2019 AirPods First Impressions

2019 AirPods First Impressions

The new AirPods are shipping, and I got mine yesterday. It was a nice surprise, my original ship date was the second week of April, so I got them a couple weeks early. Score! Apple just calls them “AirPods”, but they’re second generation, so I may refer to them as “AirPods2”. I know it’s not the way Apple wants to name them, but I don’t care. Sue me.

Airpods Charging Wirelessly Wireless charging is pretty sweet

I’ve only had them for a day, so here are my first impressions.

  • Connecting AirPods is pretty magical. The H1 chip seems to be way faster at initial connection than the older AirPods.
  • Switching between iOS devices is nearly instant. Switching between a Mac and an iOS device is a tad slower, but still acceptable.
  • These are definitely louder. I don’t know if it’s because my old AirPods were getting quieter with age (is that a thing?), but AirPods2 are definitely louder. I had given up listening to podcasts when near the group fitness room at my gym. The terrible thumping bass music they play in there always drowned out spoken word on the old AirPods. AirPods2 are plenty loud enough for me to hear over whatever the hell they’re Zumba-ing to in the class.
  • Can’t say much about battery life for now, it’s only been a day. But, using the AirPods 2 on a conference call today lasted the full 90 minutes, which my old AirPods couldn’t do anymore.
  • Wireless charging is very nice. I have a Qi puck thing on my desk at work, and it’s nice to just drop the case there for a few minutes to top them off
  • Hey Siri: Gotta say, haven’t tried it. I work in an open office, so I’m not going to be talking to Siri. I feel like I’ll use it around the house, though.

What’s Still Missing?

These are a solid update to the AirPods. Faster pairing, longer battery, better sound. All great upgrades.

The AirPods are still not for everyone. There is only one size, so they don’t fit all ears. They are not waterproof, so it’s a little scary running in the rain or being super sweaty. There is no fitness tracking, like some other earbuds.

Some people balk at the $159/199 price point ($199 if you want the wireless charging case, $159 without it), but I disagree. Two hundred bucks is pretty middle of the road when it comes to quality wireless headphones. I think the price is about right.

I would love to see the next version include some basic heart rate tracking, be waterproof, and come in a few colors.

Conclusions

I’ve been an AirPods user since day one. I love these things. I think AirPods is the best product to come out of Apple in a long time. They are nearly perfect, and unlike a lot of other Apple products, these “just work”.

It was a no brainer for me to upgrade. After 2+ years, the Tic-Tac sized batteries in the original AirPods have lived their useful life. If the new ones weren’t announced last week, I was going to pull the trigger on a new set before summer anyways. They’re just that good.