Hardware Notes: AirPods

For a while, I’ve been publishing what I call “book notes.” I think of these posts as “not reviews” of books I’ve read; quick takes on what I think makes each book special. By definition, this means I only write about books I enjoyed and which I think you’d benefit from checking out. I thought it’d be fun to do the same with things other than books. Here’s the first one.

I’ve been using a Bluetooth headset as my primary means of listening to music/podcasts/audiobooks/etc. since 2012. I say that upfront because your experience of AirPods will be different than mine if they’re the first wireless headset you’ve experienced. (I suspect that’ll be the case with many people; while AirPods aren’t the first wireless headset in the market, it’s the first with broad popular appeal and brand recognition.) If AirPods are your first wireless headset, you’ll be blown away. You don’t know how much the wires in your headset get in the way until you’ve experienced a wireless headset.

As I said, that’s not my case. I came to AirPods from another Apple wireless headset: BeatsX, which has the same internals as the (first generation) AirPods. So my experience is tempered by the fact that I’ve already been enjoying some of the advantages of this technology, albeit in a slightly less convenient form factor.

I bought the BeatsX when they first came out (at the same time as the first AirPods) because I didn’t like how bud-type earphones (like the AirPods) fit my ears. They’re always a bit too loose. Given how small and light AirPods are, I was concerned about having them fall out. BeatsX, on the other hand, have silicone tips that fit snuggly inside my ears, which keeps them from falling out and also isolate external noise. (More on this below.)

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