Thoughts after one week with AirPods

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by kylera, Feb 24, 2017.

  1. kylera macrumors 65816

    kylera

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Location:
    Seoul
    #1
    So I've had the AirPods for roughly one week now, and I've been using them at every feasible moment, and maybe a couple moments that weren't exactly feasible. Here are my thoughts after using them extensively. Spoiler alert: They have their flaws, but I like them for what they are.

    It's worth noting that these are MY impressions. YMMV depending on your circumstances.

    Where the AirPods excel:

    Fantastic commuter earphones. I don't drive, so when I need to get somewhere, I always walk or take public transportation. When you're outside and there are cars and other motorized transport zooming past you, situational awareness is really important. If you're like me and live in Seoul, it's even more important because motorcyclists just love to invade the pedestrian sidewalks. I've had a few near-misses where I wasn't able to hear a motorcyclist behind me because of the music playing through my in-ears. This isn't as great a problem anymore as long as I don't have the volume set to something too loud.

    I though that the AirPods would be problematic on pubic transportation because of sound leakage and no sound isolation given the open nature of the AirPods. Part of that was true - the lack of isolation means that I can hear other people's conversation, the engine noise and everything else, sometimes over the music. However, leakage was not a great issue, and I think part of that is because of the naturally noisy environment in public transportation. I had a classmate sit next to me in one trip, and asked her whether she could pick up any of my music. At almost all levels (I didn't max out because I didn't want to damage my hearing), she said that the surrounding noise was too loud to pick up any of my own music.

    However, one aspect that makes the AirPods great for public transportation is that the lack of cables means there are no wires to get caught at someone's bag or something else, thereby ripping the pair out of my ears and/or damaging the cable. Granted, this can be said about every Bluetooth pair of earphones, but the simple lack of ANY wire means you've cut chances of the AirPods getting stuck by something to near zero. You may get the buds stuck by your hat or hair.

    Great hands-free headset, at least with the iPhone and FaceTime Audio. The AirPods are really low-profile, but they're capable of picking up my utterances during calls. I've had numerous conversations via standard with the AirPods, and the other party never commented about how I sounded. Furthermore, there's the advantage of being able to swap AirPods seamlessly if you're going to have an extended conversation.

    Where the AirPods fall short:

    Not great for extended uninterrupted listening. A five-hour battery life is unfortunately not the greatest for extended uninterrupted listening. It is true that you can pop them back in into the charging case for a quick top-up, and then be on your merry way again. However, for me, a lot of my work and studies involve audio files - speeches, TV news clips, etc. - and I would much prefer the AirPods to not die in the middle of something productive. Adding to this detriment is the fact that I commute - that's already at least one hour's worth of juice drained by the time I reach campus or my workplace. My solution here is to either pack a different pair of earphones for extended listening, or leave the AirPods at home and wear something else depending on what I'm going to be doing that day.

    Where the AirPods are debatable:

    Good running companion? There have been numerous posts not only here, but also by bloggers or other people out there talking about using AirPods at the gym. Some claim that the user sweats heavily, but the AirPods have been chugging along with no issues. I, too, took my pair out for running, and they've yet to be damaged. However, even though they never fell out, the lack of a snug fit always left me with a slight concern nagging at the back of my head. I'm not sure if I want to keep wearing them in the future when I run.
     
  2. docal97 macrumors 6502a

    docal97

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2006
    Location:
    Southampton
    #2
    Really great review. It sounds like you really like them. I have never been in a scenario yet whereby the airpods run out of juice. I always have them in the case when they are not being used so they are always charged. I have never used them for 5 hours straight.
    With regards to exercise, I have not had any issues regarding sweat damaging them, and I believe there are lots of user reviews floating around saying similar things.
    I also have an issue where one of the pods fits in my ear more loosely than the other ear, so I have been using Earskins for only one of the pods, which solves this problem for me. They never have fallen out, and I have minimal concern they will.
     
  3. kylera thread starter macrumors 65816

    kylera

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Location:
    Seoul
    #3
    I really like them enough to sacrifice sound isolation and sound quality. I have a pair of wired in-ear monitors that has been my daily pair for a while, and they have become relegated to exclusively listening to music on my iPod.

    I did look into the Earskins before, but reviews saying that you need to remove it to toss the AirPods into the charger gave me pause.
     
  4. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2016
    #4
    I found the sound quality to be fairly decent from my experience. The issues I noticed with AirPods are like you said, sound isolation and then of course water resistance, which does not have a rating at all. Easily two things Apple can improve on in the future.
     
