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AirPods for Travel: to buy or not to buy?

I bought a pair of AirPods when they first came out (thanks to a discount from my friend Ross), so I’ve had some time to love them, and I’ve had some time to hate them. The sound quality is comparable to the regular Apple earbuds, so don’t expect amazing changes there. I bring them with me when I travel, and I have mixed feelings about them. But all in all, I would say the positives outweigh the negatives for me.

I’ve listed the main points below if you’re curious or considering buying a pair:


The Pros:

Compact - They’re about the size of dental floss, and just a little bit heavier, but they’ll never take up much room or weight in your bag.

Easy - Whip them out, plug them in your ears, and you’re set to jet. No unnecessary extra steps to get going.

Functional - They play music when they should and don’t when they shouldn’t. The calls are clear for both parties. They also show up on the Find My iPhone App (as long as they’re not dead), in case you don’t remember where you left them.

Versatile - You can go with one ear or both ears. If you’re going with both ears, they automatically pause if you take one out. Plus they have a few different “tap” functions if you want to double tap your right ear for Siri and your left ear to skip the current song.


The Cons:

Expensive - Just like all Apple products (unless you know a Genius willing to part with a discount), they’re pricier than the competition.

Easy to Lose - As I said before, it’s about the size and weight of dental floss, so it can be difficult to keep track of. Now add two tiny wireless pods to the equation. If you’re not super careful, those babies are gone forever.

Limited Charge - Apple advertises 5 hours of listening time, or 2 hours of talking time. I’m more of a texter, so I haven’t used them for any 2 hour phone calls, but I would say realistically the listening time is closer to 3 hours. Unfortunately, there’s no way to listen while you charge. If you plan on using them for your entire 14 hour flight, you better also plan to take some charging breaks (where you have put them back in the case for a bit).

Entertainment on Flights - While we’re on the subject of long flights, I might as well point out that these won’t help you listen to the movies on the entertainment screens provided on the plane. So you’re either going to need to bring an extra set of wired headphones anyway, or borrow some from the airline.

TL;DR - If you can handle the cost, limited battery life, and the responsibility to not lose a piece; they’re pretty damn handy to have in your bag.

- Embry