Part of my job is to help people make smarter buying decisions. Yet, I somehow end up being the worst impulsive buyer ever.
In my latest adventures in buying things out of the blue, I ended up getting Apple AirPods from an Apple premium retail store in the city. The whole thing was over before I knew it – I walked in, asked for the price, and said yes. It took more time for them to generate the bill than I spent making the decision.
I think what pulled me in was the slight discount in the new pricing, thanks to GST rollout. The AirPods were earlier priced at around ₹15,000 and now cost ₹12,900. The discount may not seem much but considering it’s an Apple product, you can’t ask for more.
For the last few weeks, I’ve been trying out the AirPods in different scenarios. I think I have used them long enough to write about them.
When Apple announced the AirPods, alongside the iPhone 7 last year, they seemed like a good fit considering Apple eliminated the standard headphone jack. My first impressions after watching the launch video weren’t so good. I didn’t buy the idea, they looked too fragile.
I’m glad I proved wrong. The AirPods come in a neat little package. They’re neatly placed inside a cute little plastic case which also serves as a charging tool for the earphones. I almost missed noticing the Lightning cable at the back of the packaging.
The moment you open the little plastic case, the AirPods magic begins. If you already have your phone nearby, you’ll notice a small pop up that asks you to start pairing them with your iPhone. I’ll get to that a bit later.
The AirPods themselves look and feel quite sturdy. They don’t feel like they’d break into pieces if they fall off from your ears. The AirPods include sensors that can help them identify if you’re wearing them in your ears and when you take them out. There’s a microphone below each of them along the earphone stem that can help you make and receive calls.
The AirPods are quite magical. You’ll notice this when you pair them for the first time. You’ll notice it when you use them each time, be it on your phone or your Mac.
One of the biggest issues I’ve had using wireless headphones is their inability to switch devices on their own. More high-end headphones have now solved that problem.
AirPods can automatically switch between your devices (connected using iCloud) without you having to manually connect to them each time. So if you were listening to music on your iPhone a moment ago, and now you’re switching to watching a Netflix video on the Mac, the AirPods will adapt on their own.
Another interesting feature that I love about the AirPods is that is can pause video and audio if you take them out from either of your ears. I know one could just manually hit the space bar but it’s most useful when I have the MacBook Pro hooked to the big-screen TV.
If you’re an audiophile and you’re expecting an out of the world experience in terms of sound, the AirPods will disappoint you. In simpler terms, I’d rate the AirPods as simple-to-use headphones which just work. That’s all.
Should I buy AirPods for myself?
If pricing wasn’t so insane, I’d recommend everyone to get AirPods. A lot of people could argue that they’re not going to get the full value for their money. I wouldn’t be able to convince all of them.
But one thing I can tell you for certain is that the AirPods make a great companion if you’re already invested in the Apple ecosystem. That means if you use a Mac, iPad, and iPhone already, the AirPods will offer more value to you.
It’s not that they’re incompatible with other devices, it’s just that you won’t be able to enjoy its premium features.
Another reason why you should wait is that Apple is likely to announce a new iPhone on September 12. It is almost certain that the company will announce the next-generation AirPods and they will (most likely) carry a similar pricing. Waiting a little while longer may be worth it.