- AirPods (2nd Gen)
Callum BoothManaging Editor
Callum is the Managing Editor of TNW. He covers the full spectrum of technology, looks after editorial newsletters, and makes the occasional Callum is the Managing Editor of TNW. He covers the full spectrum of technology, looks after editorial newsletters, and makes the occasional odd video.
Yep, today Apple released its new pair of AirPods, something you can read about in detail here. While the updates are undoubtedly good, I’m disappointed that Apple didn’t do more.
I’m a regular AirPod user and, while I like them a lot, the earbuds could easily be better. In many ways, the newest pair feels like AirPods 1.5, instead of the 2.0 version I was dreaming of.
Don’t worry though – I’m here. So, Apple design team, pick up your pencils and crayons, I’m about to give you the secrets to making the next set of AirPods properly good.
Stop them from falling out by using some goddamn grips
I know plenty of people who Airpods fit perfectly. I, sadly, am not one of them. Some people can run through wheat fields with them steadfast, I can stand up without them flinging themselves to the floor.
“Oh, but there are add-ons available to stop that happening, Callum!”
You don’t think I know about the gripping skins or hooks? Good ideas, but they need to be taken off if the AirPods will fit in the charging case. Fine if you want to use them for the gym, but kinda defeating the point of the easy-access earbuds.
All I want is a bit more grip, Apple, a little something to help them stay put in my freaky ears. Is that too much to ask for?
A way to control volume control on the AirPods themselves
The new AirPods will allow you to do this with Siri, but come on. Really? I need to say “Hey Siri, volume up” each time a banger comes on? Pffft.
It’d be great if you could add a function where you tap the side of an earbud and then move your finger up and down to adjust the volume. Making that happen is definitely more complicated than it sounds, but – and let’s all agree here – that’s not my problem.
Improved sound isolation
To adapt an old joke: how do you know what music someone with AirPods listens to? Oh, easy, you’ll hear it.
Yeah, the sound leakage on AirPods is pretty bad. When you’re playing music at a reasonable volume, a lot of people in the vicinity can hear every beat and squeal. Now, the nature of AirPods means they’re unlikely to ever be perfectly quiet, but a bit more isolation would work wonders.
Similar to the point above, it’d be nice if Airpods could hide you from the world. I don’t put headphones on to hear other things, y’know?
Bass, bass, plus, importantly, some more bass
Generally, I think the Airpods sound great. No, they’re not the most detailed or expansive headphones out there, but they’re a wonderful all-rounder. No matter if you’re listening to a gorgeous Bach Chorale, or some late night Darksynth, they make listening to music exciting – which is what it’s all about.
Still, bass! More bass! Give me more bass please! Not, much more bass, but, still, a bit more! Please, sir, bass!
I get why Apple hasn’t done this. AirPods are the most recognizable headphones out there, and the endless conveyor belt of celebrities and athletes being filmed wearing them is the sort of money marketing can’t buy. Unless marketing has a lot of money. Which Apple’s marketing does.
Anyway, I’d prefer a pair of AirPods in a less conspicuous color so, you know, I don’t look like a douchebag. Well, at least any more than I already do.
What are the alternatives?
If you’re looking for a pair of wireless earbuds that can do cover some of the features above, you should check out:
- The Master & Dynamic MW07: you can choose different colors (and they come with wings you can attach so they stay in your ears)
- The Sony Sony WF1000X/BM1: the most prominent noise-cancelling wireless earbuds on the market
- Soundcore Liberty Air: these cost less than the AirPods, come in a different color, and stay tighter in your ears
So, will the AirPods see any of these updates? Probably. Will we see others? Unlikely. But it’s nice to dream, right?
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