Apple AirPods Review (2021): Buds Aren’t For You

Once you get them installed in your ears, the new AirPods sound great. But it’s annoying how much outside sound comes in when you’re on the move, making everything a lot mudder. Again, compared to similarly priced models from Jabra, Samsung, and other leading modern producers, these are left in the dust. The Samsung Galaxy Buds2’s dual-driver bay sounds considerably better, and these cost $ 25 less.

The right parts

Photography: apple

There are some legitimately interesting things about headphones made by Apple. I try not to be a totally wet blanket.

They have the same clear separation between the low and the high end that I like on the AirPods Pro, although they are a lot mudder in the midrange to my ears. The microphones are once again excellent, good enough for any Zoom or phone meeting.

I also love that Apple added spatial audio. I don’t think that’s a reason to subscribe to Apple Music, or that it’s going to take off in the music industry in general, but I think it’s great for movies. I enjoyed watching Netflix in Dolby Atmos on the AirPods Max. It’s good that even the most basic Apple buds are doing it now.

I’m even delighted that they’re finally rated IPX4 for sweat resistance. I would hesitate to take them on a workout due to the aforementioned fit issues, but at least you know you can drop them in the sink without ruining them.

Lost in time

It took six years for Apple’s design team to realize that removing popular plugs and adding a touch bar to laptops was silly. How long will it take them to fix a fundamentally flawed, overpriced pair of headphones?

I am not sure. AirPods remain the best-selling buds in history, and they almost all had those same flaws a month ago. Much like the MacBooks of yore, this is a ridiculous, unnecessary remake that many will likely buy in droves, unaware that they can actually get a better product from the same company for less money.

If you are an Apple stan I would spend an extra $ 25 on the new Beats. I’ve had less than a week with them – my review is pending – but the Fit Pros are shaping up to be my new favorite pair of Apple-made heads. And they have ear tips!

If you don’t need spatial audio or special Apple integration (which it is less and less the case, to make headphones work great), shop around. It’s 2021. No one should pay $ 175 for a pair of plastic headphones with no eartips, noise cancellation, and two hours less battery life than a $ 40 pair we just reviewed.

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