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Apple AirPods: Hands-on demo, and the pros and cons

I was taken aback when Apple used precious stage time at its press event this morning to introduce a new pair of earphones—AirPods. To my knowledge that’s never happened before. No doubt it was to help highlight the reasons that removing the headphone jack from the iPhone is a good thing, and not a consumer-hostile … Continue reading “Apple AirPods: Hands-on demo, and the pros and cons”

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I was taken aback when Apple used precious stage time at its press event this morning to introduce a new pair of earphones—AirPods. To my knowledge that’s never happened before. No doubt it was to help highlight the reasons that removing the headphone jack from the iPhone is a good thing, and not a consumer-hostile misstep. 

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I was initially impressed with the AirPods, which have Siri built in, sensors for detecting your ears, fast pairing with your phone, and noise cancellation. 

PROs: They pair with a phone very easily (one tap), and once you’ve done that all your iOS devices will recognize them. The two-tap Siri command seemed to work well for adjusting volume and requesting tracks. 

I had some second thoughts about the practicality of the $160 earphones, however…

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CONs: The sound wasn’t materially better than any of the wired earphones. My ears may be unique, but Apple earbuds never fit securely in my ears and stay there. There’s no way the AirPods would stay in during a run. And I fear that I would lose these cordless wonders about as fast as I’ve lost every pair of sunglasses I’ve paid more than $12.99 for. 

Your results may vary.  

About the author

Fast Company Senior Writer Mark Sullivan covers emerging technology, politics, artificial intelligence, large tech companies, and misinformation. An award-winning San Francisco-based journalist, Sullivan's work has appeared in Wired, Al Jazeera, CNN, ABC News, CNET, and many others.

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