Just today my AirPods case wasn't charging because lint got into my lightning port. I didn't realize the case wasn't charging until I realized my AirPods were low on power despite me charging the case a lot the last few days. Inductive charging is a lot more durable in a lot of ways.
I take my AirPods everywhere with me. They fit perfectly into a pair of jeans. They are one of Apple's best products in years.
I find myself listening to way more audiobooks and podcasts because of this. If I have a minutes to burn, I can just pull them out and listen. Also, AirPods are great for phone calls. I use them for almost every phone call, and having them always on me has changed how I interact with computing devices. If the Apple Watch ever really gets full featured (with more robust cellular features in particular), I could see myself often just having a Watch and AirPods with me, while leaving my phone behind.
The other things I would like to see Apple do are: Official water resistance ratings to better work for athletics and in the rain; and the ability to have different tips on them to increase fit for more people and to provide the option of sealing out outside noise.
I've had the same set of high quality in-ear wired headphones for the last 5 years or longer and have zero issues with them (I just replace the foam every so often for about $5). What is the improvement I am missing here?
I think what you are missing is that different people value things differently. These don't make sense for you? That's fine, don't buy them. They don't make sense for me either, so I don't buy them.
However, I can understand how it would make sense for someone else. Arguing the money aspect doesn't make sense because we never know a person's income, expenses and savings. $200 for one person is nothing, while it can be the difference between making rent for another.
Arguing sound quality doesn't make sense either, because despite all of the numbers that people throw around, people perceive and enjoy sound differently. It isn't objective, its subjective.
Same thing with the presence of wires. I would have liked these (or, more likely, a larger set of wireless cans) when I lived in Japan and commuted by train daily. Now that I commute by car, my headphone use is limited to netflix in bed and when I'm playing guitar. Wireless doesn't do anything for me in those situations.
Long story short, different strokes for different folks.
I have a headphone jack in my phone. She doesn't, so wireless is mandatory for her. It's just a question of lower quality, big, and clunky, or these. Now that I got these for her, the lower-quality option is forever off the table.
She can cruise around the kitchen cooking while "watching" a video that's playing on a laptop on the counter. I did that using my MacBook Pro's built-in speakers, which eventually blew out both speakers. My phone-in-the-pocket, wired solution limits me to audio-only.
So, yes, there are reasons, and whether they matter depends on the person.
Unremovable batteries? Apple got away with it from the start. Hell, they even managed to get people to pay ridiculous markups to replace them after it was discovered that they tampered with device performance.
Unremovable storage? Just look at what Apple manages to charge for storage upgrades!
Dropping the headphone jack? iPhone 7 got away with it, and drove the sale of plenty of adapters.
USB-C? Well, if Apple could get people to buy new Lightning devices and chargers...
These are standard "features" now. Every phone has this now. There are no other options for me to "vote for" with my wallet anymore, even though I always did when the I had the option to. There is no way for me, as a single consumer, to get away from this bullshit.
Fashion doesn't spring up from thin air. It's crafted by people. With agendas. And accessories to sell.
Hell, nobody seemed happy about any of these changes when they were introduced. But the manufacturers had the pockets to outlast the outrage. And eventually, fashion changed.
And, just maybe, ask why on earth a whole industry exists around fake pockets, and what accessories they exist to sell.
They are _the_only_ wireless earbuds on the market that you don't push inside your ear canals, and I absolutely abhor the in-canal ones. They also look nice, work great, I wear them for hours almost every day. Even put them on for quick calls. Probably one of the best technology products I've ever owned.
I find the sound quality argument hillarious. They barely block any outoutside noise, which is great for the commuter use case. You want to hear traffic and train/bus stop announcements.
They're perfect for that use case.
They're not meant for sound quality but they aren't nearly as bad as people would think by how much this is brought up.
If you want quality / noise cancelling on your commute go for Sony mx3's.
Airpods have a MUCH higher environmental impact than ordinary earphones. A lot of tech is crammed into these things, all of which uses energy, resources, distilled water and so on to produce.
