Bluetooth Headphones vs. Apple Airpods: Are Airpods Worth It?
Apple’s latest venture is certainly more interesting than some of their recent stabs at innovation. Airpods are cordless and easy to take anywhere, but are they really worth it? Well, that could all depend on why you use your headset. We’re comparing them to regular Bluetooth headphones to figure out if they’re worth paying the Apple Tax.
Apple products always have a high price tag, and the Airpods aren’t any different. This pair of wireless earbuds will put you back $159. If you’ve shopped around for Bluetooth headphones, you know that the price varies wildly depending on what you get, and where you get it. You can grab a relatively inexpensive set, with so-so sound. You can also pay upwards of $250 for a high-end, great-sounding pair. Airpods don’t offer this array of options. The price of entry is firmly set.
Airpods are fantastic for using with other Apple products. Apple’s compatibility and integration within its own environment has always been its strength. It’s a snap to transfer your Airpods from one Apple device to another, which is no less than we’d expect. There are no connection issues, and you can get right on with your day. Unfortunately (and completely unsurprisingly), you can’t use Airpods with any other brand.
Bluetooth headphones have the opposite issue. They can be a pain to switch between devices, but you are also able to use the headset with any device you want, assuming it’s Bluetooth-compatible – and in this day and age, what isn’t? Any Android device from the last five years should be able to connect to a Bluetooth headset. So should everything from televisions to cars. And if something isn’t Bluetooth-compatible, a simple adapter can bring it into the wireless era.
Jokes about Apple’s impracticality are an old go-to, especially on the Internet. The immediate one that surfaced when Airpods were announced was – what if you lose one? Airpods are tiny, and they aren’t connected by a cord. If you’ve ever had an earbud fall out during a workout, you know how frustrating it can be. But at least that doesn’t cost you. You pick it up and put it back in. The good news is, Apple released a statement addressing these concerns – in a sense. If you lose one Airpod out of your pair, you can buy a single one as a replacement, instead of purchasing a pair again. The bad news is, unless you’re still under warranty, that one Airpod’s going to cost you $69.
It’s certainly possible to lose Bluetooth headphones, especially if you’re a forgetful person. But due to their size, it’s definitely easier to keep track of a Bluetooth headset than a pair of Airpods. What you lose in portability, you make up for in ease of keeping track. But it might not be as easy to lose an Airpod as you think…
Airpods have one huge benefit: they’re incredibly convenient in a wide variety of situations. They can fit nearly anywhere, including your pocket. And with no cable, there’s nothing to detangle when you reach for them. Once they’re in, they’ll stick with you through your physical activities. Biking, hiking, and running are all easy to do without worrying about your headphones falling from your head. Our Airpod-wearing staffer was amazed by how much the Airpod can live through and still stay in your ear. As long as you can keep track of them, the Airpods are some of the most convenient earbuds on the market.
Bluetooth headphones aren’t quite as easy to use if you’re an active person. If you plan on using your headset at your desk, a quality Bluetooth headset is perfect, but running with one may cause breakage. Plus, most headsets weigh a pound or more. That doesn’t sound like much weight, but you’ll notice it when it’s stuck to your head while you run, bike, or hike.
Do they sound great? Well, most reviews state that they’re not better than the average earbud. Our in-house tester likes them, and they’re fine for the average ear. That said, if you’re an audiophile, look elsewhere. For the same price, you can get a good Bluetooth headset with better-quality sound. But if you’re already invested in the Apple landscape, and you listen to music on the go – running, biking, or at the gym – we recommend the Airpods.