Better together: Why Apple Watch owners should buy AirPods

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited December 2018
With the holiday season now over, many of us are walking away with a new Apple device, be it a new Apple Watch or a shiny set of AirPods. While the pair are undoubtedly some of Apple's best products ever, they still have their own unique shortcomings that the other item can cover. Here's why AirPods are the perfect match for the Apple Watch.

AirPods on a table
AirPods on a table


What really makes the Apple Watch great is that you have complete control over your music or phone calls right on your wrist. But since the Apple Watch can't play music through its own speakers, you're going to need a pair of wireless earphones. If this is a problem, look no further than Apple's own AirPods for a solution.






They have class-leading battery life and fit into Apple's ecosystem like a glove by automatically pairing to every Apple device that's tied to your iCloud account -- features you just can't get with any other earphones.

You can pair AirPods with an Apple Watch over Bluetooth
You can pair AirPods with an Apple Watch over Bluetooth


They're incredibly comfortable and stay snug in most ears. Our favorite feature is that you can listen to one AirPod solo while the other charges in the charging case, giving days of non-stop battery life and a free ear, in case you need to pay attention to your surroundings.

Customers love them and they're rated incredibly well -- achieving a 98-percent satisfaction rate amongst buyers. However, there are a couple of things missing on the AirPods, things that the Apple Watch complements.

Media controls on an Apple Watch
Media controls on an Apple Watch


First of all, the only way to adjust the volume on the AirPods is to either grab your iPhone or use its "double-tap to Hey Siri" feature and ask Siri to adjust the volume. However, if you've got an Apple Watch on your wrist, simply spin the crown to adjust the volume. This alone makes a huge difference for usability.

If you need to check the battery life of your AirPods, you can do so on your watch by swiping up on the home screen to bring up the control center and tapping on the battery icon.

In the rare occurrence you're having connection issues using AirPlay on the Apple Watch, you can simply connect the AirPods using Bluetooth by going into Bluetooth settings on the Watch and holding the pairing button on the back of the AirPods.

Answering a call on an Apple Watch
Answering a call on an Apple Watch


Apple Watch is great for anyone who constantly misses notifications or phone calls while working, and if you keep your AirPods in your ears, you can instantly answer and take calls right on the Apple Watch.

When the call is over, tap the watch to end the call and go right back to your music listening. You can even answer and hang up calls using just the AirPods with the double-tap feature.

To know who's calling, you can use the iOS feature called announce calls which will make Siri announce who is calling you, straight into your AirPods or other bluetooth devices. To enable the announce calls feature, head to Settings, Phone, announce calls, and switch it to either Headphones only or headphones and car.

Changing the Announce Calls setting for AirPods
Changing the Announce Calls setting for AirPods


For those into running, the Apple Watch Series 3 or 4 are perfect since you can get one with LTE, allowing you to completely leave your iPhone behind and go on a run. While on the run, you'll be getting all of your notifications, phone calls and you can listen to music.

One downside for the AirPods is that they aren't water resistant like every Apple Watch since Series 2 is. So while you can take your watch on a swim, you're gonna have to leave your AirPods behind.

The Nike and Standard versions of the Apple Watch
The Nike and Standard versions of the Apple Watch


During Apple's 2018 September Event, Apple seemingly hinted at the possibility of water-resistant AirPods coming in the future. We're not sure exactly how water-resistant they will be and if you'll actually be able to swim with them, but it's an exciting update nonetheless.

Along with that, they're also expected to get the "Hey Siri" feature instead of having to double-tap on an AirPod or raise to speak on the Apple Watch with watchOS 5.

Overall, AirPods are the perfect companion for the Apple Watch. They give you much more control than you would have had if you had only one of the devices, and that's why we recommend the combo to everyone who already has either device.

Where to buy

Amazon currently has AirPods in stock for $159. Demand has been high for the wireless earphones and this inventory batch is likely to sell out.