I have a pair of Shure earphones that have "just worked" for going onto three years now. I had to change NOTHING on them, and they've never complained. I've worn them for 2+ hours Every. Single. Day. during that time period.
People are reporting rubbish battery lives on the Apple subreddit already, with several of them desperately hoping for new ones so they can mindlessly continue upgrading without stopping to consider where that tech ends up.
And I have a pair of Airpods that have "just worked" for I guess about two and a half years now. I've had to change NOTHING on them, and they've never complained. I've worn them for 2+ hours (almost) Every. Single. Day. during that time period.
> People are reporting rubbish battery lives on the Apple subreddit already
People are going to report a litany of problems with every new product. There is zero reason to believe that battery life on these new AirPods should be, outside of defective devices, any less than the previous model.
Also, to preempt any exhortations of slippery slope fallacies, I'd say every person deserves a good laptop that they take care of, and a smartphone that they try to get to last as long as possible. That's where we draw the line. Every gadget beyond that should cause a serious examination of how necessary it is in one's life, and whether it is a want or a need. Airpods would fail catastrophically for almost everyone in such a sytem.
But these comments here are basically the height of virtue signaling and weird oneupmanship. The fact that they are posting on HN about it on their high-tech device is hilarious.
For example, they brag about their save-the-world low-fi headphones without realizing the irony of also owning the high-tech landfilling gadget they plug them into.
The implications of all these comments seems to be that it's perfectly OK to buy Airpods every two to three years for decades to come, because there are other avenues in which we are also fucking the environment.
Honestly, this sort of attitude is why I just struggle to trust any “green” activism, despite fundamentally being a leftie. You are happy to live in a cave, fine, do that; but myself, I like my tech and I want to keep going forward.
The best that I can think of is minimizing my impact. This heavily involves minimal tech.
As I said, you're free to do as you please, and I'm free to say that I'll do differently.
The charging is not nearly that obnoxious, I've gone through a wide range of wireless sets and they've all had multi-day charges.
Personally I have a nice set of IEMs for longer, sitting use cases and otherwise use a cheap (~$20) wireless set; so that when it inevitably breaks/gets lost/battery wears down after a ~year, it's negligible to just replace it.
Also, nowadays, wireless headphones have surprisingly good audio; especially if you're just listening to podcasts.
I'll just address this point, because it is categorically incorrect and something many people misunderstood when they were first released.
There are two of them. You can use them independently from one another. When you hear the "low battery" tone, it's trivial to remove one and continue to use the other. By the time the tone plays again in the one you continued to use (signaling critically low battery), you just swap which earbud is in the case. The one that was in the case will be almost fully charged at this point.
The effect is that you can pretty much use them indefinitely without a full interruption. And using only one at a time is mostly unnoticeable.
But saying "I'll just address this point, because it is categorically incorrect" was unnecessarily aggressive. With that opening, I think people expected a solution with no caveats.
Also, I just can't fathom people's willingness to let so much tech into their lives. Laptops, tablets, smartphones, smartwatches, airpods... all of which need to be constantly charged, and replaced once their batteries die, because they cannot be swapped out, meaning the rest of the apparatus lies impotent in a dumpster for a thousand years or more, never to biodegrade... it's depressing and wearisome to picture.
They're literally always on my person. At all times. Without even having to think about it, because they just come along with my phone and keys whenever they change pockets.
I can wear them all day and basically forget they're there, even when pausing audio to have conversations with people physically in front of me.
For phone calls, they're measurably more convenient since I can just leave my phone on my desk and continue whatever it was I was previously doing.
The "compromises" I have to make, on the other hand are completely insignificant. Sometimes I have to take one earbud out. Sometimes the case is low on battery so I plug it in at the nearest cable on my desk or nightstand. The audio quality is perfectly fine, I have never noticed a difference unless I was explicitly trying to look for one.
