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Have AirPods fixed most problems with wireless earphones?

  • Yes

    Votes: 19 45.2%
  • No

    Votes: 23 54.8%

  • Total voters
    42

Appleaker

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jun 13, 2016
2,197
4,193
One of the main arguments against the removal of the headphone jack is that wireless audio is not at a stage where it can replace wired. I said the only way they would remove it is if they improved wireless earphones in the following ways:
  1. Remove pairing, and make them connect by touching them together (NFC)
  2. Improve the quality of the audio.
  3. Improve the reliability of the connection.
  4. Make recharging fast and simple.
  5. Make miracles happen with battery life.
I am confident that 1 was basically fulfilled as there is no more pairing, and points 2 and 3 were achieved. As for point 4, I suppose it was met but I was thinking more of lightning fast charging (not possible now we know it has no cable/in-line controller.

However, I wouldn't agree that they managed to do point 5. Having said that, the W1 chip brings massive improvements in battery life given the size of the batteries and the extra battery in the case compensates for the 5 hour playback time. Also, it could be extended to 10 hours if you only use 1 AirPod.

Although they didn't do point 5, they made some major advancements in areas I didn't even think about - turning on or off when out of the ear, detecting if one or two are being used, including a batter case with wireless charging, etc.

Basically, Apple have fixed wireless earphones and I can't wait until the technology rolls out for all products.


As I have said in the past, I believe the primary reason they did it is to push wireless technology to the next level. So get rid of 3.5mm on their most popular product and you make companies want to make better earphones. So maybe it was a necessary move.

But... none of this means that I agree with getting rid of the it :D
 

Channan

macrumors 68030
Mar 7, 2012
2,878
3,090
New Orleans
I don't have an issue using wireless headphones. I really like my LG Tones.

I want what the AirPods are, but with better battery life and a much cheaper price tag. I know there's only so much you can do about battery life in such a small package, and I could make do with five hours with that nice portable charger, but $159 for wireless EarPods is just way too expensive.
 

Appleaker

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jun 13, 2016
2,197
4,193
I don't have an issue using wireless headphones. I really like my LG Tones.

I want what the AirPods are, but with better battery life and a much cheaper price tag. I know there's only so much you can do about battery life in such a small package, and I could make do with five hours with that nice portable charger, but $159 for wireless EarPods is just way too expensive.
I know I think the whole headphone industry is overpriced, and it seems people have become accepting of that - I saw people saying that $159 is a really good price!
I think $99, while still costly would have been a good price point.
Not only is it extremely competitive, but it is also great value since it comes with both the case and lightning cable.
 
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Channan

macrumors 68030
Mar 7, 2012
2,878
3,090
New Orleans
I know I think the whole headphone industry is overpriced, and it seems people have become accepting of that - I saw people saying that $159 is a really good price!
I think $99, while still costly would have been a good price point.
Not only is it extremely competitive, but it is also great value since it comes with both the case and lightning cable.
I was kind of expecting them to be $99. $159 isn't a bad price for really good headphones, but AirPods are just wireless EarPods. They won't be any more comfortable or sound any better than EarPods. You're paying over 5x more just to remove the wire.
 

FSMBP

macrumors 68030
Jan 22, 2009
2,715
2,731
You know how to change volume on it? You have to say "Turn the volume up" lol...Just like using Siri in public, it's awkward and if I have to dig out my iPhone to do that, AirPods aren't exactly convenient.
 

Appleaker

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jun 13, 2016
2,197
4,193
You know how to change volume on it? You have to say "Turn the volume up" lol...Just like using Siri in public, it's awkward and if I have to dig out my iPhone to do that, AirPods aren't exactly convenient.
Yeah, I think doing it on the phone would be most convenient. However, it gives yet another purpose to the Apple Watch - phone media control.
I think they should have made a touch slider (using IR sensors) on the bottom half for volume, even if it had to be thicker.
 

russ99

macrumors member
Feb 9, 2009
83
26
Yeah, I think doing it on the phone would be most convenient. However, it gives yet another purpose to the Apple Watch - phone media control.
I think they should have made a touch slider (using IR sensors) on the bottom half for volume, even if it had to be thicker.

