Apple debuts $159 AirPods wireless earbuds with W1 wireless chip, 5 hours of battery life



  • Reply 81 of 113
    tangey said:
    Other than being able to tap one of them to activate siri, there is not a single mention of any controlling function. No volume up/down, no track skipping, no pause. The diagram at the end that showed the features of the airpods had no mention of control inputs. I'm a bit concerned that with these not being mentioned, it suggests it all has to be done from the phone, which would be a serious functionality lose. You would think that if they had a series of taps to mean different things, it would have been mentioned.
    According to Apple's website, that's all controlled by Siri. Double tap an earpiece to activate Siri for controlling volume, change song, make a call, get directions, or anything else Siri can do.

    That's a legit concern. But the compensation is sleeker design. Physical buttons meant you needed a bigger footprint or swap out space real-estate for the control inputs. It doesn't work that great when you consider the only other good competitor which is Bragi. Bragi wireless earphones look and promised amazing shit, and apparently didn't deliver. Microphone is garbage, connectivity is garbage, for example. Read this article reviewing their $300 version:
    ration alnolamacguy
  • Reply 82 of 113
    From the presentation, it sounded like (no pun intended) that the wireless technology was something other than Bluetooth, which made me curious as to compatibility with other Apple products...

    Answers here:

    Turns out it is Bluetooth, and works on most devices, but a note (1) says "Requires an iCloud account and macOS Sierra, iOS 10, or watchOS 3." I get the OS version requirement, but the iCloud account requirement is interesting. I guess that's how connecting to just one device more or less automatically makes the connection with all other devices?
    I've read that it's the next version of BT that has not, yet, been ratified by the board -- Apple sits on the board.

    As to the iCloud requirement:  I think it is (or will be) more than synching the painless connection to all your Apple devices.

    I had hoped that Apple would introduce a new capability today to exploit the new hardware and software -- and it would require iCloud services.

    Maybe later this year, or next year...  No wine before its time!

    There is Bluetooth 5 "coming late 2016 to early 2017" according to the Bluetooth press release, that promises "something that happens simply and seamlessly around them,” but since (I assume) the older BT 4 based Apple devices will be able take advantage of the advanced features of the AirPods, I wonder if these features really are BT 5 dependent?

    Also, I'm curious to know what else you think can happen with the AirPods iCloud requirement?

    PS: Ah, the memory of Orson Welles and Paul Masson burgundy...
  • Reply 83 of 113

    Nobody has mentioned this, but one thing particularly impressed me about today's event -- this is Tim's show now!

    Indeed!  However, i wish, wish, wish he'd flow Paul McCartney in and had him perform The Beatles "Taxman" as a closer!!
  • Reply 84 of 113
    Wow! Everyone is talking about losing them, cost, and ease of connection. Doesn't anyone care about how they sound? The biggest problem with bluetooth has been the sound. I wonder if the new bluetooth chip is only about improving the connection or if it improves the sound as well. Also, could  Apple build  software to make these noise canceling? This would make them interesting. 
  • Reply 85 of 113
    nhtnht Posts: 4,437member
    My BT headphones lag.  Maybe they are just older tech.  Will these not lag for movies?
  • Reply 86 of 113
    Wow! Everyone is talking about losing them, cost, and ease of connection. Doesn't anyone care about how they sound? The biggest problem with bluetooth has been the sound. I wonder if the new bluetooth chip is only about improving the connection or if it improves the sound as well. Also, could  Apple build  software to make these noise canceling? This would make them interesting. 
    I don't understand. My Bluetooth experience has been pretty flawless. I use Bluetooth in the media player in my 2013 Totota Tacoma, a 2012 Jawbone mini Bluetooth speaker, and Jaybird X2 Bluetooth earphones.

    So from that perspective, Ive never had "bad audio" as a problem with Bluetooth. Maybe you're using cheaper Bluetooth sets? Maybe that gives you the impression that Bluetooth is that bad. Or maybe you're an audiophile, where comparing Bluetooth to high end headphones highlights the vast difference. If so, I venture to believe 98% of smartphone users are not audiophiles, so good Bluetooth is more than decent enough for casual music, podcasts, and calls.

    Still, I doubt the AirPods will sound like dog shit compared to others in their class. I'm sure not the best, but also not the worst like a cheap pair from Walmart. 
  • Reply 87 of 113
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,061member
    These seem to answer all the problems I want solved with earphones. I didn't think they could do that with Bluetooth best as has been pointed out already they seem to killed the problem of bluetooth still just being a short tether to a single device.