> Are people nowadays really that rich that they can dump 150 USD EVERY two to three years just to get rid of a wire?!
Why do you seem to believe that these will only last two or three years? Mine are 2.5 years in and I can't say I've noticed any kind of battery degradation. Surely they won't continue to last indefinitely, but every other wired headphone I've used has had the wire fray sooner or later anyway.
> Also, I just can't fathom people's willingness to let so much tech into their lives.
I can't reply to the other comment you made, but I find it telling that you've decided that you get to be the gatekeeper for what is "too much tech" and what's not. From that comment, "Every person deserves... a laptop... and a smartphone". And headphones too, apparently. But wireless headphones are where we as a society should draw the line?
Somehow I don't think I'd be surprised to find you having this same conversation ten years ago deriding how rich people must be to afford a $1,000 cell phone every few years, when flip phones are just as good and aren't full of compromises like software keyboards.
The compromises are that you have to charge them all the time. You cannot wear them constantly on an 8 hour flight. One-size-fits-most. They come packaged with an expiry date. Yours are going fine, but on balance, I'd say a careful user could make wired, QUALITY, earphones last longer than Airpods. The audio quality, despite you confident proclamations, isn't even in the vicinity of wired stuff you can get for that price range.
Guilty as charged about being a self-annointed gatekeeper. I'm driven to a low-level despair at our relentless forward march towards a scorched planet. Nevertheless, to conclude the argument, yeah, wireless throwaway airpods and home theaters ARE perhaps where we should draw the line. Where would you draw the line? Or do you think it's all dandy even if we never draw the line?
As to your last point, you're probably right. I have in all seriousness considered moving back to a flip phone. Since I don't have any social media, all that smartphones give me is access to boarding passes for flights, and GPS. But meanwhile, I turn it off at night and make the battery last two to three days between charges.
Does it really blow your mind that the ability to move freely without being tethered to a phone is a selling point? I can give an example where it really helps for me: I'm a nudist.
But even when clothed I like walking around able to take a call or listen to music without snagging a cable on one of the many protrusions in this world like door handles, kitchen cupboard handles etc which can also lead to an expensive phone launching from my pocket onto the floor.
If you're worried about pollution, Airpods should be on the low end of the concerns list.
Show me your receipts and I'll find things I "can't fathom" and all sorts of environmentally questionable decisions. You clearly are willing enough to let technology into your life yet care so little about the environment to post here on your high tech device, to use your own argument. You would lose the game you started very quickly.
Surely you know where you are posting? Fuck yeah there’s a plenty of people here that can afford to throw away 150 USD several times a day.
>I'll just address this point, because it is categorically incorrect and something many people misunderstood when they were first released
Can’t be charged while being used? Who cares? They last long enough. 1 out of 50 times I wear them they run out of battery. Charging them takes 5 minutes, so it’s not a big deal.
Also, the whole point is that they’re wireless. If you don’t care about this specific feature it’s no wonder you don’t see them as an improvement.
I can't remember ever trying to use headphones/earphones and not have them "just work."
I pop them in their case when I take a break or go for lunch and then charge the case itself now and then and things work out just fine. The charging is very fast.
Also for my use case (calls) you can charge while listening by using only one bud at a time.
I have many pairs of headphones, wired and wireless, but I just ordered a new set of AirPods because they are simply the most convenient headphone I've ever used (Presuming you use primarily Apple products.) Far from the best sounding - but I've found for a general use headphone they are more than adequate.
I actually finally understand why some people may want wireless now, thank you. Personally somehow I never get my earbud cable snagged, even when snowboarding or climbing. However that tangled mess of wires when i take it out of my pocket...
I absolutely loathe working out with wired headphones. Even with them inside my shirt occasionally I'd wind up with enough slack to get them caught on something. Usually when I'm bench pressing or working with free weights.
On the flip side, before BT5 and my S10 I had nothing but problems with all of my wireless headphones constantly skipping. I've actually posted here before that my $200 Jabra 65ts on my S8 would skip just walking to work to the point I'd run wired on my "commute." My S10 solved that, thankfully.