Apple Watch Series 3 and Series 4 devices are also available, but with discounts of up to $350 off, at Apple authorized resellers. For the latest deals, be sure to check out our Apple Watch Price Guide, available 24/7.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 34
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,426member
    I feel like this article missed the mark. I won't buy AirPods because I don't like how earbuds feel. Now, if this had at least mentioned the W-series chip in the AirPods and that you can buy several versions of Beats that has it so you can get all the same, great benefits, then I'd be on board.
    watto_cobrabonobobshrave10tyler82sandor
  • Reply 2 of 34
    ...and the AirPods' audio quality is very sad compared to Bose.
    davgreg
  • Reply 3 of 34
    DrJN68DrJN68 Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    I appreciate the ideas proposed here but the fact is that the newer Beats earphones (like the Beats X) can do the same switching between Apple devices. I don’t like the fit nor the low bass sound of the AirPods and the Beats X do the job well. I use them all the time to work out just using my Watch. 
    bonobobtyler82
  • Reply 4 of 34
    gustavgustav Posts: 822member
    svencito said:
    ...and the AirPods' audio quality is very sad compared to Bose.
    Wow, they must be bad then. Bose are good at one thing - noise cancellation. But the sound quality is not worth what they charge. And yes, I own a pair. I only use them when I travel.

    I don't know if it's Apple keeping the W1 chip for themselves, or 3rd parties not wanting to use it, but I wish the W1 chip would show up into 3rd party products. Then we can have some more choice.
    baconstangdreyfus2dws-2mike1
  • Reply 5 of 34
    neilmneilm Posts: 559member
    The challenge in making AirPods usable while swimming isn't making them waterproof, but not losing them.
    Maybe they could have teeny-tiny integrated flotation devices!
    agilealtitudebaconstangGeorgeBMacbonobobAppleExposed
  • Reply 6 of 34
    They're incredibly comfortable and stay snug in most ears.
    False on both accounts for me.
    cincymacbaconstangbonobobdavgregshrave10beowulfschmidt
  • Reply 7 of 34
    watch and airpods are both cool but beware that watchos 5.x has a bug wherein its music player mostly fails to mark tracks played. this is only an issue when you load the watch with your own tracks and you care that tracks get marked, for example so that they don't get repeated (too often or too frequently). apple engineering has been made aware of this problem - it's a regression of some sort because watchos 4.x didn't suffer this problem. hopefully they'll fix it soon.
    baconstangwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 34
    This is Apple's answer to the 'replacement' of the iPod! AppleWatch and AirPods! At bit expensive in total to be sure, but as with most things Apple, well worth it! In fact, I'd say Apple with the AirPods as hit it out of the park! The best ancillary device since the AirPod Nano (in red). :)

    I trail run in the Arizona desert and the AirPods have never fallen out of my ears. They seem to just 'perch' there. I really recommend them to everyone! :) The charging case is just genius.

    Best.
    watto_cobraGeorgeBMacStrangeDaysAppleExposed
  • Reply 9 of 34

    Soli said:
    I feel like this article missed the mark. I won't buy AirPods because I don't like how earbuds feel. Now, if this had at least mentioned the W-series chip in the AirPods and that you can buy several versions of Beats that has it so you can get all the same, great benefits, then I'd be on board.
    Soli...buy them, try them for a week. Return them if you don't fall in love with them!

    We are only talking about the best devices designed in the history of man! :)

    No disrespect. Happy New Year! :)
    watto_cobraGeorgeBMacn2itivguyAppleExposedmike1ABiteaDay
  • Reply 10 of 34
    DAalseth said:
    They're incredibly comfortable and stay snug in most ears.
    False on both accounts for me.

    Hence, "most ears" and not "all ears".
    watto_cobraslprescottStrangeDaysn2itivguyAppleExposeddws-2beowulfschmidtmike1
  • Reply 11 of 34
    neilm said:
    The challenge in making AirPods usable while swimming isn't making them waterproof, but not losing them.
    Maybe they could have teeny-tiny integrated flotation devices!

    The AirPods would probably sit snug in the ear when covered by a swimming cap over the ears.
    watto_cobran2itivguyAppleExposed
  • Reply 12 of 34
    Airpods fall out of my ears in seconds. Powerbeats3 seem to be my alternative. 
    bonobob
  • Reply 13 of 34
    Helpful article but you’re glossing over the real problem using ANY Bluetooth connection while swimming: namely that the range falls off to ZERO as soon as the Apple Watch dips below the water’s surface!! I’ve tried a number of truly waterproof specialty earbuds and finally gave up and bought a hard-wired MP3 player.
    GeorgeBMacneilm
  • Reply 14 of 34
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,426member

    Soli said:
    I feel like this article missed the mark. I won't buy AirPods because I don't like how earbuds feel. Now, if this had at least mentioned the W-series chip in the AirPods and that you can buy several versions of Beats that has it so you can get all the same, great benefits, then I'd be on board.
    Soli...buy them, try them for a week. Return them if you don't fall in love with them!

