I confess, Bluetooth is one of those first world problems that sets my teeth on edge. It’s been a technology in the middle of my workday for what, 10 years now? And yet it’s the most maddening piece of tech known to man. Why is it still so bad after all this time?
I know, I know — first world problems. But let me share my pain with you.
On my newest Macbook (a 15 month old Pro), I went through a period of about 10 months where I would have to reboot my machine once every day. I would be typing away when suddenly my keystrokes on the wireless keyboard would not register. Everything pauses for 5–6 seconds, during which time you hammer on the keyboard a few more times wondering why there is no response, the move your finger across the track pad.
Suddenly, every keystroke appears in a mad dash on whatever application suddenly has focus. To resolve this, I would disable bluetooth, wait a few seconds, then enable it once more. This cycle would happen intermittently until I would finally go make a beverage and reboot. Until the next day.
Our new Honda Odyssey has a decent stereo that allows your phone to connect (via Bluetooth) to play your tunes and podcasts. That has been such an amazing improvement over our old Kia that was CD and radio only … and the CD player didn’t work. The only issue? Approximately every 3rd or 4th drive, the connection goes wonky. Music still plays, but trying to navigate through your music library via the van’s console results in a “no data” message. And I’m stuck listening to Bon Jovi, thanks to my three boys.
Last, the bluetooth powered Magic Mouse that I use on our family computer (where I tend to spend a lot of my workday when the kids are at school) disconnects every 20 minutes or so. It re-connects after a few seconds, but having this happen throughout t—there it goes again—he day results in a strong desire to flip tables.
Thanks for bearing with me there! All of that to say, my word the AirPods are bloody fantastic. And they’re powered by Bluetooth!
I finally got a pair of these and have used them exclusively over the past 2 weeks. The sound quality is likely nothing crazy, but I’m no audiophile. However, the experience is spot on. From the packaging, which Apple is always good at, to the onboarding experience, to daily use, these are special.
A couple of other notes.
Comfort. First, they fit well in my small ears. Wearing regular ear buds for a longer periods of time results in pain for me. But the AirPods are light and have yet to cause discomfort. Even when napping on my side. As well, I’ve worn them on runs of 5–10km and there is no issues with slippage (and I’m a heavy sweater when exercising). The AirPods are comfortable enough that you can forget they’re there.
Connectivity. Second, and most importantly, they … just … work. If you’ve read any reviews, you’ll likely have heard that the setup process and pairing is quick and painless. That was true for me. But what has impressed me more is switching between devices. I first paired them with my phone, but soon wanted to use them for a video call on my Macbook. Switching was just as easy as the first pairing!
If you’ve ever made the attempt at switching your wireless keyboard or mouse from one device to another, you’ll understand the gravity of that statement. I’ll pause for a moment to let it sink in
I have not purchased a pair of headphones in the last 7–8 years. Apple’s earbuds were enough for me. But the AirPods provide an experience that has been worth the cost for me. The fact that they use Bluetooth still amazes me — and it causes me to wonder what Apple has done here since their other devices (keyboards, mice, trackpads) are nowhere near as fluid as this.
Here’s hoping that changes.