Whenever I see the AirPods on TV, or out and about, there’s always someone who has to make a comment mocking Apple’s terrible design execution on these headphones. “They look like tampons coming out of his ears” and the like. They aren’t wrong. The AirPods certainly have a polarizing look. I wasn’t a fan of them at first, not in the least bit. But after hearing a few of my friends who own them, rave about how they are their most used headphones (and these are audiophile types), I started to get more intrigued. Finally, the reason I had to pick them up, was when I saw how easy it was to pair them with different devices. After a few months of using them, I’ve decided they were my favorite tech purchase this year. Here’s my review.


Starting with the sound, these are far superior to the Earpods that are bundled with the iPhones. This should be obvious considering they cost much more. But it’s comforting knowing you’re spending money on not just wireless tech, and Siri implementation, but also a better sound. The sound signature favors the highs more than it does the lower ends, though its no slouch in the bass. The Airpods have a nice sparkle in the highs, with slightly elevated mids. This is perfect for someone like myself who enjoys listening to indie rock and podcasts. Vocals particularly sound great. And the low range thumps with a cold sort of sound, something I wish was a bit warmer. Unfortunately, because of that the sound is a bit more “chemical” than natural. If you enjoy Jazz or Hip Hop, these sound good, but just aren’t up to the standards of a true open back headphone, like the AKG 240mkII’s or even the closed ATH-m50x’s.


But when you couple good sound with how easy it is to use these, then things start falling into place. Now Apple has infused this new W1 Bluetooth chip into these headphones which allows for instant set up. Literally opening up the headphones case near your phone, and bam, it’s synced with all your iCloud devices. iPhone, Macbook, iPad, you name it. And when you want to use a different device, you’re a press away. No more pairing process, something Bluetooth headphones have been plagued with since its inception. I own the Sony MDR-1000x’s, which are wireless and have a MASSIVE improvement in sound, but the Airpods are just so easy to use i often choose them instead. That kind of usability makes a world of difference when you’re using tons of devices. Unfortunately, this usability stops as soon as you leave the Apple ecosystem. Android phone, Windows PC, Android Tablet? Well, then you’re stuck pairing the old way.

Design and Comfort

This last section is the more subjective of the bunch. Speaking on design, like I said previously, these are quite polarizing. Are they the best looking headphone? Absolutely not. They are really just earpods with the wire cut off. So you end up having this odd white thing dripping out of your ear. Though, after the public have had some time seeing them out in the public, I think that odd stigma has left. After all, it’s an Apple product and people often forgive design quirks when they figured out Jony Ive is behind them. The Apple case on the other hand is sleek, small, and looks great. Thrown into that tiny pocket in your pocket that comes with jeans, the case fits great. Or any pocket for that matter. Then on comfort, I find them excellent as well. I’m one of those lucky people who don’t have an issue with the original earpods. These are the same exact shape, so they slide in my ear canals, and no act of movement will remove them. Others aren’t so lucky, so I’d try a pair on before purchasing. And there really isn’t much else to say about them on the design side. If you don’t mind the odd look, and they fit in your ears nicely, you’re on easy street.


So like I mentioned in the beginning of the article, these are one of my favorite tech purchases this year. I’m constantly listening to music, podcasts, audiobooks, and watching YouTube, but not on just my iPhone, on ALL my devices. And having to go through the pairing process each and every time I needed to switch to a different device was bothersome. Apple has remedy that problem with these Airpods, while also bundling in great sound, wireless capabilities, and no nonsense usability. So for those reasons, I’m constantly looking over my other, much better sounding headphones, for these little dudes. But then again, I’m the perfect candidate for these earpods. I don’t have any issues with their fit, I don’t mind the look, and I’m already heavily invested in the Apple ecosystem. If you don’t check all three of those boxes, then you might want to look elsewhere.