Apple AirPods have been trolled at great length. But if you try them on, you’re going to enjoy some widespread attention. And be left impressed. I, for one, have turned from a critic to a fan. And it’s amusing to see critics praise it once they experience it. Unless of course, your ear canal isn’t within average limits. If you’ve had a problem with the EarPods fitting your ears, you’d have a problem with the AirPods as well. On the contrary, if you’re fine with standard EarPods, the AirPods take your music and wireless audio experience to the next level.
I initially got the pair of Apple AirPods around New Year’s. Talking about the unboxing and pairing of the device with the iPhone, all you need to do is open the AirPod case. This also serves as its charging dock. Assuming that Bluetooth on your iPhone is turned on, it detects your pair of AirPods. Your iPhone will then display battery percentage on the charging case as well as each AirPod.
A few indicators through the LED flashing on the case, and you have your moment of truth. Simply pick up the AirPod and place it in your ear. You’ll hear an audio notification that the AirPod is active. I did have a fan moment when I did that. I was saddened the first time around. The initial pair of AirPods that I got had a bug. Somehow, only one of the AirPod seemed to connect to my iPhone. I got a replacement in a few days, and this pair has been working well ever since. It’s been a month already.
What do I use it for?
My daily schedule isn’t too conducive to sit back and enjoy some music. Yesterday, was supposed to be among my lightest day, and I’d received 43 calls. This is despite the fact that a lot of conversation happens over email, and messaging. Now as much as I’d like to, I simply don’t get to sit back and experience some nice music. I’d rather listen to music on my laptop rather than on my phone.
The Apple AirPods connect with my MacBook Air as well. But the process of connecting could've been better. I wish the process is as simple as it is with the iPhone, but that's not the case. You need to go to settings, Bluetooth and manually connect the AirPods. I’m interrupted each time I get a phone call. I have some critical calls around the time I begin my day. I get started around 9AM and the barrage of calls goes on till the end of the day. I’ve been holding on to my phone all through these calls. After a certain point, you just want to hold the phone away from your ear. Doesn’t matter how important people are, for a significant duration of the call, it’s just useless unnecessary chatter between others that you don’t need to pay attention to.
As the phone begins to warm up close to half an hour into a call, you want it to end sooner. But life usually has different plans. The first remedy is to use a handsfree set or earphones with a mic. But while I walk with a laptop bag through a crowded street, there’s always the hassle of wires, which I hate. That’s when the pair of Apple AirPods come to my rescue.
My concerns with the Apple AirPods
Just like many others, I've had concerns of my own. They sure do come at a price. And what happens if they fall off? As much as I was compelled to show them off in public, my mind kept stopping me. What if it rolls off into an open drain, or some such phobia would dampen my excitement. I was more comfortable trying it out in open spaces, at office, or while on a short walk around home. That’s how I spent the initial couple weeks with the Apple AirPods. Soon, the AirPods grew on me. I’ve had to deal with some degree of envy from all those around me who know me as well. And that’s exactly what I mean by widespread attention.
What truly impresses me…
Given that my use case is primarily for long calls, what has distinctly stood for me are the mics in the AirPods. I’ve been part of several calls using the AirPods, and none of the called parties ever suspected I was using these AirPods. When I told a few, they said the call was as clear as I was speaking from my iPhone directly.
I've spoken at a normal conversational volume level, without any added emphasis. At times I've even discussed at inaudible levels close to a whisper and the person on the other end has been able to hear me. It's only when I revealed to them that I was, in fact, using the AirPods that they even knew about it.
I nearly believed that I can't connect my AirPods with the MacBook Air, but since I can, using Siri and receiving and placing calls wirelessly is a delight, all thanks to continuity.
What I wish from the AirPods
I use a MacBook Air, and as much as I wished, I hoped to use it with my MacBook Air. But it simply wouldn't. I nearly believed that pairing the two wasn't possible. It'd be so convenient if I could simply tap to connect the two just like my iPhone. Or even answer my phone calls or respond to Siri on the MacBook Air by a double tap on my pair of AirPods instead. Switching between the iPhone and MacBook should also be seamless. I'm hopeful, though, that in the next macOS update, Apple would incorporate the AirPods more closely.
The Apple AirPods come at a price, and once you’ve overcome the heartburn of shedding that kind of money, you’re left impressed. It makes life a whole lot convenient. Underscoring Apple’s popular approach to design, the Apple AirPods are truly minimalist. In fact, once you have overcome your worries of losing the AirPods, you would just get immersed in audio. It grows on you.
Published Date: Feb 10, 2017 03:58 pm | Updated Date: Feb 10, 2017 03:58 pm