I have bluetooth headphones and an Apple watch, and that's one of the most useful purposes of the watch already.
 

kilcher

macrumors 65816
Jul 3, 2011
1,269
326
I'm in no hurry to buy headphones I have to charge. If that weren't enough, not having the ability to adjust volume and pause seals the deal.

Having said that, I do think Apple was smart to build a battery into the storage case. Pretty cool idea.
 

yegon

macrumors 68040
Oct 20, 2007
3,417
1,990
Was all in until I realised crucial functionality will be via Siri. Eek!

Namely skipping forward through ads in podcasts in Overcast. No way to do this without getting phone out = no buy for me sadly.

Have an AW which I use purely for the gym. Long time fan of quality mechanical watches and the AW didn't change that. If anything, it made me appreciate them more.
 

fxbeta

macrumors member
Sep 23, 2014
90
59
The price is a dealbreaker for me. For $159 I can get really exceptional analog headphones. Or ten disposable but decent earbuds.

Say goodbye to the days of cheap and good headphones.
 

CTHarrryH

macrumors 68030
Jul 4, 2012
2,938
1,432
One of my issues is having to use lighting connector to charge it. What, today, other than a phone has something into which a lighting jack can plug into. So now I have 2 things that I need to charge using the one lighting port on my phone.
I am waiting to see (and I could have missed it) a lighting device that plugs into the phone and has a bunch of ports to plug things into (like another lighting jack, power cord, etc.).
So I need to plug the ear things into my phone - wait until fully charged and then plug in phone to charge. It says you get 3 hrs from 15 min of putting buds into case but didn't say how long to fully charge case when plugged into phone
 

co.ag.2005

macrumors 68020
Jun 17, 2009
2,363
1,809
Fort Worth, TX
One of my issues is having to use lighting connector to charge it. What, today, other than a phone has something into which a lighting jack can plug into. So now I have 2 things that I need to charge using the one lighting port on my phone.
I am waiting to see (and I could have missed it) a lighting device that plugs into the phone and has a bunch of ports to plug things into (like another lighting jack, power cord, etc.).
So I need to plug the ear things into my phone - wait until fully charged and then plug in phone to charge. It says you get 3 hrs from 15 min of putting buds into case but didn't say how long to fully charge case when plugged into phone

They already have accessories like THIS for the MacBook. I'm sure they'll have something with 2 lightning ports on it. And within time, there will be plenty of MFI compatible adapters like this from other makers like Anker, Belkin, etc. I'm sure. But I guess we'll see

EDIT: I thought you were talking about using the wired earpods while charging. If you're talking about the airpods, then I'm not sure what will charge them other than a standard AC/USB charging brick / station.
 

Appleaker

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jun 13, 2016
2,197
4,193
One of my issues is having to use lighting connector to charge it. What, today, other than a phone has something into which a lighting jack can plug into. So now I have 2 things that I need to charge using the one lighting port on my phone.
I am waiting to see (and I could have missed it) a lighting device that plugs into the phone and has a bunch of ports to plug things into (like another lighting jack, power cord, etc.).
So I need to plug the ear things into my phone - wait until fully charged and then plug in phone to charge. It says you get 3 hrs from 15 min of putting buds into case but didn't say how long to fully charge case when plugged into phone
You don't use the Phones connector, it charged by plugging in a lightning connector. The AirPods themselves charge wirelessly in the case, so the case is the only thing that needs charging. However it has a built in battery that can charge the AirPods for around 4-5 times so I don't think it's that bad.
 
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biopig

macrumors regular
May 15, 2014
126
35
The earpods that come with iPhone are my favorite earphones. They have good sound quality, and comfortable wearing. The only thing I complain is that the cords are so annoying. The new AirPods solved this issue!

I used to buy the PowerBeats Wireless, but soon found that their sound quality is so poor, and difficult to wear. What's worse, they still have the annoying cord! So I returned they the next day then stuck on earpods. Now I think it's time for me to upgrade because AirPods are so perfect to my needs!
 
