After a number of comical photos of people with electric toothbrush heads in their ears, and complaints that the AirPods were going to fail because they’re too expensive, sure to get lost, and results are coming in.
Just exactly how are sales?
One month after being introduced, AirPods snagged over 25% of the wireless headphone market. The second place winner was Beats, who lost almost 10% of the market share with the introduction of the AirPods. Bose grabbed 16% of the market share, up from 10%.
Looking at a few of the functions will give readers an idea of what they can expect:
Pairing is almost instant. There are no physical controls: functions are controlled by Siri, which is okay in your car, but not so much in public, although you can speak very softly. You can use your iPhone, as well. We will leave it up to you to decide the practicality of that. Users cite the lack of easy physical controls, saying the Siri/iPhone option is ‘slow’. If you’re a frequent song skipper, it will take some adjustment. If you happen to wander into an area without Siri, you’ll need to use your iPhone or watch.
Infrared sensors determine when you’re wearing the AirPods. If you place both in your ears, they will play in stereo. Take one out, and the sound will pause. At that point, if you ask Siri (or your iPhone or watch) to resume play, the sound will be in mono until you put the other AirPod in, in which case stereo sound will resume.
If you use audio on different devices while wearing the AirPods, they will or won’t pick the sound up, depending on the update. Currently, it will not without direction, which one can understand might be a good idea since so many sounds are imbedded in random apps.
Users site their compact size and lightweight, yet reliable sound delivery as reasons they’re willing to sacrifice style. The recharging dock/case has a magnetic closure and provides a long-lasting charge, which is good because there is no plug-in option if the charge runs out. The case can be charged by a Lightning port at the bottom.
They come in standard Apple white. The design is similar to EarPods, but with a larger elongated piece trailing down from the actual earbud and a wireless W1 chip in each unit. The one-size-fits-some buds don’t have soft tips to contour to the size of your ear canal. However, since they aren’t held in place with pressure, the design affords long-listening comfort.
The Finder app for AirPods, which was $3.99, was initially launched and then pulled from the market by Apple, who said they didn’t like the concept. Some speculate the $69 fee for replacing one was the primary motivator behind that move. Apple hasn’t commented.
The new AirPods are a win for Apple. Whether or not they will suit you and your lifestyle depends on which factors of convenience appeal to you, personally.