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Apple Airpods (2019)

Apple Airpods (2019)

from  $159+
Apple AirPods (2019) Review: Small improvements

Apple AirPods (2019) Review: Small improvements

Posted   04.03.19
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84 Engadget Score
There's a lot to like about this in spite of a few flaws.
84

There's a lot to like about this in spite of a few flaws.

How we score

The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews).

Engadget Review

Apple’s updated AirPods don’t pack many thrilling upgrades, but the improvements they did get make for more seamless, convenient use. Because of that, little about the new AirPods are worth the upgrade for existing owners — that is, of course, unless their batteries are starting to go south. Even so, Apple has smoothed down enough of the originals’ rough spots that they’re a fantastic option for iOS users who are more concerned with ease-of-use than stunning sound quality.

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Pros
  • Improved wireless performance
  • Same solid battery life
  • Supports wireless charging if you’re into that
Cons
  • In-ear fit isn’t for everyone
  • No meaningful change to sound quality
  • Wireless charging is slow
84 Engadget Score
There's a lot to like about this in spite of a few flaws.
84

There's a lot to like about this in spite of a few flaws.

How we score

The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews).

Scores

Engadget

84
 

User Reviews

80
parul.d
There's a lot to like about this in spite of a few flaws. - Engadget
60
nanogiga
For starters, zero in-canal wireless buds work for me, so if I want to go wireless...read more
90
Whiskeyjack
These were actually my first pair of Airpods and they deliver exactly what Apple...read more
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Score Breakdown

 
80
Average user Score
 
80
parul.d
10.05.19
There's a lot to like about this in spite of a few flaws. - Engadget
 
60
nanogiga
08.10.19
For starters, zero in-canal wireless buds work for me, so if I want to go wireless the Airpod (or knock off) form factor is the only option for me. Number two, I don't like being pushed to wireless by the trends of headphone jack elimination and dongle mania - that's bigger than Apple, but part of my complex experience with Airpods. I never used the original generation, so I'm comparing to Apple's $20 wired Earpods. Three, sound quality is fine for me, no better or worse than the Earpods, but I can see people being disappointed considering the price is 8X. Four: Noise isolation. What noise isolation? Wind noise is terrible while I'm biking. When I make phone calls people can hear me fine, but they say they hear the wind more than with Earbuds. Five, durability is meh. I dropped them first day and scratched one, though it still works. But these things are slippery and odd shaped so there's no way to "hold them right". Easy to drop. Six, once they're in my ear they stay; but it's so easy to knock them out. I have to use ear hooks or tethers, which quite subtracts the only real claim to fame any wireless earphones have. Seven, reliable connection? Wow, I'm surprised pro reviewers give positive marks here. No. Not reliable. My connection crackles at least once per outing, they are not fast to connect, I often have to double tap a few times before they start playing, and when I open the case with my phone on Home screen the pop up battery indicator works less than half the time. None of these things are the slightest issue for Earpods, so this would get a "0" if you had a slider. Eight, battery life is okay, but again compared to $20 Earpods, charging is an unnecessary hassle, and I'm not comfortable having lithium ion so near my eardrum. Overall, I have had a hard time finding a use case I prefer them over wired Earpods. After a few months, biking is the only one, as long as I use ear hooks. One use. That, along with all the other compromises, nowhere near justifies the $160 price. In fact, I feel they should cost less than $20 because the overall experience is inferior to Earpods. So I regret my purchase, and no I would not willingly buy them again. However, if the global wireless trend results in the complete elimination of wired options, then ironically I will be glad for Airpods due to the lack of any other quality option for my narrow ear canals.
 
90
Whiskeyjack
08.09.19
These were actually my first pair of Airpods and they deliver exactly what Apple said they would. I always told myself that I was happy with wired earbuds and trying out a cheap pair of wireless for awhile the ease of connecting with an iPhone makes the Airpods great. I've never run out of battery juice and when wearing them you almost forget they are there. I agonized over the Airpods or the Powerbeats Pro. I kind of liked the Powerbeats Pro look and extra features but ultimately decided on Airpods due to wearing glasses. I'm one of those uncool guys that put their iPhone in a holster and the volume buttons are readily available to me so that wasn't an issue at all and having set the taps to forward or reverse tracks makes my Airpod set up pretty functional. Overall very pleased and honestly I doubt I'll ever go back to wired.
 
70
Tim
08.09.19
A dependable product that doesn't really stand out from the competition. - Engadget
 
100
Keith
08.09.19
Brilliant product
 
90
blueatria
08.08.19
In my opinion, AirPods are the best bluetooth earphones available. They have excellent battery life, the Bluetooth connection never breaks up which for me has been the problem with the draw full of other Bluetooth earpieces. I also like the fit, I can’t use earpieces that go into you ear canal as they cause irritation. I run with my airpods and they say firmly in place. The new ones have wireless charging available which I find useful as I have a few Qi chargers around the house and one in my car, that said I normally only have to charge about once a week. The case is small enough to easily fit your pocket. Even the new “Hey Siri” support works well. You can also pair them with a android phone and they work fine ( I have a Pixel 3 that they work well ). Pairing with iOS devices is simplicity itself. I would say this is one of the best products that Apple has made.
 
80
Pausanius
08.08.19
There's a lot to like about this in spite of a few flaws. - Engadget
 
90
IAn
08.08.19
They things are total game changers. I use these almost every day when I ride my bike. I listen to all kinds of things from music to podcasts and everything has been clear and crisp. Siri works as expected (although I turned off the always on feature to save battery). The noise isolation as far as listing to audio could be better, but since my main use is outdoors, I like to have some of that noise so I'm aware of my surroundings. However the noise isolation when is in a call is fantastic (most people cant tell I'm outside). The fit is ok, I'm not worried about them falling out while walking, but while working out I notice them slip a little bit, so I purchased some behind the ear clips to ease my paranoia that they may fall out and I'll lose them. Over all a solid multi purpose headphone that will fit most people.
 
60
SangamonTaylor
08.08.19
Decent set of buds/pods, good audio quality, great pairing technology. However, overpriced and they don't stay snug in my ears without forcing me to constantly push them back in so I can hear the bass. 6 to 7 out of 10.
 
90
Peter
08.08.19
I should preface this by saying I'm one of the lucky people out there whose ears the AirPods fit perfectly, so my review is going to be from that perspective. I was a gen-1 owner, got them the month they came out. Eventually, the battery started to degrade on those, so I decided to upgrade. I have to say, I'm surprised how many reviews minimize how much the speed of connectivity and responsiveness has been improved. I used to have my odd times where switching between devices wouldn't go so smooth with the gen-1 AirPods. I'd get moments where my device would stall on connecting, or they took a frustratingly long time to sync up to one another if you go from listening with 1 to 2. The responsiveness in the gen-2 AirPods is a big quality of life upgrade, and i think they're worth the price of the upgrade if you need to upgrade them anyway for battery reasons. Battery life has been great, Hey Siri without having to tap at my ear has been far more pleasant, and I can't wait for the improvements to hands-free notification handling in iOS 13.