Apple Airpods

Apple Airpods

BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front): Yes you should buy these headphones.

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I like to be as frugal as possible and I pretend that I am a minimalist. I travel a lot, travel light, and I like to be expeditionary. It’s almost a fun experiment for me to see how much and how well I can live with not too much. I’ve found that life is pretty good when you’re not focused on the things you have or the number in your bank account. I’m no monk and I enjoy nice things though. I’m sure the minimalism purists out there would scoff at my life. My old boss used to have a like two pairs of clothing and lived in a campground for 12 dollars a week. That might sound extreme, but he made a lot of money, was well invested, and had a lot of property. I respected him a lot. In a world full of Beats, Bose, this, and that, headphones can get expensive. I know as the story goes Dr. Dre wanted to create studio quality headphones so every detail of his music wasn’t lost by terrible quality headphones. I had a pair Beats headphones a long time ago back when forking over $150 for headphones meant you were crazy or a little too well off. I loved them, I heard deep bass and perfect mid’s and hi’s that a younger Tony really needed to get after it in the gym. Then I broke/lost them or they got stolen and as a broke college kid I just used cheap headphones and couldn’t bring myself to pay exorbitant amounts for headphones again. I just used the ubiquitous white earbuds that came with iPhones. They don’t require any batteries and never run out of power. They don’t exactly stay in your ears during strenuous activity if you run the cord through your shirt they stay near by when they get torn out of your ears. They even come with a little case that helps me not loose them. That nice white color after time gets that nice sheen of grime to it too.

I’m a little older now and have a lot less hate in my heart. My hobbies have changed now. I actually enjoy running. I listen to podcasts and audio books. I’m equally interested in developing my mind as I am my body.  It’s incredibly annoying to run with a cord dangling around. I also have a really hard time doing power cleans if my phone is in my pocket tethered to my ears. Thus Apple Airpods.

The big question: do they stay in your ears?

The short answer: NO. The long answer: Yes.

Do they stay in your ear? Well that’s a tough question to answer as everyone has a different sized ear. It seems that this is a feature that varies wildly from person to person. In my ear they stay just fine when I’m using them around the house or walking around. Even a long distance run they tend to stay put. If I do a back flip, of course they fly out. In fact a big concern would be losing one of the airpods once they fly out. This is where airpod accessories come into play.

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The accessories pictured here are Insignia brand. I got it for twenty bucks. I can’t find them on amazon to link them for you but I’ll link some similar ones. These change the airpod game.  These various accessories which I rate in terms of “retention level” make the Apple Airpods the best wireless Bluetooth headphones for an active lifestyle that work with iOS and Android.  This is a similar kit from amazon that seems pretty legit: Tutor AirPods case Silicone protective cover with 2 Anti-lost Strap,2 Pairs of Ear Hook and 1 Headphone Case for Apple AirPods (6PACK)-Gray

Level 1 Retention

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I really feel like attaching a “dummy cord” to wireless headphones is kinda pointless. But if you really have a habit of losing things or intend to use these while walking a tight rope, then this might be a really good option. This “dummy cord” was included in my accessory kit. I’ve used it never… Here’s a similar dummy cord thing on Amazon: Spigen TEKA RA100 AirPods Strap Never Lose Your AirPods PATENT PENDING Air Pods Strap Wire Cable Connector for Apple Airpods – White

Level 2 Retention

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This is my preferred method of retention. With these little hook things, the earbuds never fall out of my ear. Yes even when I do back flips. I actually think they enhance the audio fidelity by creating more of a acoustic seal, but I’m just making that up and saying buzzwords. The accessory kit that I bought comes with different size hooks that fit depending on the size of your ear. I’ve only used this size and the rest of them: never… Here is a set of just the ear hooks from Amazon that look pretty good: EarBuddyz 2.0 Apple Airpods and EarPods Covers and Hooks Attachment for iPhone Earphones Headphones Earbuds – Clear (2 Pairs)

Level 3 Retention

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This is dumb. I’m sure it works well but I’m really not about this life. I want something with a very small foot print. This just defeats that objective. I used to wear a pair of headphones with an over ear hook similar to this and it started to hurt after a while. I’ve used this over ear thing: never… But don’t let me dissuade you if that’s really your thing. Here’s a ridiculous looking one from Amazon: AirPods Strap, i-Blason [Stop Losing Your AirPods] 18 inch Length Colorful String Strap / Wireless Air Pods Holder for iPhone 7 & iPhone 7 Plus AirPods (White)

Yes it is possible to put all the accessories on at once and achieve some insane level of retention. I think it is unnecessary though. I kinda wish I saved a couple of bucks and bought an accessory kit that only had the in ear hooks. I’ve linked individual parts from different kits so if you just one a specific part, you don’t have to search all over for it. There is also some accessory lanyards and cases that help waterproof or retain the airpod charging case which might be cool: Catalyst Premium Quality Waterproof Shock Resistant Case for Apple AirPods (Slate Gray)


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Summary

The Apple Airpods are the smallest Bluetooth earbuds I have used. With the ear hooks, I can use them in the gym or when I plan on doing vigorous activity.  The sound quality is pretty good. If I was a musician or a music producer, I would probably get headphones with professional grade audio quality though. For my adventure runs, audiobooks, and gym time, these are perfect. Battery life is great, it boasts 24 hours with the case. I’ve never run these things completely dry. If you’re on the fence about these, you should go for it. You won’t regret it.

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