Dead air: Snap judgment on the AirPods

Just a few minutes with the AirPods will validate all your preconceived ideas about them.


Hey, kids! Who likes validating pre-conceived ideas?! Everyone, right?!

Well, writing for Computerworld, Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols squares his personal circle on the Apple AirPods.

“AirPods: Just as bad as you thought they’d be.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Steve Young, Joe Mazzanti and Shawn King.)

Apparently we were all supposed to think they were bad. In case you didn’t get the memo. You’d probably remember the memo if you got it. It was written on ham.

Thanks to a friend who worships at the church of Apple…

It’s a church. Where people worship. That’s not a lazy jab at people who like Apple products, it’s a real thing.

Also “Hey, can I borrow those $159 headphones? Oh, and I’m gonna make fun of you in the article I’m writing about them”? A+ FRIENDING.

…I’ve gotten my first look at Apple’s AirPods. They’re just as annoying as I’d expected.

Vaughan-Nichols appears to have actually tried the new Apple headphones, but don’t expect any insights on the pairing process or device switching or fit and finish. Other than to claim that the sound quality is worse than that of the previous Apple headphones, Vaughan-Nichols doesn’t provide anything other than the latest in AirPod conventional thinking (you’ll lose them!) and diatribes against Apple’s greed in selling wireless headphones. Which it clearly is instead of having anything to do with removing annoying wires or making the iPhone more water-resistant or adding features that just wouldn’t work with wired headphones.

Also, Apple is a church, in case you didn’t catch the ham memo. Even though it always seems like the people who complain about the company are the ones spilling a truckload of dogma all over the information superhighway.

According to Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, Phil Schiller, it was so Apple could make an even skinnier phone and/or add new technology. Because, don’t you know, what the world needs now is an even thinner iPhone.

And new technology? Not for me! This Sony Ericsson T610 works just fine, thank you very much Mr. Future Space Man!

The real reason, of course, is that Apple wants to shear more money from its sheep.

Sheep don’t have religion, Steven. Can you please just pick a ridiculous, overused Apple trope and stick with it?

All those pricey Apple Beats earpods and headphones you’ve bought recently? They’re all old junk on their way to obsolescence, if you believe Apple.

Of course, they all still work and how technology progresses is by obsoleting old things in favor of new ones but you can’t write a rant without making bombastic statements.


Instead, you’ll need $159 AirPods. They don't come with your pricey new iPhone 7. Apple really does want to squeeze out every last dollar from its customers.

Other than giving you a pair of Lightning headphones and an adapter in the box and selling the adapter for a measly $9. Other than going out of their way to make it cheap and convenient, then, yes, “squeezing out every last dollar.”

Oh, and guess what. You’re going to lose those AirPods. That isn’t a threat. That’s a promise.

You can’t promise things that are simply projections of your personal careless behavior on the personal behavior of others. That’s not how this works.

It’s all I can do to keep track of my Era by Jawbone Bluetooth headset, and it’s seldom off my head during a business day.



You can, of course, use regular—not to mention cheaper—Bluetooth headsets. But you’ll lose, in Apple’s own words, the “magic.”

What magic?

Well, you won’t know it from reading Vaughan-Nichols’ piece because he doesn’t discuss any of this, but one-tap setup, double-tapping to use Siri and being able to switch between devices… you know, you could just read the AirPods product page for crying out loud. Or you could keep ranting.

Guess which one he does.

(It’s ranting.)

It’s a shame that no other wireless headphones work with the iPhone 7 and everyone will have to buy the AirPods as required by the tithing of the Church of Apple.

The Macalope hasn’t used the AirPods yet. Maybe they are white-hot garbage. But he’ll wait to try them or read an actual review to form an opinion.

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