AirPods got stolen. Paid the eBay premium to get another pair by Monday. They’re that indispensable.
— Ben Thompson (@benthompson) July 21, 2017
Saw the above tweet from Ben Thompson. I had a bad week where I hated pretty much everything in my life besides this podcast with Richard Deitsch and Eric Jackson. And my AirPods! I can’t say I find them as indispensable as Ben Thompson yet, but it’s still an unexpected love story.
Unexpected because when the AirPods were announced I waved them off. I was a “I’m totally fine with the regular old EarPods, thanks!” guy. And I was totally fine with the regular old EarPods! I spent so much time with phone in pocket/EarPods in ears that I’d usually go through two or three pairs of EarPods per year.
The impetus to buy them had nothing to do with eliminating cords. It was a last-ditch effort to keep the peace with my brother. We usually talk on the phone once a week for about an hour. I tend to pace when I’m on the phone so I’m walking around the house EarPods in ears, phone in pocket and EarPods jack jostling ever so slightly as I pace…in a low humidity environment. That sometimes produces a bit of static. It didn’t bother me, but for my brother it was nails on a chalkboard.
After trying a variety of tactics to solve which didn’t reduce my brother’s annoyance I ordered the AirPods. Six weeks later they came.
- My brother is happy
- I’m happy
- The charger design is wonderful
- I think they sound better than regular EarPods
- I never knew how fucking much I actually hated the cord!
- At least at home, I don’t need the phone in my pocket. I can charge the phone, listen to podcasts and not be tethered.
- Range at home is “the whole house”
- It pairs easily with all my iOS devices, my iMac and…
- …I bought a ~$25 BlueTooth transmitter I could hook up to my A/V system…
- ..and the AirPods are now also my “TV Ears”
I’ve had them nearly a month now and I love them. I had no idea how much I’d appreciate a little extra freedom. For example, I edit podcasts on my iMac and ~95% of the editing process is just listening. Now I can pair the AirPods with the iMac and handle 95% of the editing task from my backyard.
Sure there were other ways to do that already, but none as comfortable for me as AirPods. If you live in the desert, and it’s summer, over-the-ear headphones are basically like wearing earmuffs. I don’t know about anyone else, but I don’t like wearing earmuffs in the summer in the desert. Other designs of wireless/wireless-ish buds just aren’t nearly as comfortable for me and I tried several over the past few years. There were other options, that were wireless with wires like Bluetooth transmitter + Bluetooth receiver with earpods plugged into receiver. That was pretty much equally effective for editing podcasts from the backyard and as “TV Ears” but didn’t work at all for the phone call issue with my brother. So for me at least the AirPods are an all-in-one solution that is truly wireless.
AirPods are kind of pricey at $159. BUT, if you’re someone who was already spending ~$60/yr on EarPods, assuming the AirPods last at least 3 years, it’s not necessarily a bad economic tradeoff.
If you hate having stuff in your ears or you have a history of EarPods not fitting your ears right, these probably aren’t for you. But otherwise if you have an iPhone. spend a lot of time on your phone listening to audio (be it music, podcasts, audiobooks, or talking on the phone a lot) AirPods are definitely worth considering and maybe worth considering whether you use an iPhone or not.