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AirPods and alternatives

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About six months ago I bought a set of Apple AirPods. For the most part, they worked well: when they connected, that is. That was part of the problem—they would, at times, not connect. I would need to put them back in their little home, close the lid, and hope that when I reinserted them into my ears, that I would hear the "tone of contentment" as they connected. On many occasions, I would need to restart Bluetooth on the iPhone to make a connection or do a Bluetooth re-pairing to reconnect.

The quality, when they are working, is good, but for me there is one huge flaw in the design, the slick surface—and small size—of the case. My wife thought it was a dental floss case and almost threw it out at one point. The case, being slick and having no way to attach it to anything (either through a lanyard or any other manner), can be lost quite easily, which happened to me last week. The AirPods were in my pocket while in a store, and when I went to pay, they must have fallen out. So small, that I didn't notice them missing. I did return to the store, but they are gone forever.

Does anyone have an alternative? I tried the first version of CrazyBaby, and they were very nice-looking, but they suffered from the same issues. I haven't complained about the price, but here in Canada, they cost $219 plus taxes, so you're into the easily losable and not so functional headsets for about $250 when you are all said and done.
 


I was an early backer of the Axum earbuds, which took longer to come to fruition than the inventors expected (which isn't unusual). They are now available via their website. They work very well, but I don't use them a lot, as I don't have that much occasion to use airbuds – I don't really listen to music as I make my rounds, and I tend to use my iPhone in the old-fashioned way – old habits, don't you know. They don't fall out of my ears, at any rate, and the case seems like it would be harder to lose than the Apple earbud case. On the other hand, it is not as small and pocketable.
 


... the slick surface—and small size—of the case...and having no way to attach it to anything (either through a lanyard or any...
I’m sorry to hear you lost your AirPods. You might check back with lost and found at the store once in a while; sometimes honest people do turn stuff in.

With respect to the case, if you do a search on Google or Amazon for “AirPod Case” you’ll find lots of them. You can get them in fabric, silicone, leather, and in many colors. Some of the cases have attachment points for lanyards, etc. If you are otherwise happy with the AirPods and decide to get a new set, I suspect you can find a case that will meet your needs.
 


About six months ago I bought a set of Apple AirPods. For the most part, they worked well: when they connected, that is. That was part of the problem—they would, at times, not connect. I would need to put them back in their little home, close the lid, and hope that when I reinserted them into my ears, that I would hear the "tone of contentment" as they connected. On many occasions, I would need to restart Bluetooth on the iPhone to make a connection or do a Bluetooth re-pairing to reconnect.
I had a similar issue with my AirPods soon after they were released. Sometimes the connection to only one of them would fail. The fix was to "Forget This Device" via iPhone > Settings > Bluetooth. Then pair anew. Since then, over a year ago, no issues at all. That advice came from a call to Apple Support. My wife had the same issue, and the same fix did the trick.

I like the AirPods because they do not penetrate into the ear canal (as do others like the Axums or Beats that have the silicon tips that seal into the canal) which, for me, cause ear discomfort/fatigue after a short time. But if you like heavy bass, I suppose that is something you have to endure. I would rate the AirPods medium in the bass department, just the way I like it. Others rate the bass more intense if they happen to fit their ears exactly right.

One other advantage of the AirPods is being able to still sort of hear the outside world - like approaching traffic in particular - much better than the sealed-into-the-ear-canal types of earphones. I can comfortably bike with them, something very scary to do with the Beats in a city environment.
 


Harold has an important point about hearing the outside world while wearing earbuds. The Axum earbuds have noise cancellation; since I don't tend to wear them when I am out and about in New York City (which is every day), it isn't an issue. I don't wear them while walking because I find music from even non-noise-cancelling earbuds distracting.

I tried wearing earbuds while biking, but I could never get used to hearing music while commuting or biking for fitness or pleasure, so that isn't an issue for me, either.

Of course, I'm one of those for whom the sound of music takes center stage. When I'm in a grocery store or a restaurant, I'll point out a piece of music that is currently playing to a companion, and almost invariably he or she has no idea what I'm talking about, because the music is just background noise.
 


The Axum earbuds have noise cancellation; since I don't tend to wear them when I am out and about in New York City (which is every day), it isn't an issue.
Unless the Axium earbuds are doing something unusual, noise cancellation should not cause a problem when walking. Noise cancellation circuitry blocks out static background noise (steady wind, engine drone, etc.) It does not block non-static sounds like people, approaching vehicles, car horns and the like. This is why you can have a conversation with someone while wearing them.

