I finally broke down and bought myself a pair of AirPods yesterday. I didn’t get the fancy new AirPods Pro, just the regular AirPods, with the regular case (not the wireless charging case). They were on sale for $140 at Costco. I’ve considered picking up a pair a few times over the last year, but never quite talked myself into it. But I’ve been reading and watching a bunch of headphone reviews recently, and stopped at the Apple Store over the weekend to try out both the older AirPods and the newer AirPods Pro. The “Pro” model didn’t fit my ears well, though I only tried the medium tips. But it was the kind of thing where I was pretty sure that none of the tips was going to be quite right. (And I didn’t want to pay $300 either.)
The AirPods don’t fit my ears that well either, honestly, but they’re good enough. My “use case” for them will probably be for listening to music at my desk at work, podcasts and audiobooks at home, and maybe podcasts & music on the train occasionally. So I’ll usually be fairly stationary when I’m using them. Still, I may pick up a pair of these tips from Comply or these Earhoox things to get a better fit.
I had a lot of resistance to adding a new battery-powered device to my life. I feel like I have too many of those already. I had a lot of resistance to the Apple Watch for that reason too, but I’ve really gotten to like the watch. I suppose I’ll get used to the AirPods too. I plan on charging them right next to the Watch, on my computer desk, overnight. I had to buy a new two-port USB charger so I could do that, since I didn’t have a spare AC outlet near there. (And the AirPods don’t ship with an AC adapter anyway, just a Lightning/USB cable.)
I used the AirPods a bit at work today, and they worked well. The sound quality is similar to the old Sony earbuds that I’ve been using at work, but maybe a little better on the bass end. I listened to some rock, classical, and ambient music today, and they sounded fine on all of that. The ambient music sounded best, probably because it had the most bass. The classical (some Itzhak Perlman Mozart stuff) was not terribly impressive, but I wouldn’t expect it to be. You need good headphones or speakers to really get the full effect from something like that.
There are a few semi-interesting things that you can do with the AirPods that you can’t necessarily do with other headphones. I played around with Live Listen for a bit yesterday, and I’m curious to play with that some more. I do have some problems hearing, and I feel like that might help me out in certain circumstances.
I’m also curious to try them with my Apple TV. I do sometimes use headphones while I’m watching TV, but the way I do it now is a little inconvenient. (I’m using wired headphones connected to my stereo receiver.) I’m curious to see how the AirPods would work when watching a movie on Apple TV.
I haven’t used them for a phone call yet, but I’ll try that at some point. And I need to look at the Apple documentation to see if there’s anything else I can do with them that might be worth trying.
Overall, they’re fine, but they’re not life-changing, and I’m not sure they’re really worth more than $100. (But hey, what else am I going to spend my money on?)