon covers for Airpods... the design isn't such that they go into the ear canal like a noise isolation earbud does, so it'd still be half-baked. I really think the Beats X will solve my complaints about Airpods and come with the easy pairing of the W1 chip I am enjoying. I wish the Beats X would hurry and come out!
     
  12. eroslws macrumors 6502

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    Aug 18, 2011
    #12
    I live in Los Angeles; I don't have the luxury of not running or biking in traffic. AirPods were advertised as Bluetooth EarPods. They are not some magical device that works in every situation and for all individuals. If EarPods did not work for you for whatever you were doing, these will not work either.
     
  13. chriscrowlee thread starter macrumors 65816

    chriscrowlee

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    San Diego, CA
    #13
    I live in San Francisco and LA is a quiet suburb comparatively ... I don't run in traffic. But then again I think anyone who rides their bike on the street with ANY sort of headphones is a complete moron. In fact it's illegal (even tho rarely enforced). Moot point.

    Regardless, the subject here is airplanes. Don't think a car is going to run you over on a flight to Tokyo, but anyhow... glad you feel you need to be prepared in the event it happens someday, hehe
     
  14. skizuki macrumors newbie

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    Nov 22, 2016
    #14
    chriscrowlee: same here, I travel a lot and all I need is a good nap on plane/car. I have tried airpods in Apple store and can't stand the noise isolation problem, and I have bought PowerBeats3 finally.
     
  15. chriscrowlee thread starter macrumors 65816

    chriscrowlee

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    #15
    how do you like them? do they create a seal in the ear? I just don't like the over-ear loop :-(
     
  16. AlphaHumanus macrumors 6502

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    Feb 12, 2012
    #16
    I'm surprised how die-hard people seem to be about noise cancellation. The sensation is unnerving to me, regardless of situation.

    I've never been on a plane; are they that loud? Do AirPods only stay whisper quiet? I don't get it.
     
  17. kjparfekt macrumors regular

    kjparfekt

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    Sep 24, 2012
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #17
    I agree with several posters about different headphones for different situations. I like AirPods for working out/running.

    I love being able to take out an AirPod and have the music pause for a conversation. I also like being more present when running like others have said about traffic.

    On the flip side I have custom molded adapters for my Jaybird Freedoms that do an amazing job of keeping outside noises out. I can watch something on ESPN on my iPad in the same room as my girl friend while she watches tv on a high volume no problem.

    Definitely will break down to preference and situation but I don't think anyone can argue with how nice it is to have no wires between the devices or tethering you to your phone.
     
  18. Lobwedgephil macrumors 68040

    Lobwedgephil

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    Apr 7, 2012
    #18
    I flew two flights in the last few days and they were fine, they aren't noise cancellation, but they aren't claimed to be. A tad bit better then EarPods, but similar.
     
  19. Puonti macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 14, 2011
    #19
    As someone who finds active noise cancellation pleasant, I can understand why some people might feel strongly about it. It's a very good feature for certain situations, such as days at the office when you need to concentrate on something - or indeed airplanes.

    Yes, airplanes can get loud if you happen to sit right behind the engines on a window seat. The longest exposure is not necessarily to the loudest noise level, but it's a steady pressure on the ears that can last for hours - worth doing something about especially if you're a frequent flyer.

    The best way is to first isolate as much of the noise as possible, because that cuts down on the pressure. It's unhealthy to fight noise with noise alone. Once you diminish the outside noise as much as you can, ANC helps mask much of what remains, leaving you with minimal outside distraction (there is no perfectly silent ANC, because by its very nature that's impossible) or, if you want, a semi-quiet environment in which to listen to audio.

    The plane itself isn't the only source of noise though. As was mentioned, the other travellers might cause considerable noise too. And unlike engine noise which is like a steady loop of sound, conversation is potentially more distracting as you are likely to pick out words even if you don't want to, ruining concentration. ANC is better against constant, engine type noise, but it can still sufficiently mask conversation.
     
  20. skizuki, Dec 28, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2016

    skizuki macrumors newbie

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    Nov 22, 2016
    #20
    it's nice, especially I got them with a discounted price from Amazon Black Friday. Although it's a little bit delay (like 0.2sec) on mobile game, the noise isolation is really good (I use the biggest buds). The weight is light and I feel nothing on my ear when sleeping on the plane.

    To AlphaHumanus: I travel a lot in Asia, especially in China, and you can't imagine how loud they talk... LOL (no offense).
     
  21. The Game 161 macrumors G5

    The Game 161

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #21
    I get what you're saying

    anytime i went on a plane i felt my earbuds weren't amazing on a plane due to the sound of the plane and the overall amount of sounds there are.

    Air pods are great and love them but if i was going to go on a plane i would obviously still take my air pods but the solo3 would be what i use on a plane first due to this reason.
     
  22. dotnet, Dec 28, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2016

    dotnet macrumors 6502a

    dotnet

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    Sydney, Australia
    #22
    Yes, unnerving is the right word. I can't stand it, I need audible clues about my environment. I used to have a nice sounding set of Etymotics in-ears, I just couldn't use them. Not noticing people talking to me until they grab me by the shoulder was not a nice experience. All other headphones I own are open designs, starting from Koss KSC-35 all the way up to Alessandro MS-Pro. I wouldn't have it any other way.

    No, they're not. Maybe the OP likes to travel in a DC-3 :rolleyes:
    --- Post Merged, Dec 28, 2016 ---
    With the average volume of iTunes and Apple Music tracks listening to AirPods at max volume for extended periods of time is definitely going to cause hearing damage.
     
  23. EDH667 macrumors 6502a

    EDH667

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    Nov 25, 2009
    Location:
    Northern California
    #23
    I have both the QC35's for noise cancellation and the Aipods for walking/exercising etc. I don't think there is the perfect headphones for both environments. Like others have said, you don't want severe noise isolation when you are running/walking in public for safety reasons. When I fly, I love the noise cancellation of the QC35's and also have the added benefit of hooking into the onboard entertainment systems.
     
  24. blairh macrumors 68030

    blairh

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    Dec 11, 2007
    #24
    This was one of the reasons I returned mine. Along with mediocre sound and lack of inline controls.
     
  25. whsbuss macrumors 68040

    whsbuss

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    May 4, 2010
    Location:
    SE Penna.
    #25
    Exactly. Noise cancelation (active or passive) is required on planes IMO. AirPods are not engineered for that purpose. Why would you even start a discussion on something like this? Not a Bose fan, but their new QC35s work very well on planes
     

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