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007p

macrumors 6502a
Mar 7, 2012
987
649
These are still Bluetooth? How are 2 & 3 achieved? Over SBC the sound quality is still going to be bad, and any further compression is not only going to make things worse but make video watching incredibly annoying with sync.

As for 1, NFC in headphones is not new - Apple is the one blocking anyone else using the technology with their devices - I'm just saying this fixes a problem Apple created with Bluetooth headphones, not Bluetooth headphones general.
 

Mike75

macrumors member
Sep 15, 2014
31
7
Earpods are crap, fall out of my ears, sound terrible and offer no isolation. They are immediately discarded when I get a new I device. The fact that the new lightning ones are $30 is insane. But not as insane as the airpods for $159. Plenty of better third party options out there, so at the end of the day its a non issue.
 

urkel

macrumors 68030
Nov 3, 2008
2,795
917
I wouldn't mind these for listening to podcasts. But I'm going to wait a few weeks because there's bound to be a lot of people selling their unmatched single because they dropped the other one down a sewer grate or in a toilet.
 

C64

macrumors 65816
Sep 3, 2008
1,236
222
I do hope you can play/pause with some sort of tap as well. Can't find anything about that on the site so far. Using earphones often means you don't want to bother people around you. Activating Siri and asking to pause the music would be annoying. And I don't want to take them out (and leave them where?) every time I need playback to pause for a minute.
According to this hands-on review from the demo area you can "press to pause":


Can't find anything about adjusting the volume though (other than with Siri).
 
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puma1552

Suspended
Nov 20, 2008
5,559
1,947
are these bluetooth or do they work some other way?

i can definitely get on board buying a pair if the sound quality is there. remember, this is apple, they aren't going to release a half assed product - if they are releasing wireless headphones, you better believe the sound quality will be there. So will the build quality, and I would be willing to bet they stay in your ears just fine.
 
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bhayes444

macrumors 6502a
Jul 13, 2013
772
292
One of the main arguments against the removal of the headphone jack is that wireless audio is not at a stage where it can replace wired. I said the only way they would remove it is if they improved wireless earphones in the following ways:
  1. Remove pairing, and make them connect by touching them together (NFC)
  2. Improve the quality of the audio.
  3. Improve the reliability of the connection.
  4. Make recharging fast and simple.
  5. Make miracles happen with battery life.
I am confident that 1 was basically fulfilled as there is no more pairing, and points 2 and 3 were achieved. As for point 4, I suppose it was met but I was thinking more of lightning fast charging (not possible now we know it has no cable/in-line controller.

However, I wouldn't agree that they managed to do point 5. Having said that, the W1 chip brings massive improvements in battery life given the size of the batteries and the extra battery in the case compensates for the 5 hour playback time. Also, it could be extended to 10 hours if you only use 1 AirPod.

Although they didn't do point 5, they made some major advancements in areas I didn't even think about - turning on or off when out of the ear, detecting if one or two are being used, including a batter case with wireless charging, etc.

Basically, Apple have fixed wireless earphones and I can't wait until the technology rolls out for all products.


As I have said in the past, I believe the primary reason they did it is to push wireless technology to the next level. So get rid of 3.5mm on their most popular product and you make companies want to make better earphones. So maybe it was a necessary move.

But... none of this means that I agree with getting rid of the it :D
I am pretty sure the air pods don't use NFC as they are compatible with Apple devices that don't have NFC chips. The headphones will connect via a Bluetooth connection, just not to each other; that will use a different connection, handled by the W1 chip, I'm sure. From what the product page states you won't get 10 hours of battery life by using one airpod. First off if you take one out of your ear the music would pause, secondly they have separate batteries in each airpod, so the maximum one could get is 5 hours using Apple's testing procedures.

I really wish Apple would post some more technical details about these, as there is a lot of information floating around that is contradictory.
 

M. Gustave

macrumors 68000
Jun 6, 2015
1,856
1,712
Grand Budapest Hotel
  1. Remove pairing, and make them connect by touching them together (NFC)
  2. Improve the quality of the audio.
  3. Improve the reliability of the connection.
  4. Make recharging fast and simple.
  5. Make miracles happen with battery life.

These aren't even "issues" for all people, and many current headphones don't have them anyway. I have Bose QC35.

