Ever since that fateful day in September when Apple unveiled their first pair of Bluetooth wireless headphones—and killed the standard audio jack—the headphone industry has seen a surge in wireless headphones of varying color and variety.


A recent review from CNET followed up on Apple’s new headphones after publishing and earlier article following the initial unveiling. Now more widely available to the public, they have been given a second look over. To break down the specs of the headphones, note first that “truly wireless” simply means that there are no wires to connect the phone, nor to pair one ear pod with the other (raising the risk of losing one or even both). The Apple Airpods come in a small white case that also acts as a portable charger. Pop them inside for a three-hour charge in less than 15 minutes. For the most part, Airpods look like the standard headphones that come in an iPhone box, sans wires and with a slightly longer stem. That stem looks the most awkward, as it drops down conspicuously from your ear (one CNET reviewer referred to them as “hipster earrings”). Within it is an effective noise-cancelling microphone that does a good job of handling phone calls. For Siri, simply tap twice. Unfortunately, the volume cannot be controlled the same way.

Connection-wise, the Airpods carry sound faithfully and with minimal interruption, but expect pops and brief connection issues during activity. They also work with all other standard Bluetooth devices. However, what makes Apple’s product stand out is the unified set-up across all devices. For users who have already upgraded to iOS 10, simply flip the lid of the Airpod case, and the phone will automatically ask if you want to pair devices. Simple and quick.  The W1 chip in the new headset, which makes all these features possible, is the one feature that has the tech world clamoring for the headphones, as it offers a possibility for more advanced wireless products in the future.

There are many “truly-wireless” headphones on the market. The Airpods, like the original Apple headphones, fit nice in your ear and offer decent sound. They are priced similarly to competitors like Bose. So, it all comes down to preference.


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