Of course, as you wrote, focusing on your music to the exclusion of the rest of the world is still a risky thing to do while walking in a busy location. But that's equally true with and without noise cancellation.
 


I use ISOtunes bluetooth earbuds. They last 8-10 hrs. on a charge and pair with either my iPhone or iPod Touch. The earbuds come with different sized expanding ear pieces and work well while shooting (range) or shop/yard work (operating machinery).

The only issue I am finding is proximity of the Bluetooth device and the earbuds. Here is more info from the manufacturer. I have the Pro model in orange (I was given a 20% discount from a YouTuber...).
 


I did go back to the store, and checked a couple of other places I had visited, no luck. Won't be able to physically go back soon - the store was in Long Beach, CA, and I am in Toronto.

I did check out the ISOtunes and ordered a pair, they have a special on today for Father's Day, so we shall see. I do like the NNR aspect, and that they have a wire connecting them. I did have the AirPods drop out of my ears a couple of times, so I feel safer.

The Noise reduction is the killer part for me. For those who have never used a headphone that has them, they reduce droning or repetitive noise. They do not stop you from hearing "unusual" sounds. My aviation headset has active noise reduction, and the FAA would not allow them if there was an issue at all. You can still hear changes in tone of the engine for instance, but much of the wind sounds are removed.

Awaiting shipment, at less than half the price of the AirPods.
 


Many of us hereabouts grumble and complain about Apple (and offer praise, to be sure). Here's a true story.

The Gulf of Mexico in summer in far southwest Florida is about as delightful as anyone could want: the water hovers around 88°, it is calm, and clear, mostly, and those winter residents are all up north where they belong. This is when the natives go to the beach, which I did last weekend, wearing - you guessed it! - Apple AirPods. The thing about these AirPods, aside from incredible battery performance, is comfort; I've discovered them more than once while showering.

But this time I watched the right AirPod sink through the aforementioned crystal clear water… Whatcha gonna do?

Four days later, I was setting up the beach chairs as usual, and - you guessed it! - the tide had washed up the little critter right up to the tide line. I mean, what are the chances?

Of course it was dead, dead, dead, but I blew it off, put a charge on it, and it worked as good as new.

So, 96 hours, gently stirring in the warm, salty Gulf, delivered to my footsteps… and good as new!
 


Washington Post:
Everyone’s AirPods will die.
We shouldn’t let Apple turn headphones into expensive, disposable products because of bad battery design.

Not long ago, headphones were among the most universal, long-lasting electronics. We shouldn’t let Apple turn them into expensive, disposable electronics. It’s hurting our wallets — and the environment.

Apple won’t even share guidelines on their life expectancy. 'AirPods are built to be long-lasting,' said Apple spokeswoman Lori Lodes, without specifics. Mine went for 34 months; others have reported they die in as little as 18 months.
 





I got AirPods Pro a few days ago. I have ears that are not compatible with the original AirPods nor PowerBeats Pro. (The PowerBeats fit fine but don't point into my earhole and therefore sound muffled.) But the AirPods Pro work great. At least they did for the first couple of hours.

Then, after charging them and the case, the left pod stopped working. It showed 0% charge on the iPhone. It had the charging indicator but never got above 0% even overnight. I tried lots of different resets and called AppleCare, but they could not help.

I ended up exchanging them at the Apple Store. The new pair has no issues. There is a related thread on MacRumors Forums about intermittent indications and a couple of others who had a dead pod like me. I bought mine via the Apple Store app. Exchanging via the online process requires waiting for Apple to receive the failed unit and then even more waiting for availability of replacements to be shipped. Luckily, my local Apple Store had them in stock for immediate exchange.

#applequality
 


I like the idea of sharing the audio between two sets of AirPods, but now my AirPods occasionally suffer from split personality disorder and pair twice, once correctly as Apple AirPods and once as a generic Bluetooth headset of the same name. When that happens, I cannot listen to anything, and I have not found a reliable way to reset it. Rebooting the phone does not do it, nor forgetting and repairing.

Am I the only one? It looks like this.
 


I like the idea of sharing the audio between two sets of AirPods, but now my AirPods occasionally suffer from split personality disorder and pair twice, once correctly as Apple AirPods and once as a generic Bluetooth headset of the same name. When that happens, I cannot listen to anything, and I have not found a reliable way to reset it. Rebooting the phone does not do it, nor forgetting and repairing.
Have you tried resetting the AirPods themselves?
 



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