If you’ve purchased an iPhone 7, or if you’re just an Apple fanboy, then no doubt you own a pair of Apple’s new bluetooth headphones. The Airpods are Apple headphones incarnate, and have exactly what you’d expect from Apple: marginal hardware at a ridiculously premium price.
But to Apple’s defense, the Airpods weren’t designed to be something to compete with earbuds on a quality for price basis. They are designed to be headphones that will win the audiophile community’s nod of approval. They are designed to take calls.
That’s right, the Airpods have a very high quality microphone with noise-cancelling technology that allows you to take calls in the wind or other noisy environments. Or to invoke the ghost of Siri to inquire as to the nearest Chinese takeout joint.
Apple Headphones Are Not For the Audiophile
Plain and simple. At $159 you are going to find earbuds far superior in sound quality than the Airpods. However, for a wireless headset that fits comfortably in your ear that pairs seamlessly with an Apple device: the Airpods win hands down.
Just setting the Airpods next to your phone will trigger a pop up on your screen to connect. Whenever you take them off the charger and put them in your ears, a ding will notify you they are connected.
You see, this is the point of Apple headphones: they are part of the seamless, one-button or no-button world of Apple design theory. The average iPhone user just wants to make calls and listen to music on the go and not worry about pairing a new pair of bluetooth headphones, researching the best sound quality per dollar options, etc. They want to be able to take and make calls with a wireless pair of headphones that has zero issues and high connectivity.
Also, interacting with Siri is one of the main purposes of the Airpods. With two taps on the Airpods you can activate Siri and tell her: “next song”, or “call mom”.
So overall, I recommend using Airpods if you’ve purchased a new iPhone and they were included. That’s the magical pairing that was designed for.
If you are like me, and hold onto your iPhone 5s until it becomes an obsolete brick, you’ll be better off researching and buying a pair of bluetooth headphones with much higher quality sound and built-in mic.