I am late to the party but I waited until I found a bargain to buy the missing part in my Apple mobile ecosystem - the Airpods. So this is my resume for this very expensive headphone set.
The pods arrived in a very wealthy case, the unboxing experience is like with any other Apple products. It’s like unwrapping a Macbook but sooo tiny. The case is shiny and it feels also very well crafted. Yes, it’s chargeable and the headphones are charged through the case which is nice. It’s just another Lightning device you have to keep in mind when traveling - grab another cable for it.
I also bought a silicone case for the whole device to protect it from scratches. Hey, and it glows in the dark, bitch!
Just one word: awesome! It’s so simple. Open the box and it connects instantly to your iPhone - if you want. Hey, Microsoft, Bluetooth is not rocket science!
I also tried the device with my iMac, my Macbook Pro and iPad - the same seamless experience. The volume is higher on an iOS device though than it is on macOS.
I like loud music.
„As long as music is loud enough you can’t hear the world fall down“
The Airpods won’t give you the kick. I guess this is the restriction built in to protect your ears. On iOS you can turn up the volume more than on macOS - maybe there is a workaround.
No, those are not like my Roland RH-200 or any other ear-covering headphones. They sound good but not great. I miss the bass which is quite obvious with those small drivers. But overall the sound is clear.
The default gestures control Siri - the dumbest assistant ever. I don’t use it. You can change the double tap behaviour for each side to control playback, pause, mute or Siri. One gesture you can’t control is when you cover your ears with you hands. This will mute the sound but won’t stop the playback. Another default behavior is that the playback stops when you remove one of the pods from your ears. It’s amazing how much sensors are inside those little guys. You can turn that off if you want - for any connected device separately.
I was very curious about the range within this Bluetooth device will continue to work. I can tell that iOS devices are more powerful than a Macbook or iMac. When connected to my Macbook it stopped working at a distance of about 5 meters, when connected to an iOS device (iPhone X) it worked over 2 rooms with a distance > 10 meters.
My use case
I will primarily use them for podcasts so sound quality is secondary for me. I enjoy the Apple specific no-brainer way of using them.
Those guys are made for iOS devices and not for desktop computers or laptops. I got them for 45 bucks off so I don’t regret the choice though 135 bucks is a number. The regular price tag of 180 Euros is hard to defend. Maybe you want to safe another 120 Euros and buy a Bose QC35 for 300 bucks if you are more into sound quality.