Apple AirPods

7.7/10 AVG.
RATING

  • Apple AirPods
  • Apple AirPods
  • Apple AirPods
  • Apple AirPods

Apple’s AirPods are the best fully wireless earbuds you can buy.

- Caleb Denison, Digital Trends 


The company's first wireless earbuds aren't perfect, but they have potential.

- Chris Velazco, Engadget 

Specs / Features


Specification

Brand Apple
Weight 4 grams
(0.14 ounces)

The "1-Minute" Review

What's good

  • Simple charging
  • Simple pairing with iOS devices
  • Rich sound (for earbuds)
  • Plenty of volume
  • Great mic
  • Decent battery life
  • Great range

What's bad

  • Expensive
  • Less useful for Android or Windows users
  • Fit issues for some
  • Voice-only controls not ideal for basic functions

After some delays, Apple’s AirPods promise a future without wires and an experience unmatched by existing bluetooth headphones. Does the lack of wires and improved connectivity make these earbuds worth buying?

Reviewers have spent the last few weeks running around with shiny white sticks coming from their ears. Let’s see what they’re saying!

Apart from the wires and subtle differences to the shape, AirPods look almost identical to the wired EarPods that ship with every iOS device in existence. Reviewers who had issues keeping EarPods in place during moving had similar issues with these. Then again, there were reviewers mentioning jogging, doing flips and living with their AirPods in with zero issues.

As with any earbud, fit will be the ultimate factor in how much use you get from your AirPods.

Ars Technica summed up fit and design opinions well, saying, “The AirPods are shaped exactly like Apple’s standard EarPods, so if you hate the way the wired earbuds feel or if they physically don’t fit in your ears, you won’t like these either. But the sound quality is noticeably better than the 3.5mm or Lightning AirPods.”

In particular, reviewers noted improved audio quality—particularly for bass response.

While each AirPod includes a mic for use when taking calls or using Siri, you'll find no other dedicated hardware controls. This concerned many reviewers. Simple tasks, such as skipping tracks or changing volume levels require pulling out your phone. However, the quick double-tap to launch Siri received rave reviews. You can also pause playback by removing one earbud from your ear. But, resuming requires interacting with your device yet again.

This was the biggest issue reviewers faced. Apple Insider said, “There's room for improvement. It'd be nice if Siri could handle a subset of common tasks on local devices, particularly for music and volume controls that beg for a faster response than an iCloud roundtrip can logistically accommodate.”

Charging and pairing we’re both high points for most reviewers. Using the W1 chip, the AirPods pair with any iOS 10 device by flipping open the carrying case and tapping connect on the device you wish you pair with. Pairing with your iPhone will also pair the earbuds with your Apple Watch, MacBook and other Apple tech.

Charging is equally simple. Just drop your AirPod back into their carrying case. AirPods offer 5 hours of streaming with a single charge. The carrying case hold enough power for 24 hours of use before you must plug the carrying case in to charge. A full charge of the earbuds takes less than an hour.

You'll need an iOS device to use many of the AirPods' featues. Android users must use a dedicated button on the carrying case to pair with each device you want to use. You’ll also lose access to Siri, with the double-tap pausing and resuming audio playback instead.

Overall, reviews had no problems recommending the AirPods as long as you don’t mind the price. Ars Technica stated, “The AirPods are pretty good wireless headphones for a specific sort of person. You need to like Apple’s EarPod design and be OK with the way they sound and fit in your ear—the audio quality in the AirPods is noticeably better, but it’s not night-and-day. To get the most out of them, you’ll want to be embedded deeply into Apple’s ecosystem, since only Apple devices can seamlessly pair with the headphones.”

Critic Reviews


Apple Insider

Still the best wireless headphones around

from Apple Insider

People who actually buy them are extremely satisfied. They sound amazing, the bluetooth connection and range is better than any wireless earphones we have used and build quality and design are top notch. Overall, this is one of the best products Apple has made in years.

