Apple replaces iconic earbuds with ‘sound-funneling’ EarPods

earpods iphone 5 ipod iphone 5 earburdsFull Coverage From Apple's 9/12 iPhone 5 Launch EventThe little white earbuds Apple has been packaging with its iOS devices will be celebrating their 11th anniversary this October, but we don’t think anyone will be going to that party.  Not only are they some of the most reviled headphones ever made, but Apple just announced it will be replacing them with what it is affectionately calling the “EarPods,” and it’s about time.

The EarPods feature two obvious changes from their predecessors. First, rather than blasting sound at the outer ear the way the old ‘buds did, the new EarPods will channel sound toward the ear canal. Second, the EarPods are vented to allow air to escape as the little drivers (speakers) inside move back and forth. A vent on the back of the EarPod is said to improve midrange while dual vents at the bottom of the stem is intended to improve bass response. 

You can’t tell by looking at the EarPods, but according to a video posted on Apple’s website,  Apple performed a 3D scan on hundreds of ears in order to find some commonality among them in order to develop a form that would be suitable for a broad range of ears. “The shape of the EarPod is actually defined by the geometry of your ear,” says Apple’s Senior VP of Design Jon Ive, also noting that the EarPods were not designed to create a seal the way in-ear headphones do. Also different is a conspicuous lack of rubber and metal. The EarPods are made entirely of plastic. 

earpods iphone 5 ipod large iphone 5 announcementThe earbuds made their debut alongside Apple’s first iPod in October of 2001 (yes, it’s been that long). Initially, the white pieces of ear torture didn’t receive much criticism,  possibly because folks were so enamored with the novelty of the iPod itself . But once the honeymoon period was over, the public started crying out for something — anything — to replace them. Eventually, Apple’s stock earbuds became the butt of many a headphone reviewers jokes (yours truly included). It’s a wonder Apple didn’t jump on redesigning its bundled headphones years ago just to save itself some embarrassment.

Or is it? One could argue that, like the cheap cables that used to be bundled with our VCRs and DVD players, these “throw away” headphones may have, in a roundabout way, helped nurture what has become a massive after-market headphone market. Whatever the case, we’re glad to say goodbye to the old. Whether we welcome in the new will depend on how they sound. We’ve got a pair of EarPods on our way and we’ll be sure to let you know what we think of Apple’s redesign. 

Home Theater

Throw away those EarPods -- we dug up the best headphones in every style

Trolling the internet for hours to find headphones is no way to live. Instead, leverage our expertise and experience to find the best headphones for you. Here are our 10 favorites.
Home Theater

Wireless headphones are finally awesome, and these are our favorites

Between sleek form factors, prime audio quality, and the freedom of untethered listening, there has never been a better time to pick up a pair of wireless headphones. These are the best ones currently available.
Home Theater

A recent Twitter leak may show the upcoming AirPods 2 model

Apple plans to release new AirPods much the same as it does new iPhones, and a wireless charging case, water resistance, and better Siri integration are among the improvements we can expect in future models.
Home Theater

Get the most boom for your buck with the best headphones under $100

Everybody wants a bargain, and this list has a bunch. For those looking for a solid set of headphones without spending a big stack of cash, this list is is your starting point. Check out our picks for the best headphones under $100.
Deals

The best MacBook deals for November 2018

If you’re in the market for a new Apple laptop, let us make your work a little easier: We hunted down the best up-to-date MacBook deals available online right now from various retailers.
Deals

Cyber Monday 2018: When it takes place and where to find the best deals

Cyber Monday is still a ways off, but it's never too early to start planning ahead. With so many different deals to choose from during one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year, going in with a little know-how makes all the…
Mobile

Tumblr for iOS vanishes from App Store, possibly due to inappropriate content

Tumblr for iOS is currently only allowing searches in Safe Mode, and it is not available on the App Store. The speculation is that the app's disappearance had something to do with inappropriate content.
Deals

The best iPhone deals for November 2018

Apple devices can get expensive, but if you just can't live without iOS, don't despair: We've curated an up-to-date list of all of the absolute best iPhone deals available for November 2018.
Deals

The best Apple Watch deals for November 2018

The Apple Watch has surged to prominence in recent years. If you're in the market for an iOS wearable, we've sniffed out the best Apple Watch deals available right now for all three models of this great smartwatch.
Deals

Save up to $850 with the best smartphone deals for November 2018

Need a better phone but don't want to spend a fortune? It's never a bad time to score a new smartphone and save some cash. We rounded up the best smartphone deals available that can save you as much as $850.
Deals

The best iPad deals for November 2018

In the wide world of tablets, Apple is still the king. If you're on team Apple and just can't live without iOS, we've curated an up-to-date list of all of the best iPad deals currently available for November 2018.
Mobile

Apple applies for a patent on a wrap-around iPhone display

Previously, Apple was awarded a patent for a foldable phone, and the company has been rumored to be working on one. But it's not at all similar to other concepts. Here's everything we know about a folding iPhone.
Mobile

How does fast charging work? Here’s every single standard compared

Modern smartphones can charge in mere minutes instead of hours. How does fast charging work? Here's a guide to the most popular standards, including Qualcomm Quick Charge, Apple fast charging, OnePlus Dash Charge, and more.
Mobile

The Google Photos iOS app gets a bit better, now has depth control

Google updated the iOS version of the Google Photos app to now take advantage of the depth data that can be captured by the iPhone's camera in Portrait Mode. The new feature is already available in the Android app.