Apple AirPods Review


At Apple’s September keynote event that took place a few months ago, there were a few controversial announcements that took place. The iPhone 7’s familiar design and the removal of its 3.5mm headphone jack caused for quite a bit of uproar, and along with this, so too did Apple’s first wireless headphones - the AirPods.

When the AirPods were first announced, the criticism and mockery that they faced from people on social media was absolutely relentless. Apple’s AirPods were said to have looked like the tops of toothbrushes, people were freaking out over the fact that you would lose them immediately, and others ranted about the price tag.

Right there, just minutes after the announcement, AirPods were met with criticism for having an ugly design, being too small, and for costing too much. Couple all of this with a release delay of more than two months, and the AirPods were shaping up to be a rather large flop.

Apple’s wireless headphones were finally made available for purchase earlier this month, and after spending about a week using them, I’m quite surprised with how my overall experience with them ended up being. Was that surprise for better or worse?
Let’s find out.

In the box:
  • AirPods
  • Charging Case
  • Lighting-to-USB Cable
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Product Safety and Warranty Information

Design and Comfort

One of the most talked-about aspects for Apple’s AirPods is their unique design. Both the charging case and AirPods themselves have faced criticism for not being all that good-looking, and while I personally don’t have any issues with the overall look of the package here, this is an extremely subjective area.

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What I can say with absolute certainty though is that both the charging case and AirPods are very well-made. The AirPods are incredibly lightweight, and although this is something we were already expecting, you really can’t grasp just how weightless these things are until you actually get your hands on a pair for yourself. The overall appearance is very reminiscent to that of a pair of EarPods but without any cords attached to them, with the exception of a couple infrared sensors that are used for some of the neat software tricks we’ll get into in just a minute. The AirPods are available exclusively in white, and while it would have been nice to be able to get them in a different color scheme (such as Jet Black), the stark white nature of both the AirPods and their charging case is very sterile and futuristic.

Speaking of the charging case, the same well-constructed nature found with the AirPods is present here as well. The top flips open with a metal hinge that’s somewhat reminiscent to what you’d find on Apple’s MacBook, and it’s held shut through the use of magnets. There are also magnets present on the bottom of each of the AirPods, meaning that they stay securely tucked away inside of the charging case when they’re placed in it.

The charging case does resemble a package of dental floss, and this was something that both my mom and my girlfriend said as soon as they laid their eyes on it. I will admit that the resemblance is there, but this isn’t something that bothered me at all. The use of magnets throughout the case keeps the AirPods safe and snug when you’re not using them, and it’s small enough to fit perfectly inside the somewhat useless watch pocket that’s on your jeans.

Last but certainly not least for the Design and Comfort section - how do AirPods feel while wearing them?

For me personally, AirPods feel great. The lightweight nature of each unit really does contribute a lot to this, and while you of course can still feel each AirPod in your ear, I never felt like they were obtrusive or weighing me down.

Along with this, I also found the fit to be surprisingly great. I had seen a few reviewers complain about how AirPods simply don’t stay in their ears at all, but for me, I never experienced any such issues. I’ve yet to take Apple’s AirPods to the gym, but even after running/jogging around my apartment and shaking my head vigorously, the AirPods refused to exit my ears. This is something that’s going to be entirely dependent on the shape and size of your own ears, and a general rule of thumb that people have been noting is that if EarPods fit snugly in your ears, you won’t have any issues with AirPods fitting in them either. This is certainly a viable test to conduct if you’re worried about Apple’s wireless earbuds fitting in your ears, but for the majority of people out there, I’d say that size and fit shouldn’t be much of an issue.

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Posts: 2817; Member since: Oct 03, 2012 It uses low quality chips and still got a 9 score.......whahahah PA how much Apple paid you this time?

50. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

The whole repair concept was BS to begin with. Who repairs headphones? ifyou headphoens break, you get a new pair. No one I knwo has ever repaired headphones. IFixit teardown was more of a lets see whats inside deal. I agree with rhe review they do sound betetr than the EarPods, but not by that much. Punchy Bass? iPhone's don't even have bass, so that's a lie right there. Hwoever, I use PowerAMP on Android and I connected the AirPods and adjusted the bass to my liking. It took for me to go past 3 to even get any bass to begin with and when I did, it was bass with static,. Comfort? They are not uncomfortable, but since they don't fit and they dont come with rubber cushions to make them fit, I can judge if they are comfortable or not. They fall right out. You keep talkign about the Icon X. Far different breed of earbuds. First off the Icon X get up to 3 hours, if you actually put the music on the earbuds. Which is very easy. You can do it with your phone, or your PC. An hour to charge is along time. Nice for Apple to offer rapid charging. With Samsung using QuickCharge on its phones I am surprised the earbuds didn't have it, other than its so tiny the battery would have to be even smaller to fit coils. My Icon X wont fall out. 3 hours is ok I guess. I only need them for a ride or so. I don't use them while sitting on the couch. But a 9? really? For what exactly? Cause its made by Apple/

68. Punchy506

Posts: 129; Member since: Jan 10, 2016

If you can't repair them, then they ought to be recyclable.

69. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Why? headphones, at least the earbud types, have never been repairable. Why do they need to be recyclable?