    Although seeing a lot of the time in the office i only put one earphone in to help deal with open office without being isolated I wonder if that will confuse the smarts in them.
  • Reply 88 of 113
    I can't buy those airpods. Wish Apple would realize that their design doesn't  fit everyone. They could keep the design and have an clear silicone fitting layer on it and it would be perfect and a good fit. But until then it's sayonara for me.
    edited September 2016
  • Reply 89 of 113
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    foggyhill said:
    Lol $159 and 5 hours of usage.  I'm sure these things will just go flying off the shelves
    They will. If you listen to more than 5h of music per day, you don't have ears anymore and don't need them...
    This meme that it is ok and normal to expect to have to charge everything every single day is really weird.  Talk about becoming a slave to Apple.  One of the reasons I bought the BT receiver I use was it's 16hr battery life so I wouldn't need to charge it every day.
    edited September 2016
  • Reply 90 of 113
    The price is not unrealistic, this is an Apple product after all and to get 5 hours in a small package is decent enough. I do get sick of every Apple accessory and cable in white or glossy white, what about glossy black for once? However I wouldn't buy these just based on the design. I never cared for the original ear buds, they suck at staying in your ears. The newer version are no better, I was painting the garage this weekend and every time I leaned forward to get more paint one would fall out of my ear. Not keen on dropping $159 into the yard and losing it.
  • Reply 91 of 113
    What about the crazy UK price!?!?! It's £159 !! That's $215 !!
  • Reply 92 of 113
    kevin kee said:
    jasenj1 said:
    I'm sure those sounds amazing.
    With some EQing the sound of cheap earbuds & headphones can be improved quite a bit. One area Apple really falls behind in is providing system-wide EQ. I use Boom 2 on my Mac and have EQ profiles for AirPods, an external Bluetooth speaker, and my "serious" headphones.
    I paid for Boom 2 and I regret it. It makes my Mac sounds worse.
    The only feature I use is the EQ. All the other bells & whistles I ignore as they hurt more than they help.
  • Reply 93 of 113
    jgreg728 said:
    mac_128 said:
    LIGHTNING TO 3.5mm ADAPTER IS $9.00!!

    $9.00 !!!!!

    This has to be some kind of new record for Apple!
    I'd rather them make those things 30 bucks if it meant making the AirPods cheaper!!
    Compare the AirPods to existing comparable wireless solutions (Beats, for example). The pricing is very similar.
  • Reply 94 of 113
    smarky said:
    What about the crazy UK price!?!?! It's £159 !! That's $215 !!
    No, the price is the same! £159 = $159   ;) 
  • Reply 95 of 113
    I think version 2.0 should come with wires again... detachable, magnetic connections. Gives the option of wires or no wires in one product. That should hush up the complainers that will somehow swallow their AirPods.
  • Reply 96 of 113
    2oh1 said:
    The fact that the earpods hold 5 hours of charge and the case holds 24 hours of charge, and both can be charged at the same time... that's brilliant. My only worry is about how easy it'll be to lose one of them. At one point during the presentation, Phil showed another product ( a sports earbuds thing?) where the two sides were connected by a short wire. For individual earpieces, that seems smart. I assume a future generation of Earpods will have some sort of GPS so that if you lose one, your iPhone can find it.

    As I understand it, GPS is a one-way communication (from space to earth). GPS receivers triangulate a position by measuring the "pings" sent by 3 or more GPS satellites. All satellites need to be accurately in sync for this system to work.
  • Reply 97 of 113
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    smarky said:
    What about the crazy UK price!?!?! It's £159 !! That's $215 !!
    Don't forget how cool you will look binning that £160 gadget in four years time when the batteries are stuffed.  Makes lighting a cigar with a $20 bill look passé.  Using Spamsandich's conversion logic, you should count your blessings its not €179, as it will be here.

  • Reply 98 of 113
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 1,527member
    Will wait for reviews, but likely to be on the Christmas wish list.  Really just depends on fit.

    Pricing is in-line with other competitive offerings.
  • Reply 99 of 113
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,115member
    tzterri said:
    I think I'll stick with my $20 ones.
    For what Apple's new ones are, the price is not out of the world. 5 hours is actually pretty long for this style. I've seen 3rd party ones that are more expensive with only a couple hours of battery life!!! No thanks. A got a couple of ones from Amazon recently. In fact one I left in my side shorts pocket and it when through the washing machine and dryer before I found where I left it. It didn't work for about a week, I just left it on the table and tried powering it up every day until finally it turned on about a week later and I'm using them all the time, almost daily. They're not the BEST sounding things, but for the price, who cares. So I got these in July on sale I believe. The MPow are the ones I washed and I like the best. It's small when folded up and not bulky or heavy when wearing and stay put in my ears. These other ones I like, but not as much because the cord just hangs down and it doesn't fold up as nice. They both work the same way. Costs on Bluetooth headsets have dropped a lot over the years. I just swapped Alpine Radio's in my 70 year old Dad's truck. Where it had a wired 30-pin connection. Now it's Bluetooth and with Hands Free Calling and he seems to really like it. He has a iPhone 6 like I do and we both plan to go at least a 3rd year with them. So he didn't get it for no 3.5mm jack on the iPhone 7. He'll be ready for the next iPhone he gets. Losing the port is not the end of the world. Time moves forward and waits for no one. Tossing the 3.5mm jack gave a 14% battery size increase, a Second Speaker for Stereo sound, and space for the Force Touch Home button. I think it was worth it.
  • Reply 100 of 113
    dws-2dws-2 Posts: 238member
    I like everything about these except their shape, which wobbles around in my ears.

    The pairing seems perfect.
    The noise cancelation, if it works, is a very nice addition.
    Auto-pausing my music when I take them out is huge and provides a natural play/pause button.
    I love the ability to switch easily between the phone, watch, and computer. That's a pet peeve with my current headphones.
    These seem very convenient in a very old school Apple way.
    The price is typical of fancy bluetooth headphones and not as bad as I thought for all the features.

    However I would probably lose them the first day I tried to do anything active with them, either from them breaking from falling out of my ears or from loosing them after they've fallen out for the 10th time. Apple often prizes form over function, so I'm not entirely surprised ... just disappointed because I really like these otherwise.
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