With that said I still refuse to buy a phone without a headphone jack (I'm on an S10 now). I have 2 sets of great (Jabra 65t Elites and Galaxy s10 buds) wireless but if I'm just taking the dogs for a quick walk I throw in whatever wired buds are laying around nearby. Or I'm at someones house/pool and just want a quick way to plug into their speakers.
It really is genius that you charge the holder which charges the buds, though, as opposed to charging the headphones. I can run them (not airpods) down and toss them in the charger for 20 minutes and get a few more hours of listening. Helps battery anxiety quite a bit.
Again it's never been a problem for me however upon further thought I usually put my phone in my bra when doing something physical so it's not a surprise there not an issue.
Now don't get me started on no headphone jack... i have an iphone and I irks me to now end that they removed it for honestly no good reason imho. I only put up with it because it's only occasionally a problem for me as i can charge up the phone pretty quick with my ankor and I prefer iphones for other reasons but man, i would buy the new iphone tomorrow if it had the jack.
After experiencing AirPods, I will pay any amount of $ to replace them if they ever get lost. They really are that good and they’re probably the best purchase I’ve made in years.
If you go to the gym at all, they’ll be a game changer.
Let me put it this way - sometimes I completely forget they’re even in my ear.
I’m struggling to find words to explain what I mean ... there’s rarely a time when I realise I need to charge my AirPods and it’s an inconvenience, whereas the phone always seems to run low at just the wrong time. I dunno.
Plus, you can have the AirPods in your ears, listening to a thing, while the case charges. This takes nothing away from your experience. You can use your iPhone while it charges, but that’s a PITA because now you’re tethered to a wall.
TL;DR: charging them isn’t an issue that should prevent you from buying them. They’re amazing.
Not needing to have your phone on your body constantly.
Source: Wife owns AirPods and I use them from time to time. For me these two points are HUGE plus points.
But I won’t buy them as i find them too expensive and don’t listen to audio often enough (wired or wireless) on my phone anyway.
Maybe if you are using them 24/7. The battery in the case can charge the airpods batteries several times.
These are just a few I thought of off the top of my head, but they may not be worth the price tag for everyone.
For me it was all about the fucking tangle. I don't care much about having the cable on while I am using them. But having to do that stupid devil-horns-figure-eight winding technique to avoid the cable getting tangled into a knot, every single time I want to put the headphones into my pocket, which I do several times a day... ugh.
For me, going back to wired headphones would be like going back to getting on the train by going up to a vending machine, putting coins into it, pushing buttons, waiting for it to emit a paper ticket, and then getting on the train.
It's only a difference of a few seconds, usually, but it something I do over and over and over and over, so that's why it's worth it to me.
(I dropped significant money on a new iphone as soon as it finally got train-pass functionality here in Japan, too.)
Pretty much all BT solutions are a pain pairing wise and sound lag wise.
Apple’s are very well designed, a luxury object. Almost no lag with sound. Very good phone call experience. Sound is mediocre but always available.
Still, they are disposable by design and I find it repulsive that we have normalized the pollution associated with buying this product. I won’t be buying another pair and will be pressing Apple to establish a recycling program.
My etimotic headphones sound great and have a long life.
They have a broad recycling program already in place.
If you fly a lot, then you'll really appreciate over the ear headphones, preferably the noise cancelling ones. That being said, these wireless over the ear phones are too bulky to use in day to day life such as commute etc. So now you end up owning one pair of wireless noise cancelling headphones for flying, air pods for your day-day commute. You see where I am going with this .. welcome to capltalism :)
That's not true at all with AirPods. I use them nearly every day and I haven't had to charge them in almost 2 full weeks since charge while in the case and 5 minutes of charge lasts a few hours.
They're seriously awesome. I never would have purchased them myself or asked for them for the price they're asking but I got them as a gift and I think they're amazing.