Read full review

People who actually buy them are extremely satisfied. They sound amazing, the bluetooth connection and range is better than any wireless earphones we have used and build quality and design are top notch. Overall, this is one of the best products Apple has made in years.

Read full review

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CordCutters

A brilliant mix of price, audio quality and ease of use

from CordCutters

These, simply put, are excellent wireless earbuds for casual listening. They sound surprisingly good. They're nearly seamless to pair with an iPhone, and still easy with everything else (including Android).

Read full review

These, simply put, are excellent wireless earbuds for casual listening. They sound surprisingly good. They're nearly seamless to pair with an iPhone, and still easy with everything else (including Android).

Read full review

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TechRadar

Apple's fully wireless earbuds solve its newest problem

from TechRadar

Apple AirPods provide an almost perfect future for anyone who wants to don fully wireless earbuds. With superb sound quality and seamless device pairing, all you have to worry about is if they fit your ears and if you can deal with the lack of an in-line remote to control your music.

Read full review

Apple AirPods provide an almost perfect future for anyone who wants to don fully wireless earbuds. With superb sound quality and seamless device pairing, all you have to worry about is if they fit your ears and if you can deal with the lack of an in-line remote to control your music.

Read full review

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The Verge

So much more than just wireless earpods

from The Verge

When I look at the limits of what’s possible today — in terms of miniaturization of audio and wireless components — I can’t see a better combination of price, features, and performance than what’s offered by the AirPods. The price is fair and the compromises are acceptable.

Read full review

When I look at the limits of what’s possible today — in terms of miniaturization of audio and wireless components — I can’t see a better combination of price, features, and performance than what’s offered by the AirPods. The price is fair and the compromises are acceptable.

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The Gadgeteer

Definitely better than the wired headphones that come with the iPhone

from The Gadgeteer

I’m really impressed that Apple has been able to put such great features and electronics in such a small product. I’m not an audiophile, so I can’t comment on how good the audio is compared to other really good headphones.

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I’m really impressed that Apple has been able to put such great features and electronics in such a small product. I’m not an audiophile, so I can’t comment on how good the audio is compared to other really good headphones.

Read full review

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The Verge

Some definitely offer better sound quality, but they’re less convenient

from The Verge

AirPods are the best truly wireless earbuds available because they nail the essentials like ease of use, reliability, and battery life.

Read full review

AirPods are the best truly wireless earbuds available because they nail the essentials like ease of use, reliability, and battery life.

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TrustedReviews

One of the best pairs of completely wireless earbuds

from TrustedReviews

The Apple AirPods make me excited for what Apple can achieve for future versions as the first attempt falls short in some important areas.

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The Apple AirPods make me excited for what Apple can achieve for future versions as the first attempt falls short in some important areas.

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iMore

Apple's attempt to bring us a better, brighter wireless future

from iMore

If you're looking for the best integrated, lightest, and most future-feeling audio experience for iPhone and all your other Apple gear, look no further than AirPods.

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If you're looking for the best integrated, lightest, and most future-feeling audio experience for iPhone and all your other Apple gear, look no further than AirPods.

Read full review

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Cnet

Apple's AirPods have improved with time

from Cnet

Look past their offbeat design and you'll find that Apple AirPods' compact size and high convenience factor are a winning combination.

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Look past their offbeat design and you'll find that Apple AirPods' compact size and high convenience factor are a winning combination.

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Phandroid

Extremely cool and a taste of the truly wireless future to come

from Phandroid

Other than looking a little silly, I have no other real complaints with them and that’s saying a lot. Just cut the cords and enjoy the freedom of truly wireless earbuds. I can almost guarantee you wont be sorry.

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Other than looking a little silly, I have no other real complaints with them and that’s saying a lot. Just cut the cords and enjoy the freedom of truly wireless earbuds. I can almost guarantee you wont be sorry.

Read full review

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