2017 01: January

<--- Setapp – Preliminary Review

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Not only haven't I received any to test, but my iPhone has packed up (literally at the end of last year) so I may have difficulty with personal testing even if a pair of AirPods appeared in front of me. I am going to have to rely on what a few other more fortunates have discovered. In case you have forgotten with all the hive of activities over Christmas, the AirPod is a Bluetooth (wireless) version of the EarPods that Apple has shipped with the iPhone and iPod products for many years. They are tuned to pair specifically with the iPhone 7, and to help you forget that there ever was a headphone jack on previous iPhones.

The AirPods look like EarPods without the wires and also without the volume rocker. The wires will not be missed by me at all - they kept pulling the EarPods out of my ears; so they just sit on a shelf gathering dust.

Reports from many sources seem to concur that the AirPods don't fall out as was initially feared, even while undertaking commuting, running or workouts in the gym. Of course, there will always be someone who goes overboard to get a moment in the news: with a little disfigurement of his aural anatomy to secure his AirPod. A few others have suggested glue!

So, can the Airpods get lost? According to one commenter, the answer is an emphatic 'Yes'. He reports: "I hate the AirPods. I bought one pair and after my wife tried them they somehow became hers. Bought another pair and my daughter claimed them. Ended up getting 4 pairs for the whole family."

One reviewer notes that "I certainly haven’t made any attempt to hide my feelings about the design of Apple’s new earbuds. They look silly. And when you wear them, you look silly, too." He goes on to add "A microphone sits at the end of each stem to help offer clear sound when AirPods are used for phone calls and for Siri. Was this design necessary? I can’t say. What I can say, however, is that each person with whom I have tested the AirPods with for voice calls has said that they sound fantastic on the other end of the phone. The AirPod stems also make it easier to hold Apple’s earphones in your hands, and they help seat each AirPod in the accompanying charging case." He concludes "Apple is sometimes criticized for prioritizing form over function, but this is clearly a case where the opposite is true. And speaking of function, I am seriously impressed."

Others do question the sound quality of the AirPods (possibly when compared with their expensive hi-fi equipment), but most agree that for a general everyday use, the AirPods are satisfactory in most environments, although a bit expensive (but no more so than other wireless earphones).

There are, however, some problems to possibly be addressed in future iterations of the product, the main, perhaps, being that Siri is required to adjust the volume, and if you are away from the internet, Siri does not work. I wonder if we will see Siri's little sister appear to help in these off-line moments?

For a full comparison of the Apple AirPods and other cord-free competition, you could look at recent article published in 9TO5Mac.

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