AirPods: Just as bad as you thought they’d be

No matter how much you love Apple gear, you’re going to have trouble loving AirPods

Thanks to a friend who worships at the church of Apple, I’ve gotten my first look at Apple’s AirPods. They’re just as annoying as I’d expected.

To catch you up on the story, Apple dumped the headphone jack in iPhone 7. Why? Was there a change.org petition to get rid of old, working technology? Nope.

According to Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing ,Phil Schiller, it was so Apple could make an even skinner phone and/or add new technology. Because, don’t you know, what the world needs now is an even thinner iPhone.

The real reason, of course, is that Apple wants to shear more money from its sheep. All those pricey Apple Beats earpods and headphones you’ve bought recently? They’re all old junk on their way to obsolescence, if you believe Apple.

Instead, you’ll need $159 AirPods. They don't come with your pricey new iPhone 7. Apple really does want to squeeze out every last dollar from its customers.

Oh, and guess what. You’re going to lose those AirPods. That isn’t a threat. That’s a promise.

It’s all I can do to keep track of my Era by Jawbone Bluetooth headset, and it’s seldom off my head during a business day. You’re going to be taking the AirPods, with their inadequate five-hour (well, more like three, really) battery life off and on constantly. You will lose them. It’s only a matter of time.

Heck, you may want to lose them. I mean, do you want to look like you have Q-tips sticking out of your ears? I don’t!

You can, of course, use regular — not to mention cheaper — Bluetooth headsets, but you’ll lose — Apple’s own words — the “magic.”

What magic? I don’t expect good audio from Apple products, but the AirPods’ sound quality is far worse than Apple’s already “meh” earpods. If you really want to listen to music from your iPhone 6 or earlier, bite the bullet and shell out $250 for the Bose QuietComfort 20.

Yes, the Bose cost a lot. But, guess what, they’re worth it and they won’t become a cat toy when you’re not looking. Or, if you really insist on wireless, go with the JBL Reflect Mini BT for $100.

One reason I’m willing to pay serious money for headsets and earpods is that active noise cancellation makes using them, not to mention listening to music, much more enjoyable. Guess what Apple doesn’t include in the AirPods? Why, yes, that would be active noise cancellation.

Of course, you could use the Apple-supplied dongle to connect your old earpods via the iPhone’s 7 Lightning port. Well, you can, but it doesn’t work that well. In my experience, whenever you add another link to an audio connection, the quality goes downhill. That proved to be true yet again.

So, let me sum this up for you. Apple, for no reason other than to increase its profits and further lock in customers to its technologies, is forcing its customers to buy expensive, second-rate technology.

No thank you.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Apple

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?