Apple unveiled its first wireless, in-ear headphones on 7 September 2016 called AirPods. The 1st Gen AirPods have been out for a while now, but the features and convenience they offer, make them amongst the best choices of earbuds till date. Although Apple discontinued the sale of these portable earbuds, you can find the used ones at affordable prices. The AirPods (2nd Gen) replaced the previous generation and are available at the same price tag.
There is no visible difference between the 1st and 2nd Generation AirPods, only minuscule feature upgrades. Hence, you can keep reading to know what these AirPods have to offer.
|Launch||Release||December 13, 2016|
|Body||Dimension||AirPods (each): 0.65 x 0.71 x 1.59 inches|
(16.5 x 18.0 x 40.5 mm)
Charging Case: 1.74 x 0.84 x 2.11 inches
(44.3 x 21.3 x 53.5 mm)
|Weight||AirPods (each): 0.14 ounce (4 g)|
Charging Case: 1.34 ounces (38 g)
|Charging Case||Wired/ Wireless|
|Battery||AirPods (single charge)||Up to 5 hours listening and 2 hours talk time|
|Case AirPods (with Case)||24 hours listening time|
|Also,15 mins charge lasts up to 3 hrs.|
|Compatibility||Apple Devices||Check compatible Devices|
|Requirements||iOS 12 and later|
AirPods 1 : Design
The Apple AirPods are exceptionally lightweight thanks to its all-plastic form, but that does not make them any less durable. Additionally, the case size is also tiny without looking like a bulge in the pocket.
Like any other Apple product, you can accessorize your AirPods Charging case with a protective case against unnecessary scratches. Also, Apple’s decision to stick with their wired earphones form, make the AirPods stand out from the plethora of other earbuds available in the market.
Performance and Features
The AirPods deliver on every feature that Apple mentions; for instance, it connects briskly and lasts up to 5 hours on a single charge. Furthermore an unacknowledged element of the AirPods is that they are pretty reliable. There are no software issues while connecting; also, the range is incredible for a bluetooth headphone.
Packed with the W1 chip, the AirPods 1 has a lot to offer. 5 hours listening time sounds great although, you should not confuse it for the talk time. Also, the sound quality is the same as Apple’s wired Q-Tip earphones if not better. Yet, there are a lot more functions to the earbuds then just listening. You can control the music by simply tapping on the earbuds. Once you setup the double-tap shortcuts on your iPhone, using the AirPods feel like a breeze. Play- Pause or taking the calls will be just a tap away.
The Apple AirPods sound great for a universal fit it offers. Music seems clear and loud, and the bass is heavy, unlike other wireless earbuds. Overall the listening experience is wholesome and impressive. The downside is you need a quitter room to enjoy the music with the AirPods. Because of its open-ended design, sound isolation is appalling. Meaning you hear the crowd or the traffic as much as the music. Certainly, you expect much more from a $159 headphones.
As mentioned earlier, the AirPods offer 5 hours of listening time and 2 hours of talk time which means if you take a lot of calls, you will end up charging the AirPods a lot more. Furthermore, the listening time with the charging case is up to 24 hours. Apple mentions that a 15 minute charge can last up to 3 hours. The battery drain on stand-by is pretty low, a considerably positive aspect; even after using the buds for months.
AirPods 1 Connectivity
The AirPods connects with the iPhone like a breeze. All you have to do is bring the case near the iPhone and select the pairing option. Once it pairs, it automatically connects when you take the buds out of the case and disconnect when they are back in the case. Connectivity of AirPods works the same way across all Apple devices. For an android device, manually connect through the bluetooth option. Once it connects, it works just fine. So, hands down AirPods offer the easiest and the simplest way of connecting the wireless earbuds.
Should you upgrade your AirPods 1?
Let us assume that you are AirPods (1st Gen) user and want to upgrade to newer options; lest you should probably wait a little longer as Apple has announced the release of AirPods 3 in the first half of 2021. To make things clear, certainly go through the below list for clear understanding.
