Opinion: Giving AirPods the praise they deserve and why I won’t upgrade to version 2

Alongside the announcement of the iPhone 7 and its controversial removal of the headphone jack, Apple teased its truly wireless AirPods. After a brief delay, they were released a just before the end of 2017, in very limited supply.

Since then, despite continued supply troubles, AirPods have gradually grown in popularity and we’re now preparing for version 2 of the wireless headphones coming later this year.

Over the last year, AirPods have become one of my most used tech products, but here’s why I don’t plan on upgrading to this year’s release…

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m generally pretty good at talking myself into buying every new Apple product that’s released. Even if I have no legitimate need for whatever the product may be, I have a knack for convincing myself otherwise. And I’m not the only one with that “problem.”

Usually when Apple releases a next-generation device, there’s always one thing that pushes me over the edge, whether it’s a True Tone display, a new processor, or something else.

Bloomberg reported last week that Apple will release an updated pair of AirPods this year with Hey Siri support, while it’s also working on adding water resistance for a future release, beyond this year. Hey Siri support in AirPods would seemingly make it easier to interact with the virtual assistant without using your phone. Currently, you have to double tap on the earbuds to access Siri.

After reading this report, I came to the realization that AirPods are so good at what they do in their current form, I don’t feel the need to upgrade to the second-generation. This is different from my usual thought process ahead of a new Apple release. Usually, I’m already planning the purchase and justifying it to myself repeatedly. But that’s not the case here.

I really just don’t feel the need to upgrade my AirPods because they work virtually perfectly.

AirPods work so well that it’s easy to take for granted just how far ahead of the competition they are. Every time I use a traditional pair of Bluetooth headphones, or a Bluetooth speaker, I’m reminded just how much of a pain it can be to go through the pairing process or switch between devices. AirPods handle that without issue.

AirPods, on the other hand, seamlessly switch between my devices, they offer relatively good sound quality, they’re comfortable, and they’re just easy to use.

I’m certainly not the only one who loves AirPods. My colleague Benjamin Mayo explained his love for them last year, calling AirPods a “quintessentially Apple product. Simple, elegant, and futuristic”.

None of this, however, is not to say there aren’t ways in which AirPods can be improved. I certainly wouldn’t say no to battery life improvements to the AirPods themselves. Furthermore, making the “stem” of the earbuds themselves smaller would be nice. Hey Siri support, however, doesn’t excite me.

Furthermore, I do intend on purchasing the new wireless charging case for AirPods so I can charge my them via AirPower, whenever it ends up being available. Apple will certainly tout wireless charging as a feature of the new AirPods, but as long as the case itself is reasonably priced, I won’t have any problems just updating to the new case.

I wouldn’t go as far as to say AirPods are “underrated” necessarily, as nearly everyone I’ve talked to who owns them absolutely loves them, but rather they’re largely taken for granted. Even as someone who follows Apple incredibly closely, I often forget about the AirPods and just how good they are at what they do.

More than anything, I feel like the so-called ‘mainstream success’ and lack of recognition for AirPods has been hampered by supply and demand issues. They were sold out for the last part of the holiday shopping season, and still face delays via Apple’s online store. Ideally, Apple will fix these issues with version 2.

I’m well aware that there are people who don’t like AirPods, whether it’s due to the fit or design, sound quality, or something. For me, however, they’re perfect.

Are you an AirPods user? What improvements would you like to see with version 2? Let us know down in the comments!


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