A Week (or Two) with Apple AirPods

The case will only look this good for one day, then it will be coverd in scratches.

I wasn’t totally blown away by AirPods when Apple announced them. The price was steep and they looked a little goofy. The idea of Lightning EarPods didn’t bother me because when I’m away from my desk I always just use the pack-in Apple EarPods anyway. But, when I saw a tweet telling me that AirPods were live a few weeks before Christmas, my inner nerd couldn’t resist and I pulled the trigger. I’ve had them for a few weeks now, so I thought I’d share my thoughts on using them in my day-to-day life:

The Basics

First off they sound great, pair effortlessly, and are vintage Apple in their ease-of-use. Pair them with one device, and they are ready to go on all your iCloud connected devices. The little charging case is awesome. The only drawback is that it’s a flashback to all the old white plastic Apple stuff that looks scuffed up in a few days. But it’s a case, who cares?

I’d Lose Those Within a Week!

This seems like the common refrain from most people I’ve shown them to. I still have mine and haven’t even had any scares. They are either in my ears, or in the case. The case is either in my pocket, or on my desk hooked up to the charger. I’ve run, jump-roped, and gone hiking with them in, and never had them fall out.

Back to The Mac

I had honestly never thought about using AirPods with my Mac when they were first announced (or even when I ordered them). I obviously knew I could, but I just figured I’d continue using my corded Sony noise-canceling over-ear headphones. I’d had them for a day or two when I decided to try them with my iMac. I knew instantly I would never go back to dealing with corded headphones again. I get up and move around a lot during the day, and the ability to stay connected to whatever I’m listening to anywhere in my house is insanely liberating.

Switching Devices

I switch audio sources between my iPhone, iPad, and iMac all day long. This used to involve a lot of cord shuffling, but with AirPods all I have to do is select them as the source in iOS or connect them using the Bluetooth dropdown in the macOS menubar. It only takes a second or two to switch between devices and the connection jumps between devices seamlessly.

Siri-ously

I havn’t used Siri that much, I think mainly because I’ve ended up using these at my desk so much and I can do anything faster on my Mac by hand rather than by voice. I have used Siri some on my daily walks to play specific albums or change the volume. You can change-up the double-tap function to Play/Pause but since that is also achieved by just popping an AirPod out I’ll leave Siri enabled for the rare times I do use it.

AppleTV Left Out

I mentioned earlier that AirPods sync up to all your iCloud connected devices, that does not include the AppleTV. They work with the AppleTV, but you have to sync them up in standard kludgy Bluetooth manner. Once you do — it’s not hard to switch between them the way you do with your other devices, but I wish it was easier to get setup. My guess is Apple looks at the AppleTV as a one-to-many consumption device where all the other devices are one-to-one, which I understand. However, I can think of a lot of situations where it would be beneficial (at least in my house) so I’m hopeful it’s something they can add down the road.

Conclusion

If you use headphones often, live in the Apple-ecosystem, and don’t mind the cost, I highly recommend AirPods. The ease-of-use, not just with setup but when it comes to switching devices has been a game changer for me.