Labor Day hasn’t arrived yet but the sales we’ve come to expect from the holiday are already in full swing. Just look at these AirPods deals: Amazon has discounted the AirPods and AirPods Pro and with pricing starting at only $129, there’s no disputing the fact these are early Labor Day sales.
The original Apple AirPods started the true wireless earbuds craze back in 2016 and to this day they remain immensely popular. The reason behind this is pretty simple: They’re the best true wireless earbuds to get for Apple fans on a budget as they boast astonishingly easy operation and rock-solid connectivity. Although they sound almost exactly like the EarPods (the wired earbuds that come free with an iPhone), what you’re really paying for is the complete freedom from wires and for that, they’re hard to fault. Right now, you can get the AirPods with wired charging case at Amazon for $129 instead of $159.
Out of the box, the AirPods already have a fair amount of juice in them, and this is where the magic happens. If your iOS device’s Bluetooth is activated, simply opening the case and taking the AirPods out will make a pop-up appear on the screen for immediate pairing. The AirPods are also very easy to operate. Inside them are accelerometers and other sensors that determine when the buds have been inserted and removed from your ears. Removing one AirPod will automatically pause music, and tapping the exterior of either AirPod will summon Siri. You can ask her to set a reminder, schedule an alarm, place a call, or adjust the volume of your music up or down. In terms of battery life, the AirPods are touted to deliver up to five hours of listening time and two hours of talk time on a single full charge. Of course, it all boils down to the degree of usage. With multiple charges from the AirPods case, Apple says you can expect a total of 24 hours of listening time or 11 hours of talk time.
Besides the Wireless Charging Case upgrade, there’s not much difference between the first and second generation of the AirPods. They retain the iconic golf-tee shape and remain ridiculously easy to operate and set up for iOS devices. Apple claims there are a few significant improvements underneath the hood though, including the new H1 chipset, longer talk time, and support for voice-activated Siri. However, they’re still not sweat-resistant and don’t offer active noise cancellation, and for the price that’s a little upsetting (take a look at the AirPods Pro below for these premium features). Right now, you can get the AirPods with Wireless Charging Case for $169 (down from $199) at Amazon.
As mentioned, the latest AirPods can now be charged wirelessly, unlike the original. The Wireless Charging Case has its LED lights on the front, which allows you to see charging status when the case is placed atop a Qi charging pad. Apple claims that the case can carry the same amount of reserve charging it did three years ago, offering up to 24 hours, which still beats most competitors. The onboard controls are the same as before. Each AirPod works autonomously, which means they don’t run out of juice at the same time. They auto-pause audio immediately when you take one out – but only with Apple devices. Unfortunately, they still don’t have volume and song-skipping default controls, offering only play and skip forward with a double-tap. You can assign play/pause, next track, and previous track controls in your iPhone’s Bluetooth settings on either earbud if you want to, though. To change the volume, you can simply ask Siri to turn it up or down for you. Speaking of Siri, voice-activated control wasn’t possible with the old AirPods. You can thank Apple’s new H1 chip for adding it, alongside lower gaming lag, and its “50% faster” connection for phone calls.
Thanks to three sets of soft silicone eartips, the AirPods Pro don’t just offer a more secure and comfortable fit than the regular AirPods, they also contribute to a better bass response. These earbuds will stay put in your ears no matter how much you move and sweat. Speaking of sweat, the AirPods Pro are rated IPX4, which means you can take them with you to the gym without having to worry that they’ll incur any damage. If you want to enjoy listening to music free of any distractions, you can turn on the AirPods Pro’s active noise-canceling feature, which is probably the best we’ve ever encountered on a pair of true wireless earbuds. The AirPods Pro inherit the original AirPods’ controls, which means they’re ridiculously easy to operate and, as expected, Siri is always listening and ready to obey your every command. Unfortunately, they now sport a much shorter stem. Battery life remains unchanged (roughly 4.5 to 5 hours of listening time and/or 3.5 hours of call time per charge) but we do fear the smaller batteries won’t last in the long run. Finally, the AirPods Pro deliver a rich lush sound full of detail that is perfectly complemented by a clear treble and rich, full-bodied bass. The AirPods Pro are absolutely the best true wireless earbuds that you can get if you’re an iOS user. Get them for $220 instead of the usual $249 at Amazon today.
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