To some people, the AirPods are the epitome of fully-wireless in-ear headphones. And for the AirPods, the word “epitome” resonates strongly with its price. When it was first introduced, the AirPods had a hefty price tag and shortly became a status symbol. However, it has now become so commonly seen in people’s ears despite its price. Now don’t get me wrong, there are many other headphones that are much higher in price range but for the AirPods it seemed quite pricy for what they are. I’ll admit they were the first pair of wireless in-ear headphones that I bought over $100. I was itching to finally see what the hype is about and the features that it has.

The AirPods are now very common and they even have generous discounts from time to time due to the existence of the newer AirPods Pro. After using the second generation AirPods for almost two years now, I didn’t think that they were all that special…that is until the iOS 14 update. Prior to the software update, the AirPods seemed almost like any other wireless earphone despite the proclaimed seamless, quicker auto-pairing with the then-new H1 chip. The AirPods worked seamlessly while connected to one committed device, but if you were to switch from your iPhone to, say, your iPad (as in my case), you would have to manually go into settings then Bluetooth then connect the AirPods. This was especially frustrating in my opinion considering its price point and capabilities. Wanting to switch between Apple devices was a pain in itself, that is until the iOS 14 software update. I think the update really made the using of AirPods a much better and flawless experience. It was filling a missing piece in the puzzle and made it that much better. With the update, your AirPods will automatically switch and connect to the Apple device that you pick up and start using.

Aside from connectivity issues, the AirPods had decent sound quality but lacked the punch in bass primarily due to having no silicone tips to hone in the sound. Customization was alright, as there are other headphones out in the market that offer more customization like sound and functions. The AirPods enables the customization of gestures, or taps, of each AirPod as a shortcut for main functions of music as well as summoning Siri. The interface of the AirPods when connecting to an Apple device is perhaps quite satisfying with the illustration in the bubble that pops up. Connecting to non-Apple devices isn’t too bad but all in all I think the user experience was quite all similar to the AirPods’ competitors aside from the ease of connecting to Apple devices.

I think the main flaw of the AirPods, not automatically switching and connecting, was what made it not so satisfying in my usage experience. After the iOS 14 update however, I believe that the AirPods are more worth their price now as their price has dropped. If you are one who doesn’t care much about having the newest AirPods, or just want one as a beater or for working out, the first and second generation AirPods are quite worth it, given you have iOS 14, and especially if you can find it for under $100 from time to time.

If you’re interested, check out the AirPods here (wired charging case) and here (wireless charging case).

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