Buying Guides iPhone and iPad

Are Apple AirPods Worth Your Hard Earned Cash?

James Frew 10-07-2020

The Apple AirPods are some of the most desirable true wireless headphones available today. Like the company’s other products, they are stylish, well-designed, and compatible with other Apple services.

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However, they are also one of the most expensive options out there. Additionally, the unique in-ear design may not be right for everyone. That’s not to mention that there are many cheaper true wireless headphones on the market with similar features.

So, if you’ve been wondering are Apple AirPods worth it, we’re here to help. Let’s take a look at the AirPods’ features to help you decide.

What Are Apple AirPods?

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The Apple AirPods are a set of true wireless headphones, so there are no wires or cables. The two individual earbuds sit in your ears independent of one another. Similarly, each earbud can be used independently of the other. For example, you could activate and use just the right earbud, leaving your left ear uncovered.

True wireless headphones existed before Apple launched the AirPods, but, like other technologies, the company was responsible for turning them into a mainstream option. The latest generation of AirPods come with Apple’s H1 chip, which enables the always-on Hey Siri feature for wireless voice assistance.

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The headphones provide five hours of listening time on a single charge. Importantly, they come with a charging case. When placed inside, the headphones recharge. Using this, the headphones will last up to 24 hours before you need to charge the case via a Lightning cable. If you prefer to leave cables behind, there are also the Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case.

AirPods Features

Despite their small size, the AirPods come equipped with a lot of features and impressive technology. Before investing in a set, it’s worth considering all the features. In some cases, they may not align with your requirements, or perhaps you’ll decide that you wouldn’t use all of the features on offer.

Noise Cancellation

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The standard Apple AirPods do not come with noise cancellation. However, the upgraded model, the Apple AirPods Pro, are equipped with Active Noise Cancellation (ANC). A microphone on the outside of the earbud listens for external noise, allowing the headphones to cancel out any incoming soundwaves. Likewise, there is an internal microphone for the same purpose.

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There is a trade-off, though. The AirPods Pro are more expensive than the standard model. So while ANC is a desirable feature, it adds additional cost to your purchase. However, there are other true wireless headphones, like the Sony WF-1000XMF, which come with ANC as standard.

Hands-Free Voice Assistant

As mentioned, the AirPods are powered by Apple’s H1 chip. This is also found in a handful of company’s other headsets, including the Powerbeats Pro, Beats Solo Pro, and AirPods Pro. Unlike other headphones on the market, the chip has been designed specifically for use in wireless headphones.

As a result, the AirPods perform better than the competition. The headphones support Bluetooth 5.0 and enable a hands-free experience with Siri. This integration with Apple’s digital assistant is seamless, as you’d expect. However, they aren’t the only headphones to support voice assistants.

Most wireless headsets integrate with your phone’s chosen assistant, whether that’s Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant. The main difference here is that you can activate Siri with your voice alone rather than pressing a button on the headset.

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Battery Life

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The standard Apple AirPods give you five hours of use and up to 24 hours with the charging case. Meanwhile, the AirPods Pro offer just 4.5 hours of use due to the inclusion of ANC. While this is more than enough for most cases, other headsets offer improved battery life.

For instance, the Jabra Elite 75t last for up to 7.5 hours on a single charge, and 28 hours with the included charging case.

Audio Quality

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Given their premium status, and Apple’s reputation, it should be no surprise that the AirPods sound great. The sound is well-adjusted and suits a range of audio from spoken-word podcasts to music, movies, and films. However, audiophiles will be disappointed in the overall sound reproduction.

If high-quality audio is what you’re after, you may want to consider the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 headphones instead. This set are considered among the best true wireless headphones available today. The 7mm dynamic audio drivers help deliver high-quality audio. There’s ANC as well, and you can further control the sound with Sennheiser’s mobile app.

Apple-Specific Features

Although you can use AirPods with any Bluetooth device, certain features only work with Apple and iOS devices. This is partly a technical limitation but is also likely guided by the company’s determination to keep users on Apple hardware.

Android users, for example, won’t be able to access Siri, enable on-ear detection, or use the smartphone-based battery monitor. That said, it is possible to use Apple AirPods with Android devices Yes, AirPods Work With Android: But Here's the Catch! Do AirPods work with Android? We answer this common question and show you how to use AirPods with Android and other devices. Read More .

Why Are AirPods So Expensive?

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Although there are many contributing factors, ultimately, AirPods are expensive because they are an Apple product. Despite appearances, Apple is closer to a design and lifestyle brand than a technology business. The company makes technology, but it sells a lifestyle. That is reflected in its approach to software and hardware.

Apple devices are purposely designed to work well together in a closed environment. Traditionally, Apple hardware and software aren’t interoperable with other operating systems. The famed walled-garden approach is used to make products simple and straightforward to use.

As a result, if you purchase an iPhone, you may also consider buying a Mac computer or MacBook laptop, invest in an Apple Watch, and complement it with a set of Apple AirPods. While this means the initial investment cost is high, Apple products also retain their value. So, if you chose to sell your AirPods, you’d be able to recoup a sizeable portion of your initial outlay.

Are Apple AirPods Worth It?

If you’ve been wondering if you should get a set of AirPods, you’re now better positioned to decide whether AirPods are a good investment. AirPods are the most accessible and easy to use option for Apple fans and iPhone users despite the high price.

That said, you do have other options. If you’re after true wireless headphones that don’t break the bank, consider these cheap AirPods alternatives 5 Cheap AirPods Alternatives: Affordable True Wireless Earbuds Apple's AirPods are popular but expensive. Need cheap AirPods alternatives? Here are the best affordable true wireless headphones. Read More .

Related topics: Apple AirPods, Headphones.

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