Discussion in 'Apple iOS (OS & Devices)' started by sichy, Dec 21, 2016.
So uh... did anyone actually get a pair? Thoughts on them?
As much as I hate myself every time I buy another Apple product I was pretty close to buying a set of these.
I love bluetooth headphones and these are about as minimalist as you can get!
A bit exxy and hard to get though so I probably won't try tooooo hard to get a set.
I bought a set. Haven't had time to actually un-box them and try them out yet.
Will update once I have given them a go.
I like the concept of it....the 5 hour battery, charge with the carry case on the go, seamless pairing with Apple products, small. But I cannot get over the sound quality and the fact they sound no better than the stock Earpods.
I'm gonna wait for better alternatives, such as the Bragi Headphone
I think for the foreseeable future you'll need wires if you want sound quality. 90% of my audio listening is podcasts these days and the regular EarPods are more than adequate for that. That would be my use for these anyway.
I loved the idea and concept as soon as I heard about them when they were announced.
But, I'm an audiophile at heart and I want something with better sound quality, on par to the Etymotics or the high end Shure's.
They say the have the same sound quality as the cabled earphones and they sound like poo in my opinion.
I got $500 for a audiophile level IEM that is the same build quality and functionality of the Airpods, someone make them.
I'm the the same boat.
The best compromise I've tried are these wireless cable with my SE535 (or any other MMCX headphones you have), but problem is that Bluetooth 4.0 is still a compromise in quality, to the point that I eventually reverted back to wired. Plus those cables only have a 3 hour battery life and a strange hissing sound no matter what I pair it to.
Ive been nagging Aedle to make a bluetooth set as I love their VK-1's. Shame its not on the horizon
RE: sound quality - what's the limiting factor here? Bandwidth? Build quality? Speaker size? Something else?
I don't think there is one. I suspect bluetooth might be but I don't think it'll make that much of a difference.
Ill just put it down to Apple not giving a shit about proper sound and just wanting to target the masses with cheaper stuff.
Bluetooth has the bandwidth to handle audio. Why Bluetooth still sounds subpar is because of the codec it uses and the compression and decompression during the sound transmission. At the moment the best codec available is aptX, which I suspect Apple is not using since it's developed by Qualcomm and not found in any Apple products (they have Airplay).
Now with the W1 chip, I suspect there is a leap in wireless audio quality, but the problem with the Airpods is that they pretty much took the analogue part of the Earpods and put wireless tech into it. Also, Apple had a price point to meet so audio quality is definitely limited there.
As I've said before, there is potential in the W1 chip, it's whether audio companies take it on board and match it with decent headphones or speakers. Same with aptX, more companies need to adopt it, which is happening but only with Android or Qualcomm powered devices.
I believe that the electronics and interface is entirely capable of the same sound quality as wired headphones, but Apple here has just taken their wired headphones that are not high quality at all and made them wireless
My current portable headphones are IEM's where there is a silicone tip that plugs into your ear like earplugs and makes a perfect seal in there. This gives the best 'noise canceling' effect that you can get, better then any active noise canceling that is out there. Once music is playing, anything short of a bomb going off, you just won't hear it. I've even used them as hearing protection when I'm at home using power tools. The seal means they don't fall out at all either. Regular earbud style headphones just don't fit my ears at all, I cannot get them to stay in at all.
IEM just aren't for everyone though, they are a limited market. For one, most people don't care about sound quality at all, literally if it makes some sound, that is their needs met and nothing better matters at all. IEM's also take some getting use to, with something sticking into your ear. Back when I first got them, it took a week for them to stop feeling uncomfortable.
So, please, Etymotic, make a version of your headphones to be Airpods with your speakers in them.
There are physics compromises involved that no one can get around.
low frequencies means moving lots of air, tiny little ear pods simply can not do that.
it's why woofers are 6+ inches, subs 10+ inches.
don't expect quality bass
Bass through headphones isn't a major physics limitation though. e.g. read: http://www.head-fi.org/t/663865/how-can-we-hear-20hz-with-headphones Essentially the "very tiny room" between the headphone and your eardrum, the efficiency (seal) of the coupling, and the speed of the waves, all factors in making bass work through headphones. It's a very complex subject though.
The gist of it is that these airpods are just cheap crap headphones in a fancy package. I'm not aware of Apple making any speakers or headphones of quality sound, it's just not at all within their purview.
it's not that complex honestly, audiophile's try to make it complex, but acoustics have been well understood for many years.
coupling is indeed important, but the speed of the waves, is audiophile bullshit, speed of sound in air doesn't change (temp/pressure aside, but not enough to suddenly make a tiny little speaker produce bass).
I've still yet to find any headphone/iem/pod etc. that can accurately produce the lower octaves of bass, and sub bass with any authority. It's why I don't listen to music via headphones, I don't listen on the go. I'd rather go music-less than listen to poor quality.
agreed, this is the primary problem here.
I picked up a pair last week, didn't expect too much from them but man i'm pretty happy with the AirPods.
They work flawlessly. The W1 chipset is great, they don't fall out, the sound quality is much improved over the earpods, and the battery life has been fantastic, paired with the apple watch you still get full control.
I own about a dozen headphones, ranging from bose, sennheiser, xiaomi pistons, etc and for an in-ear earphone they're pretty well balanced. My most pleasant surprise is microphone performance, I talk a lot on my mobile at work and even at a whisper the person on the other end can hear me loud and clear... i'm not sure exactly how they achieved that but it's a huge plus.
I recommend you give them a shot if you get a chance.
Yeah I get that (I personally loathe in-ear stuff, and would rather headphones any day for the larger speakers). But people are citing other IEM units that are better. What makes those brands better than Apple's?
I'm hardly an expert on these matters. But as I understand it, the speed refers to the frequency of the waves as opposed to the actual 'speed of sound'.
Subs need to move a lot of air because they need to project to a large space (a room). The room's characteristics define the way the sound waves will act within that room. Nodes, dead areas, standing waves etc, play a large part in the overall human perception of the sound. Many of these factors are not significant in the context of the headphone-eardrum "tiny room". I don't believe there are physical limitations preventing headphones from conveying low frequencies to the eardrum per se. It's the "room" and the way sound acts within, that differs.
Having said that, I'm only talking about technicalities/'physics' per se, and not trying to invalidate your experience at all.
Simple distribution of costs I'll wager. A product made primarily for sound quality, with comparatively little of the costs going toward marketing and bluetooth and design and Apple Premium Markup, is naturally going to sound better at the same price point.
Maybe it is a difference in opinion of what bass should sound like, but I've heard plenty of high end headphones that do reproduce accurate bass.
The Etymotic ER-4's are regarded as some of the most accurate across the entire audio spectrum
Most consumer boombox speakers have a tendency to greatly exaggerate bass so that most people think that is what it should normally sound like, and then you get the likes of Beats (which Apple now own) who then engineer their headphones to overdo the bass as well that further reinforces that sound signature to the ignorant masses.
mass media ruining music aside (compression wars, 'remastering' etc.).
Get a recording of the 1812 Overture* - one with real cannons in it. When the cannons go off you should near shit yourself, because a fucking cannon is going off next to you. headphones don't do that, they simply can not impart the physical impact of proper bass.
*theme song the Army used a few years back.