For a company that has a knack for jump starting trends in technology, Apple seems to leave customers wanting for more. Case in point is the absence of a headphone jack in the new Apple iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. Instead, you have to buy a 3.5mm headphone jack adapter. Apple prefers to give its users convenience in bits and pieces.
Whether it’s a way to increase profit margins and to keep the retail price down, Apple has heard the prayers of its users and have developed its own brand of earbuds called the Air Pods.
The AirPods were supposed to be launched in the end of October 2016. But for undisclosed reasons, Apple delayed the unveiling for another 2 months. As of December 13, you could now order the AirPods online for $159 but you probably won’t receive them until December 21.
That still gives you 4 days to have it under your Christmas tree!
If you’re ready to turn from naughty to nice, here is everything you need to know about the new Apple AirPods:
AirPods don’t come with the iPhone 7 presumably to keep the price of the unit down.
It is a bit expensive but still fairly more affordable than the other wireless earbuds in the market which hover at the $250 price range. The Apple AirPods are closer to the price range of Bragi’s The Headphones.
If you lose one of the Apple earpods, do not despair. Apple sells the earbuds individually although the company has not released its indicative price.
The W1 Chip
In order to improve the experience and level of convenience, Apple created the W1 Chip to get rid of the need for wires. The W1 Chip is the central command system of the Apple AirPods and improves efficiency and overall functionality.
The W1 Chip makes it easy to pair the Apple AirPods with the iPhone. All you need to do is to open the carrying case of the AirPods. If your iPhone is within distance, you will receive a notification if you want to pair the two. It’s that fast, easy and simple.
The W1 Chip also manages power better and extends your battery life by improving the efficiency of wireless transference of your audio. It is estimated that the AirPods get around five hours of playback time per charge.
The W1 Chip is also available in other Apple products such as the Beats Solo3 Wireless, Powerbeats3 Wireless and the Bests X. The W1 Chip and other devices use Bluetooth technology which means you can also pair them with non- Apple devices. All you need to do is press the button on the Apple AirPods carrying case.
The shower- head shape of the AirPods look similar in design, comfort and sound to the earbuds that came with the early iPhone models.
Both Apple earbuds feature dual optical sensors that sense they are in your ears to pause and activate music. It also includes dual- voice accelerometers which can detect if you are speaking.
Each Apple earbud is loaded with the following:
- 2 microphones
- An antenna
- A battery
- W1 Chip
Thus, you can use 1 earbud without the other. Your audio will be routed automatically to the active earbud.
If you have an Apple Watch and Mac with the latest software; watchOS and macOS respectively, the AirPods will automatically pair the earbuds to them.
Despite its features, don’t expect audio quality to match those of wired headphones or earbuds. You should expect future versions of the AirPods to get better.
But there’s more to the Apple AirPods than just listening to music. You can access it’s A.I. system Siri simply by quick double tapping on the earbuds. However, keep in mind that the only way for you to change the music volume is to ask Siri if you could use your phone. This will cause the music to pause which could be annoying for some.
If you don’t want Siri involved with the airplay, you can set double- tap to play music or pause music in the Bluetooth settings page. What do you do if you get a call? Just tap once to answer.
And if you think it’s safe to go to the water with your AirPods on, think again. The iPhone and 7 Plus are waterproof but not the AirPods.
The Apple AirPods can handle normal sweat or drops of rain but anything more than that will ruin your pricey earbuds.
Battery and Charging
Like any other device, you have to keep your Apple earbuds charged. Its carrying case can charge the AirPods up to 24 hours of listening time. However, the earbuds only have 5 hours of playback time per charge.
Simply plug in the Lightning charger to the case to charge both.
For its price, the Apple AirPods is certainly a worthy stocking stuffer this Christmas season. It has everything you want in a wireless set of earbuds. No doubt expect the good people at Apple to outdo themselves next Christmas season.