TIME reviews Apple’s new AirPods: ‘Great if you don’t have AirPods yet’

“From the Mac to the iPod to the iPhone, Apple is a master of making iconic products,” Patrick Lucas Austin writes for TIME Magazine. “That tradition of technological trendsetting has continued with the AirPods, which went from ridiculous to status symbol in a matter of memes.”

“Two years after the AirPods were introduced, Apple has released a new version with updated internals and a few pleasant creature comforts,” Austin writes. “Together, the tweaks make the AirPods easier to use without compromising their compact design and minimal aesthetics. In short, Apple’s wireless earbuds are a bit better than they were before.”

“A new H1 chip makes switching between your iOS, macOS, and Apple TV products quicker and more seamless. Where I’d have to wait upwards of 30 seconds for first-generation AirPods to switch between devices, the newer model typically slices that time by more than half,” Austin writes. “Saying ‘Hey, Siri’ works like a charm in noisy spaces, though the Apple-exclusive voice assistant could do with a speed bump in terms of response time… Whether or not you’ll use hands-free Siri depends on how you feel about voice assistant etiquette. If you’re like me, you may be reluctant to use the feature in public, and since you’re probably not wearing these at home, it might not be all that useful. It’s at least a handy way to change the AirPods’ volume without pulling out your phone, as there’s no way to tweak that setting by touching the buds themselves.”

New AirPods build on the magical experience customers love delivering 50 percent more talk time, hands-free “Hey Siri” and the option of a new Wireless Charging Case.
New AirPods build on the magical experience customers love delivering 50 percent more talk time, hands-free “Hey Siri” and the option of a new Wireless Charging Case.

“All these internal updates are well and good, helping the AirPods remain the best pair of truly wireless earbuds you can buy,” Austin writes. “But they are only incremental upgrades, meaning existing AirPod owners who make the switch may feel shortchanged.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Those of us who were Day One (or close to that) AirPods owners won’t feel shortchanged because our old batteries were very tired after 2+ years of use. For the new batteries alone, Apple’s second-generation AirPods are worth the price of admission!

TGIF! Dearest Interns, TTK! Prost, everyone!

Finally experiencing Apple’s AirPods – why did I wait so long? – March 28, 2019
Digital Trends reviews Apple’s new AirPods 2: Impressed by Siri’s quick response to voice commands – March 28, 2019
Apple Watch is now bigger than the iPod ever was, but it’s not a cultural phenomenon like AirPods – March 28, 2019
Why Apple’s AirPods came to be everywhere – March 23, 2019
AirPods with Wireless Charging Case delivery date quickly slips into April – March 20, 2019
What we know about the H1 chip in Apple’s new AirPods – March 20, 2019
Apple’s new, 2nd-gen. AirPods offer lower latency for mobile gaming – March 20, 2019
Apple reveals second generation AirPods with new Apple-designed H1 chip – March 20, 2019


  1. I missed the “few pleasant creature comforts” in the article. It did say that it’s a one-size-fits-all proposition. Version 1 didn’t fit in my ears, so I guess version 2 won’t either. Are the creature comforts in some sort of secret sauce? Curious…

  2. I had v1 since day 1. I love my AirPods, but as MDN notes, the battery life was ailing, which is why I upgraded to v2. I must say the faster connect speeds are nice, but the “Hey Siri” feature is huge. It has made using the AirPods even better. I could not be more pleased.

  3. Waiting on my v2 AirPods. I also had v1 since day one and love them. Would have preferred v2 came in black as well as white.
    Hopefully Siri will work for me, but have low expectations since the iPhone Siri still sucks for me.

  4. MDN’s constant hype doesn’t make AirPods a good choice for many people, for many practical reasons. Not that there are many good wireless earbods, but it is annoying how the fanboy press glosses over the many tradeoffs with wireless earbuds.

    If they don’t fit your ears, then silicone sleeves are not a convenient answer because then one cannot use the charger case without removing the sleeves every time. Silicone sleeves are only handy for Apple’s wired headphones.
    they are Bluetooth. So you will have latency and the sound quality cannot be better than the wired earphones included in the iPhone box.
    SIRI SUCKS. Sorry, but if this is the only control interface offered, then it’s a sub-par experience.
    they have a 2 year life maximum, then off to the landfill
    they are not repairable at all: https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/AirPods+2+Teardown/121471

    Once again, Cook & Co are more interested in selling jewelry than offering a durable high value product. If that is what you prioritize, hurray. Unfortunately, this does not make Apple anything like the Porsche of the industry. Porsche offers durable products that outperform on road or track. Apple is the Mini of the industry, a cheap fashion-first front wheel drive BMW with performance on par with a Honda, but at twice the price.

    For those people who want the best fitting best performing headphones at significantly lower price points, they are best served with a simple wire connecting their device. The annoyance of a wire is minor compared to the cost and complication of one more disposable wireless gadget.

    If you hate the wired headphones that came in the box with your iPhone, try proper fitting headphone designed for your needs (including sporting headphones with a comfortable over-the-ear loop) with a nice long cord, or if you must go bluetooth, get a proper over-the-head set that has enough battery life and is repairable (and also blows away the sound quality of Airpods).

    Isn’t it interesting that, much like with the Homepod, nobody hyping Airpods ever points to an objective sound quality test to show how they actually stack up against other earbuds and headphones? Hint: without a proper seal over or in the ear canal, the one-size-fits-all Airpod suffers to deliver tight accurate bass response and stereo imaging. Even the casual listener can sense that. But the dirty secret is that penny pinching by Apple means the high end frequencies (above ~ 8 kHz) is an absolute mess, far inferior to competing wired earbuds. Here’s the frequency response curve — to anyone concerned with good sound quality, this is rubbish for anything but voice conversation:


    Of course being Apple, the user has no decent controls to adjust sound quality on the iPhone or on the headphone.

    Bottom line – if Airpods work for your narrow use case, good. But this “cultural phenomenon” is bullshit that discriminating users can see through. Airpods are a perfect example of Apple’s current desire to push expensive fashion over performance and value. I hope the fashionistas at Apple find another company to ruin soon so that Apple or its competitors can offer significantly better headphones and other products that actually set best-in-class performance and value. We liked Apple when it was the Honda of the industry — never first in any one measure but in total, the best all round choice with top quality at reasonable pricing.

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