Apple AirPods : test and review

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Apple AirPods

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“The future is wireless,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook at the Apple Keynote at the Bill Graham Civic Center in San Francisco in September 2017.¬†Two single earplugs without cables, packed in a small box – these are the Apple AirPods.¬†At first glance, the wireless headphones for the Apple smartphone look like made.¬†Both devices are straightforward.¬†In fact, all you have to do is open the AirPods next to the iPhone to pair them with your smartphone for the first time.¬†No button press, no calling up the iPhone settings, no companion app – just open the box for a second.¬†With the AirPods you can listen to music, make phone calls, use Siri and much more.¬†All important information, tips and news can be found here at CURVED.¬†

The Apple AirPods

Which devices are AirPods compatible with?

But with which devices are the AirPods actually compatible? Apple states that the AirPods are compatible with all iOS 10 or later iPhones . So you need at least an iPhone 5 or iPhone 5c .

Price and availability

“Apple does not design for the price”.¬†Says Apple.¬†The wireless headphones are available for 179 euros.¬†But you get an extremely energy-efficient W1 chip that controls the battery power so well that the AirPods offers a unique playback time of up to 5 hours.¬†Thanks to the charging case, which offers several additional charges for a total of 24 hours of playback, they keep up with everything you do.¬†Conclusion: Expensive yes, but not too expensive.


All specifications

Supplier / Developer Apple
description Wireless headphones that follow the design of the original EarPods. With the small charging case over 24 hours of battery life are possible without which you can listen to a maximum of 5 hours of music, podcasts and more.
Bluetooth Yes
form factor In-ear
Battery life 5/24 h
Noise reduction 1
colour White
status Available
Price at launch 179 ‚ā¨

The Apple AirPods in the test

Apple had just killed the jack on the iPhone – and then at the same time present his idea of ‚Äč‚Äčcompletely wireless headphones: the AirPods.¬†After the official presentation, the conditions were not the best for testing headphones.¬†After all, hell is always going on in the hands-on area.¬†Thus, the first “Ears On” was relatively rudimentary, the hands-on was limited to the feel and the connection to the iPhone.¬†For some days now I was able to test the AirPods from series production together with the iPhone 7.

iPhone + AirPods = Apple in its purest form

First impression after a few minutes: For the Apple smartphone, the wireless headphones look like made. Both devices are straightforward. In fact, all you have to do is open the AirPods next to the iPhone to pair them with your smartphone for the first time. No button press, no calling up the iPhone settings, no companion app Рjust open the box for a second. Why was that so awkward over the years with Bluetooth headphones?

Responsible for this include Apple’s in-house W1 chipset.¬†It is also used in the new beats and allows long runtimes, but also an outrageously easy collaboration with Apple devices.¬†Once the iPhone and AirPods are initially paired, it is sufficient to open the small box.¬†Almost without delay, a brief dialogue appears on the lockscreen showing the charge status of the two in-ears and the box.

Good to know: The two AirPods technically set up two individual connections, ie one data stream per headset. The data stream is usually established between the smartphone and a headset, which in turn establishes a connection to the other handset. The result: Because the signal has to move through our heads with lots of water, it can lead to delays and crashes. In the AirPods the W1 takes over the synchronization. This job does the chipset perfectly. In the test period, there were no dropouts with the AirPods. Presumably, it was precisely this fine-tuning of two individual signals and their synchronization was the reason why the delivery of the Apple headphones has been delayed. The manufacturer does not comment on the circumstances. But he does not have to (anymore): Because what Apple has done with the W1,

Android compatible, but full potential only with Apple devices

If you remove the earplugs and put them in your ear, you will hear a short confirmation tone. The connection was transferred from the box to the two in-ears at this moment. If you want to pair the wireless headphones with other Apple devices, this works again via the Bluetooth menu of iOS. Even with non-Apple devices and devices that are not linked to their own iCloud account, the AirPods can be connected. There is a button on the back, which you have to press.

With Android smartphones, the AirPods are still good Bluetooth headphones.¬†Nevertheless, the portable T√∂ner are worth their money only when they are connected to an iPhone.¬†Only then can you use the full hardware potential that Apple’s engineers have placed in such a small space.¬†With a double tap on the page, no matter what headset, you start Siri – or occupies this gesture with start or pause.

To perform the action, you have to press the in-ears relatively firmly, however, to prevent accidental operation. But that does not feel really nice, because you either push the hard in-ears deeper into the ear canal or onto the outer ear.

Ear ergonomics

And here we have to talk about the ergonomics of the AirPods.¬†My ears – medium sized, standard German ears – had problems with every Apple headphone so far.¬†The EarPods never really wanted to be stuck with me.¬†At least not as strong as I would like from In-Ears.¬†They do not push, they do not fall out right away, but in sports they do not sit tight enough.¬†That’s no different with the AirPods.

Short for explanation: The wireless Apple headphones are slightly larger. The bridge is five millimeters longer and 1.6 millimeters thicker. That still makes no difference in the ear. Plus point: Although they are a bit heavier than the EarPods, they feel easier. Because it lacks the cable pull.

Unfortunately, there is no possibility to adjust the volume on the headphones without a cable. That goes by voice command to Siri. But one does not necessarily want to exclaim in the train: “Make the music louder!” That could easily understand the seat neighbor wrong. Since you wanted a few more gestures on the small earplugs.

That this would weigh even more on the already tiny batteries, is out of the question.¬†And yet: The battery life of the AirPods is fine.¬†Although I’m pretty spoiled with the new Beats generation with W1: The 30 to 40 hours of the¬†Beats Solo 3 Wireless¬†, the sound-tots certainly not.¬†But the promised five hours on a single charge will easily keep you going.¬†The transport box, which is charged by Lightning, gives energy for another day.¬†Plus: The small, white box is so easy to handle that it does not take up any space in your pocket.

Conclusion

“Apple does not design for the price”.¬†Says Apple.¬†Right after the hands-on, many commented on the hands-on: too expensive!¬†But are they really that, the AirPods?¬†Let’s compare the prices with the competition:¬†Bragis The Dash¬†cost 299 euros, but can also do more.¬†Bragis The Headphone¬†will cost 149 euros.¬†The¬†Vervelones¬†we tested¬†are already at 250 euros.¬†The Erato Apollo 7cost even 299 euros.¬†Are the AirPods so expensive?¬†Yes, but not too expensive.¬†Especially since they save me the usual nervousness when pairing with the smartphone.¬†Then to answer the question asked at the beginning: With the AirPods, Apple is bringing the “wireless” concept a good deal further.¬†If only they would be bombproof now!

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