Apple’s AirPod Wireless Earbuds Are an Awful Design But Are Surely Good At What They Do

Apple’s AirPods offer seamless connectivity with your iPhone and just like your EarPods with the wires chopped off.

Well folks! Going down the memory lane, it now feels a wise move by Apple that they decided to retain the 3.5 mm earphones jack without latching onto some sort of viable substitute first. As a matter of fact, the tech giants unveiled three disparate wireless options along with the iPhone 7 including two new Beats models, both of them with enhanced processing capabilities and extended battery life, and the sensational Apple’s AirPods.

We did have a go at the AirPods in the Apple’s well illuminated hands-on room, once the launch event in the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco concluded. They felt a bit grotty since they had been tried on by hundreds of journalists who had been there to cover the event. But we couldn’t think of leaving the premises without getting to know how they really felt fitted into our ears. The white hued earphones are similar in design, shape and style to Apple’s EarPods that the company have been shipping for years and years alongside the iPhone, so it’s little wonder that the wireless earphones felt the same as the wired ones. They are a lot lighter in weight in contrast to a number of wireless headphones in the market that make use of the Bluetooth technology, but they fitted quite easily into our ears.

From every nook and cranny of the design and style, they are EarPods in essence with no cables attached. What it actually infers is that they are not able to produce sound as one should expect, but for most of the consumers out there they should do the job. With all the surrounding noise and kerfuffle in the hands-on room, we had to turn the sound volume all the way up to be able to listen Sia’s “Cheap Thrills” in all its awe and splendor. There seems to be something off about the AirPods, as if one of the designers had those early 2000’s Bluetooth headsets with a protracted bar running halfway to your mouth from the ear, in mind and wanted Apple to give its perspective on the design. The design, however, does have a couple of good things about it. Firstly, there is more space for the battery and secondly the microphone is located a lot closer to your mouth. But still, the design as a whole looks a bit crazy to be honest. It’s as if the earbuds are melting out of your ears with the molten mass gradually reaching your mouth. Or may be somehow your kid has been able to nestle a lollipop up in your ear. Or perhaps Apple intentionally chopped off the wires on your EarPods, but accidently cut them off a bit too low.

Device Pairing is Super Quick

There is a great advantage that you get when you decide to spend your $160 on Apple’s AirPods instead of any other wireless earphones. That benefit lies in the seamlessness with which the earbuds pair with your iPhone. You just have to pry open your white carrying case, let the white light blink and place your earphones near your smartphone. Within a split second, a pop-up appears on your iPhone 7 asking if you would like to connect your wireless earphones with your device. The configuration time during the couple of my demos was only three seconds and you just need to tap a button once. Apple can connect all your other devices automatically using iCloud. (Note: It is only going to work on the newer Macs, iPhones, iPads and Apple Watches. Other stuff is conventional Bluetooth fare.) The earphones will automatically begin playing soundtracks as soon as you put them in your ears and will pause the playback when you take them out. Trying on all these gadgets in the hands-on room can get a bit tricky sometimes, but overall the AirPods functioned quite impeccably.

We are earnestly hopeful that the introduction of Apple’s AirPods in the wireless earphone market does not intimidate the players who have already been trying their hands on manufacturing Bluetooth headphones. I do have a hunch that they won’t because they don’t seem to sound that good. Mind you, these are not the ones that you are going to get in the original packaging with your sublime iPhone 7; with an iPhone 7 you get your conventional EarPods with wires and they connect over the Lightning port (you won’t be able to charge your phone or connect your EarPods simultaneously though now). But Apple has really thrown down the gauntlet to its competitors by producing earphones that connect smoothly over Bluetooth and are top-notch as far as responsiveness goes. If someone is able to replicate the device pairing feature of the AirPods with a lot cooler design and better sound quality, we might be getting into an era where the headphone jack is a thing of the past.

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