I had to return them because one of my ears isn't a good fit. One earpod stuck out almost 45 degrees out of my ears and loosen over prolonged use.
So, unless you use your wired headphones on other devices, it's not a good comparison.
I do agree charging it hurts.
But I would do inductive 99% of the time, most likely at night while I sleep.
This is the single biggest reason why I won't upgrade to the AirPods. For me, the AirPods simply fall out of my ears. That's why I stick with the Etymotic Ear Phonnes: https://www.etymotic.com/consumer/earphones.html
For whatever reason, that flanged shape fits my ears so perfectly well and blocks out all other noises that I don't see myself using any other Ear Phones for a long while. If AirPods provided the option of a flange shape like the Etymotics, then I'd be compelled to buy an AirPod.
But, reality is: AirPods are by far the most convenient way to casually do anything with apple products and headphones. Stick 'em in a pocket, and if you want to listen to music or be on a conference call, pull them out and pop them in. And my old ones are having the battery wear-out problem. And I'm in the apple ecosystem.
So I'll happily pay a premium to have new AirPods with better battery (and cleaner!). And then I don't need to feel guilty about the old ones to the gym and ruining them further with sweat. (The one thing I'm mad about is that there's nothing about sweat proofing on these.)
So if my iPhone was playing music via AirPlay, the alert sound would go to, you guessed it, the AirPlay speakers. Completely pointless.
There was no disruption in the audio. In fact it didn't occur to me until I got back and saw my phone on the table that anything had even happened.
Note: I own AirPods and use them regularly at the gym. That is to say, I'm not afraid of my own AirPods, but acknowledge that they broadcast pretty loudly.
That said, I own AirPods, I am surprised by how great they are, but I rarely wear them because the radiation worries me.
I still enjoy them for music. But the battery life alone for calls is weak — I only get about 1 hour of talk time.
You don't want to walk around the town with earphones that isolate too much. My coworker was hit by a car as he was jogging while wearing IEMs. He couldn't hear the car horn and he was hit by a driver who couldn't stop his car in time. He didn't suffer any major injuries but he learned his lesson and now only jogs with open earphones.
I’m talking about external background noise that the mic picks up.
In both cases I have received no complaints, and have even inquired about how the noise is recently. People can't hear my obnoxiously loud road noise at all, it gets canceled out.
Active noise cancellation is not the same thing either. See https://krisp.ai/ for what you really need, and this is not something best done at the physical device level.
When I got hired for my current job I did both interviews from the parking lot of a local Starbucks for exactly this reason.
They're not much cheaper than the airpods however.
The very best feature, though, is that they’re much less conspicuous than AirPods. AirPods are a visual distraction.
Does my wire get snagged and the earbud falls out? Sure it does, but that probably happens to me once every 6 months and that doesn't get me pissed off enough to hand apple $160. Airpods don't come without their costs, too. You loose that super handy control/microphone on the wire, you have one more thing to keep charged, and in 2 years when the battery shits you have to pony up $50 per ear to replace them. I still use the headphones that came with my iPhone 5, seven years later.
- You don't need your device on your person. I leave my iPhone around the house somewhere and use these while cooking, or run with AirPods + Apple Watch (cellular not required, I just download podcasts or audiobooks).
- You are not tethered to a listening device. I don't worry about the cable catching on kitchen drawer handles or gym equipment (this happened to me way more often than every 6 months). I can jump from phone podcasts to a video call with a few clicks or taps, instead of changing headphones or transferring cables.
- Your call quality improves dramatically from wired headphones. Others are complaining about background noise, but wired headphones are far worse, with their microphones on their remotes (IIRC). I hated "speaking up" by holding the little remote to my mouth.
The concerns you mention are also minimal in practice. The case has excellent battery life, requiring a charge only weekly or so. If you're on a streak of calls, you can charge one AirPod at a time to stay connected. I have also used mine for over 18 months almost daily, and the battery has been fine.
