Very rarely do I get a high-demand item on Day One. I just got lucky with Apple's Airpods.
It was early December 2016, and I was sitting in my office getting some work done when Twitter refreshed and several people and sites started saying that Airpods pre-orders were now open. I had $160 saved for months, so I was ready. I went directly to Apple's site and placed my order.
They sold out very quickly, but I got a package a few days before Christmas containing what would be the best Apple accessory I've ever owned.
For the last 7 months, there has literally not been a day when I haven't used Apple's Airpods. It is not an understatement for me to say that, aside from the iPhone, they are my favorite Apple product of all time.
Imagine my surprise a couple of weeks ago when a friend was asking me questions about them. "Why do you just get some and try them out?" I asked.
"Because I can't find them to buy them!"
The search for Airpods had completely fallen off my radar - after all, I wasn't looking anymore. But I wrongly assumed that six months after the official release that they would have been readily available. Turns out, they were still pretty scarce. My friend was able to get some at a local Verizon store, but Apple.com still says 6 weeks for shipping as of July 2017.
But if you are able to get your hands on some, I feel strongly that you will not be disappointed.
The Best Wireless Earbuds By Far
To me, it was astonishing at how small these devices were. The case is no bigger than a small dental floss case, and some people have even made stickers for the Airpods case to camouflage it. It opens and reveals the tops of the actual Airpods and clicks closed with far too much fun. Apple clearly spent lots of time on the design of how this all fit together. The case also charges the Airpods - you'll find a lightning connector on the bottom of the case to charge the case.
The battery life is outstanding - and if it wasn't, this would be far less of a product in my opinion. I regularly get 4-5 hours of listening in both ears on one charge. The Airpods case gives me another 2-3 full charges for a total of about 16-20 hours of continuous listening. Most times I'm not using them 20 hours a day, though, and I usually go a few days without even charging the case. If you're someone that talks on the phone all day, you could probably talk for 50 hours straight just using one Airpod, and then charge that one and use the other one.
Oh, and that's one of the cool features - you can use each Airpod independently if you like. Sometimes it's nice to use just one. You can hear your surroundings or talk to someone else.
When you have both Airpods in your ears, there's a number of things you can do. If you pull on out of your ear, your music automatically stops. Put it back in and it resumes. Same for any audio coming from your device, not just music.
Double-tap on either Airpod and you get one of two things: 1) Siri - which can control volume, do an internet search, or initiate a phone call or 2) simply start/stop your audio. I opted for the second option (which you can change in Settings), because I don't want to have to take the Airpods out of my ear to stop the music because I have little kids around.
One of the coolest features was simple syncing. I jump back and forth from using my Airpods with my iPhone and my iPad. All you have to do is simply open the case with the Airpods inside near the device of choice and you get a little box that pops up and says you're connected. No jumping through Settings, no going through Bluetooth hoops. There have been occasions when this doesn't work, and in that event I just swipe up to Airplay controls and manually connect from there. There's a tone on your Airpods when a device is connected.
Airpods are shaped exactly like Earpods, and they will fit the same. And they don't fall out easily at all. You can shake your head, ride a bike, or go for a run and they don't fall out. And keep in mind, these are completely independent headphones,
There are a few drawbacks to having Airpods. None of them dealbreakers (for me, at least), but some you should watch out for.
Size. Like I said, these things are tiny. So tiny that they are very easy to lose. On some occasions, I've dropped the case with the Airpods inside on a tile floor and the case and the Airpods when all different directions. Best to keep them in the case when you're not using them - because if you don't, you will lose them.
Exterior sounds. Airpods will not be good in high noise environments like for mowing the grass or in factory situations. Crowded rooms and subways or buses should be fine. But you will want some noise-cancelling headphones for these loud places - Airpods probably won't cut it for you.
Earpod compatibilty. If Apple's regular Earpod earbuds don't fit your ears, these probably won't either. However, that being said, if you're always getting your headphones jerked out of your ears, give Airpods a chance. It may be the headphone cable that was the culprit. I have heard from people that couldn't wear Apple's regular headphones that were able to wear Airpods just fine because there wasn't a cable to snag them out of their ears.
If you are looking for a great pair of truly wireless earphones and you have $160, Apple's Airpods may be for you. If you like the regular Earpods but want something more convenient and fancy, check out the Airpods. And lastly, if you want to be on the bleeding edge of tech and have true wireless freedom, Apple's Airpods may just be the ticket for you.