1. Pairing made easy
If you own Bluetooth headphones you already know how painful it is to pair and unpair them with different devices. Apple solved that problem by developing their own W1 chips that seems to be using Bluetooth standards, but with better connectivity and more power efficiency. All it takes is a push of a button on the AirPod charging case to pair them with iPhone 7.
The most interesting thing is once you pair one device with AirPods they will automatically be paired with all of your supported Apple devices.
2. iCloud in your ear
Once you pair your AirPod with any of your Apple devices, it will be available across all of your Apple devices using iCloud. If you are someone like me who uses iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and MacBook, you will never have to worry about lugging around that wired headphone and plugging/unplugging it from one device to another.
AirPod is smart enough to know the device playing the content and it will automatically switch to that device. This alone is a killer feature as when I work, I switch between devices: taking calls from my phone, watching Netflix on my iPad Pro, transcribe an interview on my MacBook then go for a run with Apple Watch. Now, no matter which device I am using, AirPod will take care of the switch. Isn’t that amazing?
3. Smart enough to work with my Android devices
The smartness of AirPods goes beyond just the iCloud pairing. AirPods are equipped with dual optical sensors, accelerometers, tiny batteries, W1 chips and a microphone. All of these work together to offer a great experience. The sensors detect how you are using them.
As soon as you put them in your ear, the sensors detect it and you hear a tone informing you of connectivity. If you are listening to music and someone wants to talk to you, just take one AirPod out of your ear and the track will pause. Complete your discussion, put the AirPod back, and the music will resume.
If you are using only one AirPod, then it will automatically switch from stereo to mono. If I want to use AirPods with my Nexus device; I can pair them just like plain old boring Bluetooth headphones.
4. AI in your ears
I am a huge fan of machine learning and artificial intelligence. Siri is the best thing about AirPods. A tap on AirPod wakes Siri up and I can perform many different tasks without taking my phone out. I don’t need to take my iPhone out to check the weather, to control audio volume, call my wife or to ask for directions.
Anything that you want Siri to do can be now done right from my AirPods. Which also means when I work at home I don’t need to carry my iPhone around. I only wish Siri was as smart as Alexa on my Amazon Echo.
5. Compromising sound quality?
Critics say that wireless can never match wires. It’s partially true and partially false. Yes Bluetooth does compress data and you lose some part of audio, but if you are listening to mp3 or any music streaming service it’s already compressed so wired or wireless headphones are not going to make any difference.
Keep in mind one more thing, it’s not the wire that makes the difference; it’s the electronics, magnets and coils. You can find wired headphones that sound crappy and wireless headphones that sound awesome. It’s also about what you are listening to. Audiophiles don’t listen to streaming services and mp3; they use lossless compression or CDs.
If you are one of those audiophiles, just use the Lightning adapter that comes with the phone for free and use your existing headphones. Apple’s EarPods are music to my ears and I am not expecting anything different from AirPods and I am not an audiophile; I am just a regular guy listening to Porcupine Tree.
6. Five hours of battery life?
Apple promises 5 hours of battery life on one charge. Is that bad? Yes and no. I don’t listen to music for five continuous hours. The only exceptions are when I travel internationally for conferences. I mostly travel to Europe or the West Coast and many flights are 8+ hours long.
The good news is that the AirPod case is also a charger that holds 24 hours of charge. I can put my AirPods in the charger for 15 minutes and I get 3 more hours of listening time. A 15 minute break is not a bad thing for such a long flight.
Yes, five hours battery life is not ideal, but it’s not a deal breaker thanks to the 15 minutes charging time. I am expecting future improvements to W1 chip will improve the battery life.
AirPods with Wireless Charging Case
AirPods with Charging Case
|Price||From: –||From: –||From: –|
|Hey Siri||Always on||Always on||Always on|
|LED Charging Light Location||Front of case||Front of case||Front of case|
|USB-C Case Charging|
|Qi Compatible Wireless Case Charging||–|
|Active Noise Cancellation||–||–|
|Fit||Customizable with ear tips||Universal||Universal|
|Sweat And Water Resistant||–||–|
|Battery Life (Listening Time On One Charge)||Up to 4.5 hours of listening time||Up to 5 hours of listening time||Up to 5 hours of listening time|
|Battery Life (Listening Time With Charging Case)||More than 24-hours||More than 24-hours||More than 24-hours|
Apple AirPods Pro
|Weight||AirPods (each): 0.19 ounce (5.4 g), Wireless Charging Case: 1.61 ounces (45.6 g)|
|Dimensions||AirPods (each): 16.5 x 18.0 x 40.5 mm, (0.94 x 0.86 x 1.22 inches) , Wireless Charging Case: 45.2 x 21.7 x 60.6 mm (1.78 x 0.85 x 2.39 inches)|
|AirPods Sensors (each)||Dual beamforming microphones, Dual optical sensors, Motion-detecting accelerometer, Speech-detecting accelerometer|
|Power and Battery||AirPods Pro with Wireless Charging Case: More than 24 hours listening time, up to 18 hours talk time|