Quick Takes: Audiophile Calls AirPods Best Truly Wireless Earbuds He's Ever Heard in Year-Later Review

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In addition to our standalone articles covering the latest Apple news and rumors at MacRumors, this Quick Takes column provides a bite-sized recap of other headlines about Apple and its competitors on weekdays.

Monday, March 19

Highlights


1. AirPods: the audiophile review: The Verge's Vlad Savov finally got around to testing a pair of AirPods, over a year after they launched, and now understands why so many people are fans of Apple's wireless earphones. Once dismissive of them, he now thinks AirPods are the best truly wireless earbuds he's heard.
I say the AirPods aren't technically amazing, but that's only when comparing against existing standards for sound quality. In the category of truly wireless earbuds, the AirPods are the best I've yet heard. Bragi's The Headphone and Dash Pro left me underwhelmed, with the latter being especially bloated and disfigured by an overabundance of bass.
Commentary: AirPods are easily one of Apple's best new products in the past few years. They're easy to set up, easy to use, easy to carry around, and more than likely sound "good enough" for the majority of customers.

2. The case for an ePad: Drawing inspiration from the education-only eMac, released in 2002, 512 Pixels' Stephen Hackett envisions what an education-only iPad or so-called "ePad" could be. His suggestions include a more rugged design, Apple Pencil and external keyboard support, and more competitive pricing.


3. HQ Trivia had a weird night: The smartphone-based live trivia show offered a winner-takes-all $25,000 prize on Sunday night, but the would-be winner was ejected from the game for violating the rules, according to HQ. The company hasn't explained what the rule-breaking behavior was.

Then, on early Monday, HQ Trivia was briefly removed from the App Store. TechCrunch confirmed that the game was briefly unavailable due to an unrelated clerical error. More specifically, someone forgot to update HQ Trivia's expired credit card info in Apple's developer portal, according to the report.

HQ moderators kick players that violate HQ's Terms of Service and Contest Rules. For more information, please refer to our Terms of Service here: https://t.co/septsPVgOm - HQ Trivia (@hqtrivia) March 19, 2018

Commentary: It sounds like HQ Trivia caught a cheater on its hands, but we may never know for sure. The good news is that the amount now rolls over, meaning next Sunday's winner-takes-all prize will be $50,000, its largest jackpot ever. The game is scheduled to begin at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

Other Links

People are accidentally setting off Apple's Emergency SOS alert: While we don't recommend it, the auto-calling feature can be disabled in Settings > Emergency SOS. When turned off, users must swipe their finger across the Emergency SOS slider to call emergency services.
Google Pay now supports transit, starting with the Las Vegas Monorail: Apple Pay also works with select transit systems, including Transport for London, Utah Transit Authority in Salt Lake City, TriMet in Portland, all forms of transit that accept Suica in Japan, and others.For more Apple news and rumors coverage, visit our Front Page, Mac Blog, and iOS Blog. Also visit our forums to join in the discussion.

Article Link: Quick Takes: Audiophile Calls AirPods Best Truly Wireless Earbuds He's Ever Heard in Year-Later Review
 
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Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
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I love mine, but they're too darn slippery. They have to make them less slippery somehow, because as they are, if you're wearing a hoodie or something on a chilly day, the stalks just pull them right out of your ear with almost no effort.
My experience is opposite of yours. Mine are used frequently for working out and they’re so comfortable and lightweight, I have no problems with them falling out. I don’t even have to readjust them in my ear. And I think the audio quality is more than I could ask for, but I’m also not an experienced audiophile either. Still my favorite purchase within the last year of my Apple devices.
 

fcphantom

macrumors newbie
Aug 23, 2011
5
1
Appleton, WI
I played HQ trivia last night, and the live game declared no winner because nobody got the last question right, not because of cheating. We knew right away the pot would roll over to next Sunday.
 