Are AirPods a convenience? Yes. But there's always a market for convenience.
Does this work? Nice tip, thanks
Mine were a gift, but I'll likely drop $160 on a set in the future if these crap out in a year or two.
About once a week, I used to get my wire snagged and it would sometimes yank my phone out of my pocket. Luckily it was on carpet and I had a case on it so there wasn't any damage.
More importantly, the convenience has been well worth it. Even if I'm just saving 30s a day untangling, that is worth the price to me over a few years. Throw in being able to sleep with one pod in and my phone plugged in across the room and this has might be my favorite and most used gadget of the past few years.
Still disappointed they haven’t added more feaures, especially as competition getting hotter...
Who's going to pay 30%-50% of a new version to replace his airpods or apple watch battery ? 
It's the same with all these hi tech gadgets relying on tiny glued/soldered batteries. You can't replace them yourself because it's either proprietary hardware or you need to literally break the product to get to the battery. And companies either don't offer replacements or charge insane amount of money for them.
Apple can boast all day long about ecology and using 100% recycled aluminium, at the end of the day they're shipping unfixable gadgets.  But it's thin and slick looking so I guess most people don't give a damn.
The first time I saw a bose QC25 with AA batteries I almost burst out laughing but it's actually much more convenient than proprietary battery packs. Compare that to the new QC35: > As you were correctly advised, battery replacement is not a service that is offered. 
We'll drown in these gadgets way before we drown due to the sea level rising.
 > Run through your battery, and it’ll likely cost you $138 to replace both year-old batteries, which is nearly the cost of a new pair.
Unserviceable laptop and cellphone batteries are terrible and apple is by far the biggest offender.
disclaimer: typed from a macbook :(
I have used them 5 days a week, for ~2 hours a day for almost the entirety of those 7 years, I charge them approximately once per month.
They cost £400 at the time and have been by far the best consumer electronic investment I have ever made. When the battery becomes unusable I'll find a replacement and fit it my self, but I have no plans to replace them until they are deader than dead.
I don't care much for "fashion" and they already have more features than I need (I use the physical switch to toggle off the NFC because I never need to use it), they do high enough quality audio (AAC/AptX) for streaming 320/16/44.1 and the battery life is better than any other battery powered device I own (barring the TV remote) even after all this time.
Honestly if you regularly write code in an open office like I suspect many here do; a serious, professional pair of headphones are one of the best things you can get. Wireless with active noise cancelling that are comfortable and have a robust battery life. The Sony model mentioned by another poster appear to be quite nice as well.
Smart management would make sure these things are available to their employees no questions asked.
My experience with this made me laugh. I had a company that had the right idea when they moved everyone to open floor plans; buy them "premium" headphones. The headphones they bought were expensive (valued around $150 new), but were utter garbage. I can't tell the difference audio between $5 earbuds, and $100 earbuds ... but I can tell when these beats headphones have the sizing for children. Nearly everyone ended up selling theirs and letting them collect dust.
I convinced my manager to get us all Bose headphones.
Several people from other teams (all of which had private offices) raised a stink to the CEO, who refused to approve the purchase, leaving my boss to foot the bill by himself.
This is a metal-cased cell, like an AAA battery, only smaller. They could simply make the "stem" of the AirPod unscrew from the top to access the battery. They came up with an unserviceable design because they didn't want to, not because they couldn't. Think of things like quartz watches too --- they have just as small if not smaller dimensions, and yet you can still replace the batteries in them. (And if you think threads of that size are impossible for Apple... look at the few screws that hold iPhones together.)
I really don't think that's the case. I was really quite tempted by them, but was put off by the lifespan.
$50 per airpod for new batteries.
I'm guessing they don't literally give you yours back with new batteries, but instead give you replacements and then send yours for refurbishing.
Are there any tips to make the batteries last longer?
$100 < $200. I wouldn't call half the price "approaches."
Extend battery life by substituting them with wired earpods when possible.
