Battle of the buds: how Apple AirPods stack up against other wireless earbuds

0 Posted by - 21st February 2017 - Technology

Valentina Palladino

Apple’s iPhone 7 isn’t the first phone to ship without a headphone jack. But the iPhone 7 is definitely the most important and popular phone to discard the headphone jack, and Apple is dragging the industry toward a wireless future, whether we like it or not. At least the company provided its own solution, eventually: its $159 AirPods are one of the newest truly wireless earbuds you can buy. By “truly wireless,” we mean they’re just two buds that sit in both ears without anything connecting them. Much like other Apple technology, AirPods are not the only truly wireless buds on the market. They’re certainly not the only regular wireless buds available.

But again, like other Apple technologies, AirPods have a unique spin that sets them apart from the competition. Apple hopes to convince consumers that its buds are the best to pair with their iPhones, but consumers have many options to choose from when it comes to competing wireless earbuds. I tested a handful of wireless buds to see how the AirPods stack up in terms of ease of use, comfort, music quality, and battery life. I’ve done an anecdotal assessment of music quality for all the buds I reviewed. I spent hours with each pair, listening to a variety of music including pop, rock, jazz, and classical in environments with different levels of outside noise.

Specs compared: AirPods and competitors
Device AirPods Powerbeats3 Skybuds Verve One
Price $159 $199 $219 $199
Onboard call and music controls Voice with Siri only Inline remote, voice with Siri Onboard buttons, can access Siri and Google Now Onboard buttons, can access Siri and Google Now
Interchangeable ear tips No Yes Yes Yes
Included charging case Yes No Yes Yes
Local music storage No No No No
Built-in mic Yes Yes Yes Yes
Compatibility Android and iOS Android and iOS Android and iOS Android and iOS
Battery life 5 hours 12 hours 4 hours 4 hours
Battery life with charging case 24 hours N/A 12 hours 24 hours

Apple AirPods

The first thing you’ll notice with the AirPods is how easily they pair with an iPhone or other Apple device. The W1 chip inside of them lets you flip open the lid of their charging case, and your iPhone will pull up a pairing window. This takes the headache out of pairing another Bluetooth device to your iPhone, and it’s especially easy compared to other wireless buds that use regular Bluetooth pairing (something the AirPods can also do, if you need to pair them with something that doesn’t run iOS). via #CIO, #Technology