    We are only talking about the best devices designed in the history of man! :)

    No disrespect. Happy New Year! :)
    I did that based on statements they were newly redesigned to be more comforrtable. For me, they still don't fit the bill.
  • Reply 15 of 34
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 3,390member
    DrJN68 said:
    I appreciate the ideas proposed here but the fact is that the newer Beats earphones (like the Beats X) can do the same switching between Apple devices. I don’t like the fit nor the low bass sound of the AirPods and the Beats X do the job well. I use them all the time to work out just using my Watch. 
    Comparing AirPods to headphones is like comparing a sports car to a pickup truck.
    They are both a means of moving things from point A to point B but are otherwise meant for different purposes....

    Likewise, Airpods and headphones both supply music, podcasts and phone calls but otherwise are quite different.   Airpods are light, portable, and well adapted to open environments where you need to be aware of your surroundings.   Headphones generally (can) provide superior sound quality but are isolating and can literally be dangerous when used in the wrong environment.

    Essentially, you need the right tool for the right job.   One is not intrinsically superior to the other.
    StrangeDaysn2itivguy
  • Reply 16 of 34
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 3,390member
    gustav said:
    svencito said:
    ...and the AirPods' audio quality is very sad compared to Bose.
    Wow, they must be bad then. Bose are good at one thing - noise cancellation. But the sound quality is not worth what they charge. And yes, I own a pair. I only use them when I travel.

    I don't know if it's Apple keeping the W1 chip for themselves, or 3rd parties not wanting to use it, but I wish the W1 chip would show up into 3rd party products. Then we can have some more choice.
    I bought my grandson Bose Studio headphones and the sound is far superior to the Airpods I bought for him.

    That is:  while the sound from the Airpods is amazing, the sound from the Bose headphones is amazingly amazing.   But, while the Bose headphones have better sound, we won't let him use them unless he is in an enclosed environment like a car, bus or building.
  • Reply 17 of 34
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 3,390member
    This is Apple's answer to the 'replacement' of the iPod! AppleWatch and AirPods! At bit expensive in total to be sure, but as with most things Apple, well worth it! In fact, I'd say Apple with the AirPods as hit it out of the park! The best ancillary device since the AirPod Nano (in red). :)

    I trail run in the Arizona desert and the AirPods have never fallen out of my ears. They seem to just 'perch' there. I really recommend them to everyone! :) The charging case is just genius.

    Best.
    I totally agree!

    A great enhancement to Airpods for runners would be to track body temperature:
    A few years ago I worked the medical staff for the Pittsburgh marathon and the biggest (serious) issue was hyperthermia:   We had a dozen runners with body temperatures over 110 degrees.  They were basically cooking their brains & bodies.   Airpods are in a physical location that could easily determine body temp.  And too, I suspect the sensors on the watch could also be adapted to measure hydration levels -- which is another major concern of endurance athletes.

    While these two products are truly great as they are, I see more and better for the future.
    AppleExposeddtb200
  • Reply 18 of 34
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 6,243member
    svencito said:
    ...and the AirPods' audio quality is very sad compared to Bose.
    The APs are a solid Good, and they get great battery life, an awesome case, and a good price. Surprised it bears repeating but there is compromise in all things. The benefits of the AP are certainly worth the compromises when evaluating mid-range portables.
    edited January 1 GeorgeBMacAppleExposed
  • Reply 19 of 34
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 6,243member
    My only request is for the AW to have a “mute” button displayed when on a call, since during conference calls it’s always a game of mute/unmute. Has to be done via the iPhone currently, which always has the display off so you have to wake it first.
    edited January 1 n2itivguy
  • Reply 20 of 34
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 6,243member
    gustav said:
    svencito said:
    ...and the AirPods' audio quality is very sad compared to Bose.
    Wow, they must be bad then. Bose are good at one thing - noise cancellation. But the sound quality is not worth what they charge. And yes, I own a pair. I only use them when I travel.

    I don't know if it's Apple keeping the W1 chip for themselves, or 3rd parties not wanting to use it, but I wish the W1 chip would show up into 3rd party products. Then we can have some more choice.
    That won’t happen. the W1 is their “special sauce” that makes their offerings better than the competitors’.
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