The New AirPods

I might use AirPods more often than any other individual Apple device I own. I wear them throughout the work day for Zoom calls, listening to music, and podcasts. I also use them each night with the Apple TV to watch quietly while while Josh is heading to bed and use them to listen to podcasts before I go to sleep.

I ordered the new AirPods the day they were announced and they arrived yesterday morning. I’ve spent about five or six hours using them at the time of this writing. Here are some initial impressions:

  • The case is roughly the same size as the previous AirPods, which is nice.
  • Because the lid is on the long edge, it’s not as comfortable to fidget with by repeatedly opening and closing. That’s probably a good thing for wear and tear on the hinge, but I’m going to miss it.
  • They aren’t as easy to remove from the case. With the previous design, I could push on each of the buds with my index finger toward the front of the case and it would pop out of place to grab. There doesn’t seem to be a good spot to do this with on the new model.
  • I’m unsure about the fit. They don’t seem quite as secure in my ears as the original AirPods design — I’m constantly worried that they’ll fall out of my ears. They haven’t so far, but I’m regularly repositioning them to prevent it.
  • I like the button on the stem. I used these button controls on the wired headphones for years and it’s nice to have that level of control again in the AirPods. However, because their so small and don’t sit in my ears as securely, I’m worried I’ll accidentally knock one out when I reach for the button.
  • The smaller form factor looks so much nicer than the original AirPods design.
  • It’s not possible to have a good gauge on battery life after this short period of time, but if it lives up to Apple’s claims, it’ll be a huge win.
  • Maybe I’m doing it wrong, but I don’t really notice any difference with Spatial Audio enabled. And because it limits battery life, I think I’d rather disable it anyway.

I’m enjoying them quite a bit overall, but they will take some time to get used to. I was using Apple’s wired headphones prior to the AirPods, so I have basically been using the same earbud design since the EarPods were released in 2012. Given that, I’m hoping the fit issues are more because they’re new and not because they’re going to fall out of my ears regularly.