Apple AirPods review: Seamless connectivity without wires

Apple AirPods
I've been using Apple’s EarPods as my primary mobile headset for more than four years. Thankfully, they fit my ear and are quite comfortable, thus I’m able to fall asleep wearing them. And I do so nearly every night, when they are connected to my iPod.

Thus, after the jokes about losing one’s AirPods (Rs 15,400) died down, I was interested in taking it through its paces. Popping them out of the charging case, the AirPods paired very easily and very fast with my iPhone; and all my other Apple devices. Next, I went out for a run, wearing as bandana for fear of losing the AirPods.

The good thing is, since this pair doesn’t block out outside noise, it’s safe to wear on the roads. Of course, in a noisy environment, that can be a bad thing too. Next, I tried some vigorous free-hand exercises indoors, sans the bandana. The AirPods stayed put, though my wife said I looked like a character from Star Trek (don’t know whether that was due to my movements or the white stalks sticking out of my ear).

The next day, I went for a jog wearing the AirPods and the Apple Watch Series 2, leaving my iPhone and bandana at home. It was a lot of fun playing the tracks from the Watch and feeling “lighter” without my phone. But yes, I did get curious glances. The AirPods stop playing music once you take them out of your ears. Tap on one of them and Siri is activated. But you need a phone to control all other functions.

I came home and talked to my folks via FaceTime and Skype on my iPad, by just picking it up — the AirPods were already paired. And I was asked if I had got a new iPad as the “speakerphone” sounded way better than it did earlier. I had to turn my face to show the AirPods! The next day, I actually took a cellular call on my iPod wearing these phones. All was going well, till my Wi-Fi network failed.

On the AirPods, the highs were excellent and thankfully the sharp trebles (found on the EarPods) were missing. There was enough bass and the lows were better than the EarPods. But of course it makes sense for an audiophile-grade pair if you’re into high-resolution music and such nuances matter (they do for me, and thus I didn’t listen to operas on the AirPods). I’ve been lulled to sleep wearing the AirPods, and they didn’t slip out of my ears. They can be connected to Androids as well, like Bluetooth earphones, though the connection is a bit erratic, I found. The case charges the AirPods, which last close to five hours with a single charge.

The Apple AirPods are a definite buy for those with multiple Apple devices on the lookout for a wireless device. Just remember you’re paying for the convenience.

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