I had a call yesterday and the Airpods were beeping that they were dying at the 20min mark, and didn't make it to 30min on the call.
I love the form factor, and I just ordered the "new" Airpods, because I am hoping the battery life has improved - the old ones are basically a disposable item after the first year, from my experience.
Most days, however, I don't have calls all day long, and I can just wear both no problem and not run into the low battery beep.
This afternoon I had a call while walking my dog.
It’s a new world.
Well, that and the fact that I'd definitely lose one in the first month of ownership.
I do use them for conference calls but I know they have limited capabilities. My 14 hour Jabra headset will do just fine and have noise cancellation.
If only. At this price, you have hundreds of options with much better sound quality
1. Sennheiser HD650 w/ Schiit Magni2/Modi2
2. Sony MDR1000x
Requirement: in-ear and no wires or over ear hook thing.
Give it a rest, Apple makes great hardware with great software. That's why people buy it, nothing to do with being cool.
Like everything in life -- you use the right tool for the job.
If you're on a lot of conference calls, then you buy a headset or something else suited to that task. AirPods are not that item. They're for listening to music while running, or at work, and answering the occasional phone call.
I don't complain that my Hello Kitty-branded eeePC 701 can't run the latest AI framework.
If you want to do business, you buy a business tool.
> I love the form factor, and I just ordered the "new" Airpods, because I am hoping the battery life has improved - the old ones are basically a disposable item after the first year, from my experience.
The OP complained about battery life and the $200 "disposable" headphones he bought a year ago, but happily bought the next iteration, hence my comment.
Fool me once...
Even if they aren't, and I had to buy a pair every year, that's like 50 cents a day for something that I enjoy using (until the battery dies)
Also, OP said they purchased them in 2016 - not a year ago.
They’re also the only earphones I can stand while exercising. Before the AirPods, the annoyance of the wire flopping around or on my skin, etc. made me mostly just not listen to anything. So, I don’t really compare them to anything wired, because I don’t consider them an actual alternative. I just won’t listen anymore.
Love them in general though, they are good enough for the price & what they do.
The audio quality is also massively improved because of the better fit. The downside is you have to take the skins off before putting the AirPods back in the case. I also bought one of these pouches to keep the AirPod case and EarSkinz in. Works well, all in all
I've had mine almost two years. I listen at work M-F, 8am-11:30am, then let them recharge at lunch, then use them 1:00pm-4:00pm. So far, so issues.
How long do you think I have before the batteries start to degrade?
Except the original post said to "count the time you spend untangling the cord" (which, for most good, flat-wire headphones is almost zero). Habit or not, charging takes more time than properly rolling the cord on wired buds.
To this old fart, this sounds like the thousand other cases of "why learn a simple and generally useful skill, when we can use modern technology to avoid this one specific case?"
Learning a basic transferable skill is the scalable solution to this problem. You're not using wireless power cables, wireless rope to tie things to your car, wireless thread in your sewing machine, etc.
Also there's a lot of time spent fiddling with the cables in use that I didn't realize I was doing until I used wireless and went back for a week.
Only one of us have to coil and uncoil wires, and put wires where we want them and keep wires where we want them when they shift or are moved by external forces. Only one of us can use our headphones with a smartwatch.
AirPods aren't perfect: I've probably had connection issues ~5 times which seem to have gone away with the latest update. I haven't lost them, but they are really small and it seems like it would be easy to lose them. $170 is a lot tougher to lose than $8 (though there are also wired earbuds in the same price neighborhood). I do have to charge the case, but with my use-pattern I haven't yet run into a spot where I wanted to keep using my AirPods and didn't have charge available. Using them one ear at a time while the other charges for longer use is non-ideal, but that's mitigated by how quickly they charge.
Until I had to go back to wired earbuds for a week after using wireless for a while I didn't fully appreciate how nice wireless is.
