Apple AirPods - should you buy them?

In this article, we explore the advantages and disadvantages of Apple's first wireless headphones - the Apple AirPods.

Last updated: 6th Jun 2019 at 12:33pm

What are Apple AirPods?

Apple AirPods are Apple's first completely wireless earphones and are perfect for use with other Apple devices. Particularly, the latest iPhones which have no headphone jack or the new Apple Watches. There are currently only two versions of these AirPods, but it is likely that there will be more in the future.

How many versions of the Apple AirPods are there?

There are currently only two generations of AirPods. The first generation was introduced in December 2016 and the second generation in March 2019. Although the design and some aspects of the functionality of both Apple AirPods are identical, there are some differences between the two such as connection speed and an upgrade in the processor chip. The first generation AirPods run on the W1 chip, whereas the second generation runs on the H1 chip- which is up to 1.5x faster.

Cost up to £200

Apple AirPods can be very expensive - the original AirPods cost £160, whereas second-generation AirPods costs £200 with the charging case – some may find this large cost unreasonable.

100% Wireless

Wires can be annoying and get in the way, especially on earphones. These AirPods offer users the chance to listen to music and watching videos is a much easier way than before. The lack of wires is most definitely the best feature of the Apple AirPods.

Average Sound Quality

Despite the expense of AirPods, the sound quality isn't much better than other earphones on the market that can be much cheaper. The AirPods are still good for phone calls and give the user a good audio experience. This is something that will hopefully be improved with later models of the AirPods as Apple hasn't improved this with their newest second version.

Amazing Battery Life and Charging

If you've seen any other reviews on Apple AirPods, you are likely to of heard of their amazing battery life. AirPods deliver up to 5 hours of listening time and 3 hours of talk time on just one charge. The user can get up to 24 hours of charge with the charging case which only take 15 minutes to charge. This incredibly small charge time and long usability mean that, despite being wireless earphones, they can be used for long periods of time. The charging of AirPods is very good, but if you are buying the charging case separately it can cost up to £80. Unfortunately, AirPods don't charge wirelessly, but that could be a possible improvement in the future.

Easy Pairing

AirPods are easy to use and connect to, this makes use easier and more effective. The pairing of the first Apple AirPods was very quick and already better than most other types of wireless earphones, but it has gotten much faster with the second version. They are much faster in comparison with other wireless earphones available currently.

Lack of Variety

Unfortunately, Apple AirPods only come in one size. This means that, for some people, they may be uncomfortable. Others may prefer earphones where the earbud size can be easily changed via the use of interchangeable foam or rubber earbuds. Hopefully, the next generation of Apple AirPods has interchangeable wireless earbuds.

Double Tap Function

The AirPods enable the user to double tap the earphone to activate Siri, play/pause a track or turn it off. This is a very helpful feature however, some users have said that it can be difficult to use because it doesn't always work. This feature can be modified in the settings of a paired Apple device.


Apple AirPods can be used to communicate and use Siri similar to how you would on your phone. The double tap feature and the mics in each earbud mean that Siri can easily be accessed and used. Not only can Siri be disabled if necessary, but the user can change which earbud the mic is activated on (Left or Right) via a connected Apple device.


Although Apple AirPods is one of the best forms of wireless earphones currently on the market, there are still many possible improvements. They are a good option for those willing to pay up to £200 for some earphones, but may not be worth the price for many others. If you already have the first AirPods there isn't much point in buying the newer version as there isn't much improvement, but aside from the sound quality, they are worth the price.

There is no doubt that Apple AirPods are some of the best on the market, but there are other more affordable or higher quality options. Some of these other options include Beats X, Optoma NuForce BE Sport4 and OnePlus Bullets Wireless.

If you are interested in New iPhone 11 Rumours read our article on what to expect from the new summer 2019 release from Apple.

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