AirPods have overcome the mockery to mass acceptance (Apple)

There’s a strong argument to be made that Apple is as much a fashion company as it is a tech company.

After all, you don’t need to update your smartphone every year just as you don’t need to buy a new pair of jeans every year. But somehow, Apple makes it cool and hip to be seen sporting the newest iDevice.

And then there’s the AirPods.

The little tusks that hang out of your ear and connect seamlessly to your iPhone or iPad thanks to the built-in W1 chip. The whole process is designed to be as effortless as possible, which is why Apple changed very little when it brought out an updated version earlier this month.

There’s a new ‘H1’ chip that Apple says improves connectivity for better call clarity and boosts the battery life. You’ve also got a new wireless charging case that means you can drop them onto a QI-wireless mat rather than having to plug them in.

But from the outset, they’re still the same AirPods. Almost identical, in fact.

When the wireless buds first came out (as a means of replacing the dropped headphone jack) they were scoffed at, ridiculed and otherwise rejected as too expensive and too silly. The memes were fantastic.

But fast forward a few years and they’re everywhere. Take a look around next time you’re on a train platform or walking down the street.

Apple loaned me a pair of the new AirPods to try for myself and pretty quickly it became apparent why they’ve become such an essential purchase for so many: if you’ve got an iPhone then they’re the simplest and most effective headphones you can buy.

You get three hours of talk time from the new headphones and the case carries an additional 20 hours on top of that. Apple has put a small light on the front that glows orange when charging and green when full. In my experience, a charge from 25% to full took just over an hour. It’s slower when you’re using wireless though.

AirPods have become a cultural icon (Image: Apple)

Don’t get me wrong, I still think they look silly – but after a couple of days I was prepared to take that in stride for the ease of just popping some headphones in my ears and have them work instantly. Unless I was running – turns out they’re not that good at staying in when it comes to exercise.

Apple’s creed has always been about making stuff that just works and the AirPods are the epitome of that. Hold them near your iPhone and you get a little on-screen button that you press to connect and that’s all you need.

The AirPods couldn’t be much easier to use (Apple)

I’ve used a range of other smartphones with plenty of different wireless headphones and when it comes to ease of use, this is by far the best implementation I’ve ever seen. Given that Apple makes both products and charges you £159 for the AirPods, you’d hope that would be the case.

If you’re already a heavy iOS user and you’re more interested in ease of use than sound quality or style, then the AirPods are the best you’re going to get.





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