  5. kylera thread starter macrumors 65816

    kylera

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Location:
    Seoul
    #5
    I don't think the sound quality is absolutely horrible, but unless there are significant advances in Bluetooth technology, wired earphones will almost always trounce wireless at the same price category. The AirPods are definitely not the earphones for critical listening, but Apple doesn't advertise them as such, and I knew that before I picked up my pair.
     
  6. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2016
    #6
    The real advantage of the AirPods is the charging capabilities and the W1 Chip For five hours a listening, is very good. Let alone, 15 minutes of charging is equivalent to three hours of usage. And it's the little features that add up with AirPods, like removing one AirPod to stop playing the music and reinserting it to resume playing. Those are the things that play a role.

    The AirPods have a bright future for expanding in hardware with touch capacitor controls, accessibility features, and water resistance.
     
  7. kylera thread starter macrumors 65816

    kylera

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Location:
    Seoul
    #7
    Wholeheartedly agree. On paper, the AirPods are not anything special per se; there have been plenty of Bluetooth headsets in the past, and there are some excellent ones among them. I still have my Jaybirds X2, and they still get some playtime when I want more isolation.

    However, as you put it, the little features really add up. Alone, they might not be much, but together, it's quite the package. For example:

    The AirPods popping up on the iPhone screen upon opening the lid for the first time: It seems a bit gimmicky at first, but it beats the need to go into Settings and to manually pair them.

    Auto-pause when I take one off: If a classmate approaches me, I can immediately remove one and the music instantly shuts off. Because of the open nature, I don't need to take the other side off in order to have a conversation unless the other person is an exceptionally soft speaker. I don't have to fiddle with a button on a remote, or if my earphones don't have an inline remote, take out my phone and fiddle with it.

    Near-instant on and off: Take them out of your ears and put them in the case to turn them off. No need for ensuring that you've fully turned off the pair upon removal.
     
  8. joonyaboy macrumors 6502

    joonyaboy

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    Location:
    FL
    #8
    As far as your 5 hour playtimes, why not remove one airpod to charge for 30 min while you continue listening with the other ear? With that system you could technically listen uninterrupted forever, albeit just one ear for a short while.
     
  9. jonnyb macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2005
    Location:
    Rye/London, UK
    #9
    Or buy another pair - one always in use and one always charging. Extravagant, but who cares?
     
  10. Finchly macrumors member

    Finchly

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2017
    #10
    I think the battery life is really good, having a charger on you at all times is amazing. The only thing I worry about is losing one. They've never fallen out to date but there's always a chance of them rubbing against someone whilst commuting. I knew that when I bought them though so no complaints.
     
  11. CYKBC macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2014
    #11
    Sidewalks dedicated to pedestrians is a USA track housing phenomenon pal. People park on these so called "sidewalks" all the time all over the world so don't be ethnocentric and adjust, pal. You're not in Kansas anymore.

    As for the pods, good perspectives in this thread. I'm going to buy two sets for each car I own.
     
  12. Chairman.Jobbie, Feb 28, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2017

    Chairman.Jobbie macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2011
    #12
    I thought id lost mine in a taxi on holiday after a week of having them - but found them the next morning under the bed :rolleyes: --- in the meantime i had ordered another pair.....instead of cancelling the order i just thought ill have 2 pairs - 1 pair for my work bag so i never forget to take them and 1 pair to use at home :p And if i do lose them i have a backup!

    They arrived yesterday. £320 on 2 pairs of AirPods - crazy... but they are so good. I use them for hours every day.

    I never used headphones much before AirPods, only now and then, but now i seem to have the right one in my ear near constantly (on or off) and its yet to fall out - had it since release date. Brilliant.
     
  13. amitbrag macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2017
    #13
    --- Post Merged, Jul 26, 2017 ---
    There is one point which I would like to add as a pro to Airpods (although one fits snug & the other a little bit loose in my ears) after using them for a week, I feel no ear fatigue or that strange feeling after removing them from my ears after more than an hours time of continuous hearing. I felt the sound much more natural my ears quickly got accustomed with them.
    I haven't seen anyone mention of this in other reviews ( read a lot of pros and cons). Mind you I have used at least 12 different pairs of headphones in time with and without wire but these are certainly different, there is a different feel and awe in using them as well as the details they deliver are very soothing and does not cause me any ear fatigue (incase any of you have ever felt this (ear fatigue) with other earphones/headsets).
    Rest sound quality has been debated by experts, I wont even go there and as a end user if its comfortable and suits my needs I would buy it....definitely see buying another pair in future if apple releases them in other colours ..black etc
    Thanks.
     

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