Apple Airpods Review
by John Del Favero | October 15, 2016 8:45 pm
If you’re an Apple-phile, or just an IT, consumer electronics, and/or wearables tech aficionado, you may have noticed that the team in Cupertino is breathlessly running out of personal activity centers, body parts, and organs to kit up with computerized technology platforms.
Let us count the ways.
Your SoHo office desk (or your favorite Starbucks table) has a tech platform, the Mac, and so does your lap, the MacBook. Your hands have their very own tech platform, the iPad, and your fingers have the Apple Pencil. Your wandering eyes, brain, voicebox, pocket and purse are all serviced by one flexible, multi-tasking tech platform, the iPhone. Lastly, your wrist is covered in Apple’s most recent new technology platform, the Apple Watch.
Wait, hold the iPhone 7, folks. There’s a new tech platform in town. Lest Apple disappoint, now both your ears are in store for a new wireless chipset embedded technology platform, the Apple AirPods.
At a time when Apple’s executive leadership is coming under increasing Wall Street, IT, and consumer electronics industry scrutiny for a perceived lack of remarkable and compelling product innovation, Apple’s AirPods constitutes a strategically important new technology platform introduction for the entire IT, consumer electronics, and wearables industry.
The Motorola Hint
While some may argue that Apple is merely drafting on the carved out aerodynamic slipstream created by the innovative Motorola Hint + and the Bragi Dash intelligent earbud platforms, neither of those two companies have anywhere near the market moving clout as does Apple.
Like it or not, hundreds of millions of ears all over planet earth are going to be kitted up for long hours nearly every day with computerized wonders barely the size of a pistachio nut.
Lo and behold, we’re not even a few hours past the start of Phil Schiller’s AirPods introduction and the Twitter-verse is already awash in a new Apple AirPods generated meme.
How do the opposite sexes talk to one another when they are wearing AirPods? [Source: https://twitter.com/search?q=Apple+air+buds&ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Enews%7Ctwgr%5Esearch]
• “Will the new @Apple Air Buds (that’s what I’m calling them forever now) prevent men from talking to women when they’re wearing them? @KristiColleen
• “How to talk to a woman who is wearing Apple Air buds” @kyle_conrad
Since this is quite likely a double entendre laced, existential question for the ages, let’s at least proffer a highlight package of the major features and benefits of this new tech platform for Ear and Bud, likely the first names you’ve given your left and right ear. Since Apple apparently has trademarked “AirPod,” I’m betting you won’t be permitted to name your left ear, Air, and your right ear, Pod.
Design & Engineering – The new AirPods resemble the product design of Apple’s current line of earbuds, but with a thicker tube replacing the skinny tube that merely encased the wired connection of the previous line of Apple earbuds.
This newfangled, multi-function tube is seamlessly molded as an extension to each AirPod device to enable each AirPod to house its very own battery, wireless antenna, and microphone.
Up top, the insertion pod for your ear holds a new wireless chip, two accelerometers, two optical sensors, and a microphone. Quite likely, this is the most sophisticated micro packaging of mass manufactured wireless, sensor, and microphone consumer electronics technologies on the planet, a true marvel of miniaturization.
W1 Chip – Apple custom designed an entirely new wireless communications chip for the AirPods, the W1. Why? Apple embedded the W1 wireless chip into its new AirPod tech platform to imbue it with a suite of technology platform rich suite of functions and features.
1. Since dropped wireless connections are the bane of almost everyone’s smart devices, Apple decided to respond to this industry-wide complain by upgrading the consistency and constancy of wireless connections between your earbuds and your smartphone and tablet and smartwatch and laptop.
2. The W1 even enables intelligent earbud connections that instantly “auto-switch” from your iPhone to your Apple Watch or your iPad or your MacBook in mere milliseconds. So when you switch the device you’re using, as we all inevitably do many times a day, your wireless earbud audio, voice, and music connection is seamlessly maintained to the device of the moment, with no dropped connection blues.
3. The W1 even permits simultaneous wireless tethering to two devices at once, which is another persistent industry-wide wireless wearables problem Apple just solved. (When and how they’ll get around to enabling 3 or 4 or a dozen simultaneous connections for the hyper-wearables persona of the year 2020 is perhaps to be revealed two, three, four, or five Septembers from now.)
4. The W1 also discretely manages each AirPod’s battery consumption in order to maximize total per charge usage up to 5 hours.
5. The W1 chip also enables users to virtually bypass the near ubiquitous, yet often nettlesome “wireless pairing exercise.” Open your AirPods battery charging case and the W1 chip embedded AirPods automatically perform wireless pairing with just a one button connect maneuver on your smartphone. Apple’s iCloud then performs a cross-device propagation of the wireless pairing of your AirPods to all your Apple devices (Mac, iPad, iPhone, and Apple Watch), if and only if you have an iCloud account, that is.
A Miniature Smorgasbord of Sensors. Jam packed inside the pistachio nut-sized earbud module portion of each AirPod are dual optical sensors and dual accelerometers that enable the AirPods to start playing music, audio, or voice when you put them in your ear and turn off when you take them out of your ear. (No doubt this feature was influenced by Apple’s acquisition of Beats headphones.)
The dual voice accelerometers help the AirPods to instantly recognize when you are speaking while the dual beam-forming microphones embedded in the integral battery tube help to filter out background noise, providing, in effect, a noise cancelling effect that enhances the fidelity of your voice for phone calls and conversations with everyone’s favorite eccentric, artificially intelligent (AI) Apple aunt, Siri.
Compact Wireless Charging Case – 24 Hours of AirPods Battery Life in Your Pocket. With the exception of customer use scenarios related to klutzes who often lose things, Apple really hit a home run with the charging convenience of the AirPods, as the packaged home for your two cute little AirPods is a hard plastic case that integrates 24 hours of battery recharge juice.
This gives your pocket rocket AirPod case the ability to recharge your AirPods 4 to 5 times, since each AirPod offers up to 5 hours of listening time on one charge. To check the battery status of your AirPods, you simply ask eccentric ol’ Siri, “How’s the battery on my AirPods?,” and you’ll get a Siri answer.
Set Up. Apple hit another home run with the ease of set up for the AirPods. Apple’s website states, “Setup is a breeze as well: All you have to do is open up the charging case with your iPhone nearby. Doing so automatically pairs the AirPods with all of the Apple device you have linked to your iCloud account.”
General Availability and MSRP. Apple’s AirPods will be generally available in late October, 2016 at an MSRP of $159.00. Unfortunately, they don’t come product bundled with the new iPhone 7s. However, to salve your wallet wound just a tad, Apple is including a 3.5mm to Lightning port adapter so that you can use your conventional Apple or third party vendor earbuds to connect to your new iPhone 7, which is now bereft of the now half-century old 3.5mm audio jack.
- https://twitter.com/search?q=Apple+air+buds&ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Enews%7Ctwgr%5Esearch: https://twitter.com/search?q=Apple+air+buds&ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Enews%7Ctwgr%5Esearch
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