I have a laptop, desktop, iPad and iPhone - for wired I would need USB-C->3.5mm, Lightning->3.5mm, and a 3.5mm extension cord for my desktop. AirPods "just work" with each of those with only a single click or tap. So no cord tangles and no bluetooth connect/disconnect dance every time you swap devices. To me that makes them easily worth the $170 cost.
As an aside, this is the most HN justification possible for these. "Just estimate your time spent coiling headphones and multiply it by your hourly rate then you will see how $160 is fair." Absurd.
Even still, I ordered the new ones. The convenience is easily worth it for me since I am primarily in the Apple ecosystem.
[edit: Really? You guys expect 3 years life out of your socks and underwear too? If you use the hell out of it, even a wired pair that's a year old doesn't sound as good as a pair fresh out of the box.]
I really, honestly believe that in a decade we're going to look back at AirPods as our generation's bell-bottoms. Only bell-bottomed trousers at least have some function: AirPods are a style & sustainability own goal.
First, the form factor of AirPods are integral to their function. There is no separating them. Wires are a major design tradeoff.
Also, the function (multiple actually) -- social communication, gaining knowledge, entertainment -- is of high importance to many. So even small improvements are valuable.
I really don't think you're understanding this correctly.
I'm always surprised how many people haven't come to that conclusion.
Edit: Oh well the reference is almost 20 years old. I knew someone wouldn't know it.
A lot of this is very US-specific.
AirPods sold 36 million units and everyone and their grandma got it on Christmas. They have been sold at most holidays.
I personally think this is one of the best device Apple has created in a long time. It’s not for everyone but once you get used to it, you won’t go anywhere without them.
They're literally best in class for the money.
A) used the included lightning headphones
B) used the lightning adapter that come with the iPhones until this year and are now $9.99 and used any other headphones
C) used third party lightning headphones
D) used any BT headphones.
No one was forced to buy $160 Airpods.
Apple has successfully turned the airpods into a fashion/status symbol, which was their goal. "only smelly android users have headphones with a CORD"
 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NlHUz99l-eo
Look on the back of the EarPods. It's attached to the cardboard carrier.
Are you sure about that? I’m pretty sure iPhone XS didn’t come with this.
It isn't often that we achieve a universal connector format with basically no downsides (how many iterations of USB have there been now?), but we actually accomplished it with the 1/8" audio jack, and it's exasperating to see that coordination equity be so "bravely" discarded.
I would just carry a lightning to headphone cord (not adapter) if I were still teaching.
If they bought Airpods they decided against using those headphones, getting a Lightning-headphone adapter to use with their favorite wired headphones, or buying any other type of bluetooth headphones.
Also, Baader-Meinhof phenomenon and all that.
Some people enjoy being their own sysadmins and customizers. That's their lifestyle choice. Every product choice is a lifestyle choice.
I didn’t buy them because they’re a “lifestyle”, I bought them because they’re the best on the market.
The reviews are not great for Bragi Dash headphones at that time either. I though people were just hating but it turns out the reviews were accurate in this case.
Being deeply into buying "the most powerful technology," or "the most customizable technology" is also a lifestyle choice and tribal signalling choice.
There is no "I'm above choosing things for their lifestyle or tribe membership implications" position to take.
I LOVE them. Single-ear is the killer use for me, I used them bike commuting in my non-traffic ear, and i frequently listen to a podcast in just one ear. It sounds stupid, but it's SO much more convenient than having another bud dangling from a cord like I'd have to with the Jaybirds.
And the difference between a hard plastic case and a floppy vinyl carrying pouch is the difference between something that is part of my every day kit, in my pants pocket, and something that sits.. at home.. in a drawer, probably. Somewhere. I have no idea where, frankly.
Afaik other companies make similarly priced wireless buds with better sound quality and similar battery life.
You create the use case of needing extra range while charging the phone because audio over bluetooth significantly reduce the battery life in the first place. You shouldn't need to charge at the office even if you called non stop from 9 to 5.
Phone in pocket + wired headphones = unlimited range and > 20 hrs talk time.