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Apple's AirPods have dominated the "truly wireless" earphones market in the U.S. since launching in December, according to new market research conducted by NPD Group. The industry analyst's Retail Tracking Service found that AirPods accounted for 85 percent of over 900,000 wireless earbuds sold since the start of the year.

Apple's success in the emerging market was put down to brand resonance, disruptive pricing, and excitement over the AirPods' W1 chip, which significantly improves the Bluetooth connection and facilitates transfers between different devices. "With a use case centering on frictionless access to Siri and other tasks initiated by voice, AirPods really act as an extension of the iPhone," said NPD executive director Ben Arnold, calling Apple's wireless earbuds "a computing device for the ear".

airpods-box-800x513.jpg
Apple's early domination of the category will continue to challenge competing brands entering the totally wireless market. New entrants will have to provide some differentiation in features, sound quality, or associated services and applications in order to stand out. Consumer reception of wireless earbuds is still forming, even as their use case continues to evolve. As Alexa skills and other voice-first content diversifies, headphones, including totally wireless earbuds, are the leading candidate to be the next piece of hardware to drive digital assistant adoption.
Standout competing brands cited by NPD Group included Samsung's "headphones-slash-fitness tracker", IconX, which features an optical heart rate tracker and 4GB of memory for music storage, and The Dash from Bragi, featuring an ARM Cortex M4 CPU, as well as 27 sensors designed to detect movement and voice input.

"For these products, audio quality remains important, but takes a backseat to new capabilities added on top of the sound experience," said Arnold. "With this in mind, it's not hard to imagine a collection of mobile apps optimized for a voice interface similar to the growing ecosystem of Alexa skills."

Apple's Siri is set to gain enhancements with the launch of iOS 11, which could make the company's AirPods an even more attractive proposition going into the holiday season. For the first time, the virtual assistant will sync what it learns about a user across their devices, and will also be able to perform translations from English to five languages, including Chinese and French.

Apple recently improved its shipping estimates from six weeks down to two to three weeks in many countries, after months of struggling to cater to demand. During Apple's third quarter earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook said AirPods capacity had been bumped up and that the company was "working very hard" to get AirPods to customers as quickly as possible.

Article Link: Apple's AirPods 'Dominating' Emerging Wireless Earbuds Market, Say Analysts
 
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Dilster3k

macrumors 6502a
Jul 20, 2014
790
3,206
While the AirPods are absolutely fantastic, very cost-effective compared to other alternatives with only a few flaws...

I think it's unfair to judge this early. Most companies haven't really gotten on the bandwagon yet. Solutions by Samsung & Sony barely have any marketing backing them; and their main competitor is the startup Bragi - that costs double the price and isn't widely known. Beats, Bose, etc. haven't even stepped into the field and B&O only recently announced their wireless buds.

AirPods will be true dominants once economies of scale kick-in and Apple is willing to pack them into each iPhone.
 
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Ted13

macrumors 6502a
Dec 29, 2003
661
351
NYC
Apple's competitors don't have anything resembling the W1 chip - until they do, they have no way to seriously compete against the Apple AirPods or the wireless W1 equipped Beats 1 devices.

It may be a couple of years before they do.
 

KUKitch

macrumors 6502
Jan 10, 2008
449
285
England
As somebody who's had wireless bluetooth headsets since probably 2009-10, or whenever the first Jaybird headphone were available - the AirPods are pretty much the ideal that I'd been hoping for all these years, and a nice step up from the Bragi Dash, which I had before and were just not there yet... it may still be early for the fully wireless types, but the wireless market has certainly been around awhile, and these have (reportedly) just blown it all up so far.
 

Maetzle

macrumors 6502
Jun 2, 2014
253
326
AirPods will be true dominants once economies of scale kick-in and Apple is willing to pack them into each iPhone.

In my opinion (hopefully I'm wrong) it's more likely that Apple would just not pack any headphones with their iPhones at all anymore (in case they remove the Lightning port as well years in the future).
 

