Apple AirPods Review: New Wireless Earbuds from Apple Tested

Was the wait for AirPods worth it?

We tested and reviewed a pair of Apple AirPods coming off the heels of our massive best tangle free headphone list – so you could say our ears were perfectly tuned to the opportunity, both good and bad…


Apple AirPods Review and Test from the Editors at lonelybrand

The much-anticipated Apple AirPods will satisfy Apple fans, but may leave more utilitarian (or even design-centric) users with buyer’s remorse. That said, Apple has produced a product that “just works” right out of the package. We were able to start listening to music, send and receive calls, and activate Siri all in under 5 minutes. That said, they may not work with every device you own, and certainly may have trouble with devices connected via Bluetooth transmitter.

The sound quality was astounding for such small, and lightweight to the point of feeling chintzy, earbuds. Tip: Pick up Spigen’s AirPods Strap so you won’t lose one while moving about. Though Apple has done a great job of mimicking their EarPods aesthetic, we were immediately tired of the shiny white plastic that has become synonymous with Apple. Could Apple have at least offered options to match iPhone 7 color schemes?

Apple AirPods Review


  • Super simple pairing with your Apple device. We were up and running within 5 minutes of opening the box.
  • Very good sound for an earbud format with crisp high ranges and deep, rich sounding bass. You’ll find similar sound quality for the money with Plantronics BackBeat FIT and Bose Soundsport Pulse.
  • Versatile when making or receiving calls – Airpods can be used in mono mode with just one in.
  • Decent battery life for such a small, lightweight device with a very slick, magnetic charging station that doubles as a carrying case included. That said, AirPods don’t stack up in terms of talk time to other products on our roundup of best Bluetooth earbuds for battery life
  • No interruption of sound or calls due to Apple’s proprietary W1 wireless chip. This tech helps sustain a strong signal with iPhone, and it truly is a leap forward from Bluetooth headsets.


  • When you wear them, you definitely do not look cool. There’s just something odd about seeing someone wearing the bright white, wireless AirPods stuffed into their earholes. This is doubly insulting considering the lack of color options. Other vendors like Avantree and LG have created a variety of colors and styles in the category.
  • AirPods are for iPhone mostly. There’s no Android cross-device functionality for certain features such as W1 wireless with cars, computers, or other devices relying on standard Bluetooth. Pairing these devices with AirPods requires going through a more painful Bluetooth process.
  • Unlike other elite wireless earbuds in this price category like the Bose Soundsport Pulse, Apple’s design makes AirPods nearly impossible to work out, jog, or do anything physically adventurous while wearing them. These things will fall out, which brings us to our next point…
  • At $159.00 per pair, the cost of AirPods is overwhelming considering the ease at which you can drop these into auto nooks and crannies, couch cushions, or just about anywhere you lose small objects on a daily basis. Apple offers no replacement or Apple Care coverage here. Whether you lose one or both, you’re out another $159.00. Our advice? Pick up Spigen’s AirPods Strap which will act as an AirPods insurance policy for under $10.
  • Battery life is weak at best, pathetic at worst. We can’t tell you how frustrating it is to have another tiny device that needs charging in a special charger about once every, oh, 3-4 hours. Nope, we’re not joking. That’s about how much we got out of the battery in AirPods under heavy use, and that’s not acceptable. For the same price, the aforementioned Bose Soundsport Pulse will get you double the battery life and a more traditional charging setup.

Still not sure what to buy? Check out our massive review of 15 tangle free and wireless headphones, earbuds, and headsets.