- The AirPods 1st Gen has a W1 chip while the AirPods 2nd Gen has H1 chip.
- Both devices are not water-resistant and have optional wireless charging case.
- Also, both devices have a universal fit model.
- “Hey, Siri” features have been included on 2nd Gen models but missing on the 1st Gen.
- While the 1st Gen are not in commerce anymore, the 2nd Gen are officially available.
Airpods 1 -Check Compatibility
- iPhone XS
- The iPhone XS Max
- iPhone XR
- The iPhone X
- iPhone 8
- The iPhone 8 Plus
- iPhone 7
- The iPhone 7 Plus
- iPhone 6s
- The iPhone 6s Plus
- iPhone 6
- The iPhone 6 Plus
- iPhone SE
- The iPhone 5s
- iPhone 5c
- The iPhone 5
- iPad Pro 11-inch
- The iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd Generation)
- iPad Pro 10.5-inch
- The iPad (6th Generation)
- iPad mini 4
- The iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2nd Generation)
- iPad Pro 12.9-inch (1st Generation)
- The iPad Pro 9.7-inch
- iPad (5th Generation)
- The iPad mini 3
- iPad mini 2
- The iPad Air 2
- iPad Air
- 12-inch MacBook
- 13-inch MacBook Air with Retina display
- 13-inch MacBook Air
- 11-inch MacBook Air
- 13-inch MacBook Pro – Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C)
- The 13-inch MacBook Pro
- 15-inch MacBook Pro – Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C)
- 15-inch MacBook Pro
- 21.5-inch iMac – Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C)
- 21.5-inch iMac – Thunderbolt 2
- 27-inch iMac – Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C)
- 27-inch iMac – Thunderbolt 2
- iMac Pro
- Mac Pro
- The Mac mini – Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C)
- Mac mini
- Series 4
- Watch Series 3
- Series 2
- Watch Series 1
- 1st Generation
Apple TV Models
- Apple TV 4K
- The Apple TV HD
- iPod touch (6th Generation)
A double-tap on either bud will activate Siri so you can play-pause the music and do multiple other voice-activated commands. The commands are well received; needless to say, Siri works pretty accurately. Also, using Siri on AirPods feels the same as using it on the phone. But, the ability to remotely control music is missing; either you have to double-tap and command Siri or, you have to reach out for your phone. AirPods seem over-dependent on Siri when it could have simply included the controls on the earbuds. Certainly, this issue has been resolved with the newer earbuds.
Pricing and Release
The AirPods were expensive upon their release on December 12, 2016.
Back then, they cost $159 / £159 / AU$229, which is relatively expensive for a pair of true wireless earbuds – although wireless earbud prices can range from $50 / £50 to well over $200 / £200.
Let me repeat that AirPods(1st Gen) are off the shelf. As a result, you can’t buy it from the official Apple’s site, but the upgraded AirPods(2nd Gen) are available for the same price as the 1st Gen, i.e. $159. Buying the AirPods(2nd Gen) is a no-brainer for a new user. Assuming that you are already using the AirPods 1 and are confused if you should upgrade to 2nd Gen, it is a clear NO in my opinion. Instead, upgrading to a wireless case which is available at $80 is much more a convenient option. Also, check the AirPods vs AirPods Pro guide for a complete understanding before deciding.
Lets us conclude by highlighting the highs and the lows of the AirPods for you to decide, whether it is still worth it?
- To begin with, the sound quality is impressive.
- Additionally, the pairing process is a complete walkover with an iOS device.
- Also, the built-in microphones do a fine job.
- But, the option of remote control of music is missing.
- The universal fit lets the noise in which is awful.
- You will have to spend an extra $80 for a wireless charging case (in case you already own the AirPods).
- Also, the battery life in terms of talk time is not that impressive (2 hours).