RamGuy

macrumors 65816
Jun 7, 2011
1,225
1,493
Norway
Do they fit any better than the earbuds that come included with every iPhone? Because those just fall out of my ear.

It's pretty much the same "fit", but they certainly don't fall out like the EarPods due to the lack of cable. I can't use the EarPods due to how uncomfortable they feel in my ear and how easy and how often they fall out. But I have no issues with the AirPods. I even use them while jogging and doing workouts without any issues.
 

haruhiko

macrumors 603
Sep 29, 2009
6,323
5,215
AirPods / EarPods just falls out of my ears with too much background noise. BeatsX is the best alternative for me right now.
 
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mhuggett

macrumors member
Sep 2, 2012
41
24
Prince Edward island
I finally got a pair and although not perfect, my experience is greater than expected. As someone else noted, volume control is missing. My primary use case is sleeping at night. I need ambient sound of some kind to drift off, in past I would use wired headphones and end up with all kinds of issues, breaking them, sore ears, wrapped cable, yanked phone off table (due to moving). then went to beats, which was better, but still didn't want both in my ears so I can still hear around me, and the cable would wrap with eventually breaking.

These are the ideal solution for this specific use case. I can put one in, on the side I don't sleep on. I can hear the audio, as well as remain aware of my surroundings. Sometimes it falls out during the night and I Find it on my pillow. Never lost one. Ears don't hurt, phone doesn't go flying, and I don't have to bother anyone else by playing on a speaker.

I would like an over the ear version for when coding at the computer as these sitting in my ear all day then in the night would hurt my ears....

Still head and shoulders over prior solutions.
 

djcerla

macrumors demi-god
Apr 23, 2015
2,241
11,482
Italy
I gifted my girfriend the AirPods just after release last Christmas (and resisted the temptation to resell them on eBay for €500)

She only has praises for the product, that she uses mostly for phone calls and running. She says battery life lasts "forever".

I'm still rocking my Powerbeats 2 as I need volume control.
 
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Nicksd84

macrumors 6502a
Mar 4, 2010
583
755
Atlanta, GA
Do they fit any better than the earbuds that come included with every iPhone? Because those just fall out of my ear.

I know it sounds asinine, but when Tim
Cook said the cord actually pulls the bud out of your ear it's true. The EarPods never stayed in my ears, but the airpods do and it's primarily because of the wire. I'd just try em out and if they don't work return them. Convenience aside, my favorite use of them is probably phone calls.
 

KUKitch

macrumors 6502
Jan 10, 2008
449
285
England
I know it sounds asinine, but when Tim
Cook said the cord actually pulls the bud out of your ear it's true. The EarPods never stayed in my ears, but the airpods do and it's primarily because of the wire. I'd just try em out and if they don't work return them. Convenience aside, my favorite use of them is probably phone calls.

Agreed, the cord definitely affects it... I did get a set of Earhoox (or whatever they are) from Spigen for athletic stuff and they're perfect with that. Love the tap to skip feature in iOS 11 as well, and they are definitely super convenient for phone calls
 

BigJayhawk

macrumors regular
Jan 8, 2003
225
147
New Jersey
In my opinion, one of Apple's BEST INVENTIONS OF ALL TIME FOR THE SPACE (and I've owned ALL of Apple's products).

I am on the phone my developers sometimes 6-10 hours daily. The AirPods are an absolute GODSEND. I can listen in mono (I always have one or the other in) OR stereo at times for isolated, full-attention-needed calls. Battery lasts FOREVER in mono (just swap to a new side and drop the other in charger) and actually is similar in stereo (just drop ONE AT A TIME in the charger for 5-10 minutes when they get low and you are back in business). I always have one or the other in during the day around the office and in the car. I can now tell the difference in all of the audio notifications without bothering others (I get too many different types of notifications to rely on vibrations).

I have also found a renewed musical listening habit since getting AirPods. Whether I am alone and I pop in the INSTANT-CONNECT STEREO by adding a second AirPod -- or -- just let Pandora continue in one ear between calls, etc. the battery life (and charging process noted above) yields ALL DAY MUSIC.