91. juandante

Posts: 679; Member since: Apr 23, 2013

I agree that the repair part is not necessarily the thing we do with headphone but remember : the d*mn price of this things is insane. I can get a cheap 20$ earphone, even 10$ and throw them after few months. More than 100$ and for an easy to lost item, slow charging, they could at least make the thing more reparable. And remember also the new iPhones you are forced to get expensive things like this to listen to your music. I am sick of Apple paying iPhonearena to give good marks to their products. This is so evident and biased. This is unacceptable. Some authority must go in the details of this company because this is like false and almost fraudulent behavior.

94. jsdechavez

Posts: 809; Member since: Jul 20, 2012

So Apple can sell them CPO. Certified Pre-Owned. Refurbished.

120. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

two time now i had my senheiser over the ear headphone repaired. those costed me like 80$ back a few years back and another 20$ each time to repair ( always same thing thats break lol damn cable :P ) Still they sound much better than any wireless crap :)

5. dnomadic

Posts: 426; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

Ooo Reallllyyyy???? These are audio devices that sound very similar to the basic earbuds you get with every iPhone, yet these are now a 9... Somebody been smoking the Apple Sausage.

9. aman5mathur

Posts: 241; Member since: Mar 28, 2014

You are losing your commendability PA. Try to atleast not contradict yourself when you talk about low quality chips and their impressive performance!

10. shaineql

Posts: 522; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

Great audio quality , 9, what are you smoking ? But I guess you have to sell your soul to apple in order to get event invites and demo units , also the money .

13. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3109; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

"Price is competitive against similar gadgets" HAHAHAHA I can't stop laughing iPhonearena. You forgot to add another con : no Apple logo to show it off to other sheep.

16. CreeDiddy

Posts: 2255; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

Believe it or not it's true...the ICONX costs between $179-$199.

19. tedkord

Posts: 17417; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Similar products. The Icon X include fitness tracking and on board storage. They're not simply wireless headphones.

24. joeytaylor

Posts: 957; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

Doesn't the IconX also have built in storage for music so you dont even need your phone

15. cozze02

Posts: 130; Member since: Nov 25, 2012

hahaha this review is ridiculously biased, even ifixit said they are low quality and just plain junk lol!!! this has to be a joke right?

17. dnomadic

Posts: 426; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

Now what I believe to be great about these headphone is the battery life, battery charging, the charging case, and the syncing feature...All are nice....Design seems to suck and since these are audio devices that cost $169, I expect, not decent, but excellent audio to be streaming in to my ears. I come here daily to increase my anger against all things Apple...Thank you for my fuel. Because of sites like this I know that Apple incentivizes good reviews and likely incentivizes marginal reviews on other quality devices....Shame shame shame

21. aegislash

Posts: 1518; Member since: Jan 27, 2015

So does build quality just...not matter? Didn't you guys just recently write an entire article about how Apple used poor quality components to build these?

31. Tizo101

Posts: 572; Member since: Jun 05, 2015

"the stark white nature of both the AirPods and their charging case is very sterile and futuristic." so we are praising the white colour now lol.

43. Diego!

Posts: 876; Member since: Jun 15, 2009

God prevent us from Apple releasing a Jet Black set of AirPods xD

32. Diego!

Posts: 876; Member since: Jun 15, 2009

Oh please! A 9 for the Airpods? Are you kidding us? The are impossible to repair and as you mentioned, they won't fit in everybody's ears. I'll give them a 3 the most. That's it. You really lost your reader's respect by giving every Apple product a 9 or a higher score.

54. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Can you show me a list of reparable earbuds? Because I don't know of any. But the main issue is the cheap parts...!

121. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

i would give them a 6 or 7 max...

33. drunkenjay

Posts: 1697; Member since: Feb 11, 2013

no thanks. jaybirds bluebuds x2 gets a 9 instead of airpods.

36. syam7863

Posts: 73; Member since: Sep 15, 2016

A 9? These pods should have 13/10 score. I did not even read the whole thing, as I already know that they will say everything works flawlessly. And Price is competitive against similar gadgets? Are you guys kidding? Only 2 cons? And not really a con by the way. Sound more like sheep everyday. Why don't they put an APPLE logo there, so that people can get a cover, which strategically cut just to show the apple logo. I think they can give a 9+ score for that stunning apple book or whatever they call it. I can imagine reading the article, stunning paper with the ink that can pierce your very soul

126. pt020

Posts: 164; Member since: Apr 08, 2014

It is 9 from a 100

37. SealBeachBum

Posts: 8; Member since: Sep 18, 2014

I still hit this site first thing in the a.m. for the latest of everything, even on weekends. As long as they keep the great coverage of everything up, I can handle one of their incredibly biased Apple reviews. Anybody in any picture wearing these things looks like an utter tool tho, case in point...

76. TheOracle1

Posts: 2340; Member since: May 04, 2015

They certainly don't cover everything. I'm still waiting for an article on the Honor Magic that virtually everyone but iPhonearena carried.

38. cnour

Posts: 2305; Member since: Sep 11, 2014

The best in the market as usual. Apple always put the bar very high.

72. sissy246

Posts: 7124; Member since: Mar 04, 2015


81. aegislash

Posts: 1518; Member since: Jan 27, 2015

Setting the bar high by using cheap low quality materials to build a $159 pair of earbuds? Yeah, the reeeeaaally set the bar with these.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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