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dukeblue219

macrumors regular
Dec 18, 2012
132
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$279 iPad 9.7"
$649 iPad Pro 10.5"
The thing is, this isn't consistent with a lot of Apple's pricing schemes over the years. They don't usually have such a big gap between low-end and high-end product pricing. It makes the high-end stuff look expensive. If they're priced at $479 and $649 I might splurge to get the premium model for just a "little" bit more. At $279 and $649, even if I think I might want the premium model, I'm likely to settle for the cheapo because it's just SO much cheaper.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
30,379
30,645
AirPods seem overpriced till you check out the competition.
Disagree. Compared to the competition, the AirPods are actually price comparably lower. When you factor in the battery life where 15 minutes of charging is equivalent to three hours of usage, simplicity of features, there’s a reason AirPods are a success and its been apparent for quite some time.
 

Recognition

macrumors 6502a
Jun 27, 2013
596
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Well yeah, there aren’t many options and the rest of them are crap. AirPods sound good, but not audiophile good.

Very good overall package though for convenience and battery life.
If something sounds good to an ‘audiophile’ does that mean it will sound good to me too?
 
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mavis

macrumors 601
Jul 30, 2007
4,077
398
Tokyo, Japan
This review very accurately reflected my own experience with the AirPods over the past 1yr+ ... I bought them mainly to handle long phone calls for work, but I now grab them 90% of the time when I want to listen to music, even when I'm at home. My $1200 custom molded IEMs are sitting in an OtterBox case in my closet - it's the AirPods that are with me literally every time I leave the house.
 

Recognition

macrumors 6502a
Jun 27, 2013
596
654
I love mine, but they're too darn slippery. They have to make them less slippery somehow, because as they are, if you're wearing a hoodie or something on a chilly day, the stalks just pull them right out of your ear with almost no effort.
Love mine too, if I forget them in the morning I will walk back home and miss my train to get them!
 

brendu

macrumors 68020
Apr 23, 2009
2,407
2,249
USA
I was a big fan of the Verge when they started and am still a regular reader but it seems like the entire site has turned into articles rushing to judgment with reviews and clickbait titles. They feed off hating products right away without giving them time to settle and see their true value.
Theverge is garbage. Their reviews are crap. If you want good tech reviews and news both Engadget and arstechnica are better.
 

dannyyankou

macrumors G3
Mar 2, 2012
8,595
12,516
Scarsdale, NY
If something sounds good to an ‘audiophile’ does that mean it will sound good to me too?
I said they sound good, just not as good as some audiophile earbuds on the market that have some advanced technical stuff on the inside. Even the review said AirPods aren’t technically amazing.
 

Mak47

macrumors 6502a
Mar 27, 2011
750
32
Harrisburg, PA
The key to the sound quality on AirPods is how well they fit in your ears. If they fit snugly, you have a really full, warm sound. If they don’t, everything sounds thin. For most people, including myself, AirPods sound great. Not as good as most over-ear headphones, but excellent for earbuds.
 

Superhappytree

macrumors 6502a
Sep 10, 2015
863
2,768
Cumbria
Look at the difference in the shape and size of peoples' ears. Any earbuds will fit some great, others not so great. AirPods seem overpriced till you check out the competition.
I’ve often wondered why Apple doesn’t make the buds out of mould, so that they would fit more accurately in anyone’s ears? Some kind of Apple magic ‘foam’ that adjusts accordingly. I’m not an expert on how any of this stuff works though so maybe it isn’t a realistic solution.
 

78Bandit

macrumors 6502a
Jun 13, 2009
655
1,158
I can see the AirPods being good for college students walking to class (even though I see a whole lot of huge Beats in use), for commuters on the train, or for use in the workplace where you need to hear outside activities.

The problem for any serious audiophile is the lack of sealing in the ears. You simply can't get adequate bass out of a set of AirPods. Even when I'm working out I have to use a set of relatively cheap ($25) V-Moda earbuds that have silicone tips to seal out outside noise and keep the bass in. Anything less sounds extremely tinny once you get used to the full range sound of noise isolating earbuds. In full disclosure I haven't tried AirPods, but I have used EarPods and ultimately just threw them away because the overall sound quality was so poor.