1. Turn on your headphones, you get a voice in them saying "Battery at xx%, paired to ____'s iPhone." It's one step.

2. Mine sound great. Apple Music "high quality on cellular", plus the QC35's, and I have no complaints.

3. Never once dropped a connection, or had any other problems. I even carry my phone in my back pocket, which the trolls claim its impossible for Bluetooth to travel through the human body.

4/5. I get the rated 20 hours of battery life, which is a lot of music/podcast listening, and about every fourth or fifth day I charge them overnight just like my phone. Why is this such a huge complaint for some people? It's truly painless. And if for some reason I forget to charge them, QC35 come with a cable to use them as regular wired headphones.
 

AppleRobert

macrumors 603
Nov 12, 2012
5,726
1,132
are these bluetooth or do they work some other way?

i can definitely get on board buying a pair if the sound quality is there. remember, this is apple, they aren't going to release a half assed product - if they are releasing wireless headphones, you better believe the sound quality will be there. So will the build quality, and I would be willing to bet they stay in your ears just fine.

They did release another pair of earpods for $79 that were complete crap so the jury is still out for their earphones.

I agree with the poster above their $29 earpods are complete crap and I don't even use them. No isolation, don't stay in my ears, etc. etc.
[doublepost=1473472783][/doublepost]
These aren't even "issues" for all people, and many current headphones don't have them anyway. I have Bose QC35.

1. Turn on your headphones, you get a voice in them saying "Battery at xx%, paired to ____'s iPhone." It's one step.

2. Mine sound great. Apple Music "high quality on cellular", plus the QC35's, and I have no complaints.

3. Never once dropped a connection, or had any other problems. I even carry my phone in my back pocket, which the trolls claim its impossible for Bluetooth to travel through the human body.

4/5. I get the rated 20 hours of battery life, which is a lot of music/podcast listening, and about every fourth or fifth day I charge them overnight just like my phone. Why is this such a huge complaint for some people? It's truly painless. And if for some reason I forget to charge them, QC35 come with a cable to use them as regular wired headphones.

I tried the QC35, I liked them but I ended up with a pair of Sony ANC wireless ones on sale at Costco for $119. They don't isolate quite as well but they push enough of the right buttons for me for the price.
 

puma1552

Suspended
Nov 20, 2008
5,559
1,947
They did release another pair of earpods for $79 that were complete crap so the jury is still out for their earphones.

I have those, and those 2-driver headphones are pretty nice, I just can't get one to seal in my ear no matter what, so they've fallen by the wayside.
 

urkel

macrumors 68030
Nov 3, 2008
2,795
917
remember, this is apple, they aren't going to release a half assed product - if they are releasing wireless headphones, you better believe the sound quality will be there. So will the build quality, and I would be willing to bet they stay in your ears just fine.
Sorry to be cynical, but your optimism doesnt actually match what Apple is today. Remember, this is Tim Cooks Apple. They've been churning out "half-assed products" ever since he's taken control. (And before anyone gets upset, these are products I actually own(ed))

-Mighty Mouse 2 (Charge it by impaling the mouses belly)
-12" Macbook (with two ports. And one is a headphone jack)
-Apple Watch Series 0 (Unapologetically Beta)
-AppleTV (The remote. No dark mode. Incomplete OS. Lack of content.)
-Smart Keyboard (No backlight)
-IPhone SE (the un-designed answer to the small phone market)
-IPhone 6 Gen 3 (aka, iPhone 7)

If Profits are the only way to measure Apple then they're doing awesome under Cook. But if we are to judge them based on the era of products under Cook then these are NOT products that represent who Apple is and "half-assed" may be the perfect term to use to describe them.

People laughed at Jobs for using terms like "innovation" because it sounded so pompous but Apple really was innovating and molding the industry. But now we have Schiller saying things like "Can't innovate, my ass" and using words like "Courage" to describe their choices and you cant help but roll your eyes at how misguided the company seems to be.

I think the Air Pods have some amazing tech behind them. But once again, we see groundbreaking ideas crammed into the wrong packaging. And its a shame because the talent is still at Apple but there simply is no visionary to guide it.
 
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