The combination that Apple AirPods provide really pays for a set of Stereo Wireless Headphones with a charge case and a virtually ENDLESS SUPPLY of Mono Wireless headsets for mono phone calls because you can just keep charging them and charging them. I think I went several days on a trip once without any charging to the case and only at the very end did I hit the one time my AirPods case ran out of juice. Only took about 10 minutes on charge and the AirPods themselves were back to near-full capacity.

LOVE THEM!

(And by the way, as I've noted elsewhere, they do not fall out because there is no chord to pull them out. They only fall out when you hit your head or ear on something - and that ALSO hurts your head/ear so it is easy to notice. You also immediately notice if one falls out because the music stops - so roll over and brush your pillow if you've fallen asleep and you notice they come out because the audio stops.)
 

JimKas

macrumors newbie
Nov 7, 2014
6
2
Chicago Area
I would buy a pair in a heartbeat if they would stay in my ears. I tried them on in an Apple store, and just as the wired ones do, they fall out at the slightest motion.
 

democracyrules

Suspended
Nov 18, 2016
997
609
In my opinion, one of Apple's BEST INVENTIONS OF ALL TIME FOR THE SPACE (and I've owned ALL of Apple's products).

I am on the phone my developers sometimes 6-10 hours daily. The AirPods are an absolute GODSEND. I can listen in mono (I always have one or the other in) OR stereo at times for isolated, full-attention-needed calls. Battery lasts FOREVER in mono (just swap to a new side and drop the other in charger) and actually is similar in stereo (just drop ONE AT A TIME in the charger for 5-10 minutes when they get low and you are back in business). I always have one or the other in during the day around the office and in the car. I can now tell the difference in all of the audio notifications without bothering others (I get too many different types of notifications to rely on vibrations).

I have also found a renewed musical listening habit since getting AirPods. Whether I am alone and I pop in the INSTANT-CONNECT STEREO by adding a second AirPod -- or -- just let Pandora continue in one ear between calls, etc. the battery life (and charging process noted above) yields ALL DAY MUSIC.

The combination that Apple AirPods provide really pays for a set of Stereo Wireless Headphones with a charge case and a virtually ENDLESS SUPPLY of Mono Wireless headsets for mono phone calls because you can just keep charging them and charging them. I think I went several days on a trip once without any charging to the case and only at the very end did I hit the one time my AirPods case ran out of juice. Only took about 10 minutes on charge and the AirPods themselves were back to near-full capacity.

LOVE THEM!

(And by the way, as I've noted elsewhere, they do not fall out because there is no chord to pull them out. They only fall out when you hit your head or ear on something - and that ALSO hurts your head/ear so it is easy to notice. You also immediately notice if one falls out because the music stops - so roll over and brush your pillow if you've fallen asleep and you notice they come out because the audio stops.)
Totally agree with the above comment. AirPods is indeed the best Apple innovation in the planet. They never fall out from my ears as others claim during weight lifting, cardio, etc. nothing can defeat its convenience, especially no cable between them and it is a total freedom feeling. Kudos to Apple
 

Superhappytree

macrumors 6502a
Sep 10, 2015
938
3,157
Cumbria
I’ve never seen as much wide praise for an Apple product as much as I’ve seen for the AirPods. Every time I see an article about them, there’s proof in the comments of how satisfied people are with them. Even on sites where you expect there to be the most critical of people. It actually makes me want to try them out myself and I don’t even bother with earphones.
 

F1PR

macrumors newbie
Sep 4, 2017
1
1
Do they fit any better than the earbuds that come included with every iPhone? Because those just fall out of my ear.
Fitment is a hit or miss, in my case they fall off almost instantly. Besides sound is subpar and uncomfortable to wear due to hard plastic. They dont seal the ear canal which hampers sound delivery. For that price you can have a more serious, quality earbuds...and im not talking about beats...those are hyped trash.
 
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