10 Reasons to Avoid a New Pair of Apple AirPods


10 Reasons to Avoid a New Pair of Apple AirPods

Apple’s AirPods have taken the world by storm. In the years since Apple first unveiled its innovative wireless earbuds, the company has brought in billions upon billions in sales. However, before you decide on a set of your own, it’s crucial to take a step back and consider whether the AirPods truly align with what you’re looking for in a pair of earbuds. Turns out, there are just as many reasons to avoid a new pair of AirPods as there are to purchase some. Let’s take a good look at the most glaring issues with the AirPods and AirPods Pro.

5 Must-Know Facts About Apple AirPods

  • Apple AirPods and AirPods Pro are wireless earbuds that connect to devices via Bluetooth, freeing you from inconvenient cord tangles.
  • AirPods have a one-size-fits-all design, but AirPods Pro come with customizable silicone tips. The Pro model provides a much more snug fit and better noise isolation compared to the base model.
  • Thanks to its superior fit, the AirPods Pro come with Active Noise Cancellation (ANC). They provide a much better listening experience through the use of advanced audio tech that blocks out any unpleasant background sounds.
  • Both the AirPods and AirPods Pro support Siri voice commands. Through Siri, you can control your music, phone calls, and text messages completely hands-free.
  • While AirPods and AirPods Pro are compatible with most modern Bluetooth devices, they’re best used with Apple products. The AirPods integrate seamlessly with the iPhone, MacBook, and iPad, unlocking a full range of features in the process.

History of AirPods

When Apple ditched the headphone jack in 2016, it’s safe to say people were more than a little confused. The questions started flying as the company unveiled the iPhone 7. Why get rid of something so universal? Why try to re-invent the wheel with such a basic technological staple? Needless to say, it was a bold and confusing move that didn’t make sense… until Apple debuted the AirPods that very same year.

The AirPods were revolutionary wireless earbuds that connected to Apple devices via a Bluetooth connection (hence the elimination of the headphone jack). The groundbreaking product’s sleek design, quick setup, and convenient charging case caught the attention of the masses in a way Apple hadn’t done in years. They quickly gained popularity and became the new must-own product for Apple users and non-Apple users alike.

In 2019, Apple upped the ante with the AirPods Pro. Like the first-generation AirPods, the Pros were another major step forward for wireless earbud technology. They featured a new in-ear design with customizable silicone tips, providing Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) and a more comfortable fit in one fell swoop. They also boasted better battery life and sound quality than the base model AirPods. Today, Apple has released three generations of AirPods and two generations of AirPods Pros. The company sees billions in revenue from these wireless earbuds each year. But should you invest in a pair yourself?

Apple's Everyday Earbud
Apple AirPods (2nd Generation)
  • Quick access to Siri
  • More than 24 hours total listening time
  • In-ear detection and automatic switching
  • Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity
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08/29/2023 10:09 am GMT

Why Avoid Apple AirPods?

When considering a new pair of AirPods, you need to weigh the pros and the cons. As it turns out, there may be more of the latter than the former. While Apple’s AirPods and AirPods Pro offer convenience and cutting-edge technology, there are quite a few reasons to be cautious before making a big investment. Let’s examine ten significant reasons why you might want to think twice before getting a new pair of AirPods.

AirPods case resting on MacBook.
AirPods are small, lightweight, and convenient. But what about the downsides?


High Price Point

Both Apple AirPods and AirPods Pro can be quite an expensive investment. This is true when compared to rival wireless earbuds and available wired earbuds alike. Even the most affordable pair of AirPods — the 2nd Generation release — retail for $129.99. That’s significantly higher than comparable offerings from Amazon, Sony, JBL, and the like. No matter where you look, there are so many other more affordable alternatives to Apple AirPods on the market — most with similar or superior features to boot.

Poor Battery Life

Apple’s AirPods have far too short a battery life, especially for their high price point. This is true of the AirPods Pro, too. Though Apple’s wireless earbuds continue to improve this particular spec with each new generation of the product, it remains too low to truly be worth considering. The charging case provides a nice boost to the battery when needed, but it’s still not enough. Not to mention, the battery life of AirPods will degrade over time, leading to even shorter listening times between charges.

Batteries Can’t Be Replaced

Piggybacking on this previous point about battery life, Apple AirPods are equipped with non-replaceable batteries inside. As the batteries in the AirPods continue to degrade over time, you won’t be able to replace them with new ones. Performing a successful battery replacement is hard enough with an Apple MacBook or iPhone. Do you really want to add another Apple product into the mix that can’t even get a battery replacement in the first place? Some may consider this a waste of money, having to buy an all-new product just because the battery went kaput.

Easy to Lose

Looking beyond the technical specs of the AirPods and AirPods Pro, there’s the simple fact that these Apple products are super small. This is marketed as an advantage — They’re portable! They’re light! They fit in your pocket! — but it can just as easily be viewed as a downside. The smaller the product, the easier it is to lose. Just look at how infamously easy to lose the Apple TV remote is. For many, AirPods are no different. Their small, wireless design significantly increases their chances of getting misplaced or lost.

Durability Concerns

It’s not just the bad battery, the high price, or the small size that causes problems for Apple AirPods users. It’s also the lack of durability that comes with these factors. Some users have reported serious issues with the build quality of AirPods. Flimsy case hinges that eventually break, cracks on the in-ear part of the bud, dirt and grime in every nook and cranny of the product… All in all, these small durability issues come together to paint a pretty poor picture. You shouldn’t have to face these issues with a product this pricy.

A broken AirPod.
After some time, AirPods begin to show significant wear and tear.


Uncomfortable Fit

Not everyone finds the one-size-fits-all design of the Apple AirPods comfortable or secure. This has led to a significant portion of the user base reporting issues with discomfort — especially during extended use or physical activities. This has become a real problem with the 3rd Generation AirPods and both generations of the AirPods Pro. These specific AirPods have bigger earbuds than previous generations, which leads to more complaints of discomfort. Apple’s no stranger to this complaint, either. People have been saying it since the wired earbuds that once came with the iPhone.

Poor Audio Quality

There’s no doubt that Apple’s wireless earbuds come with an unmatched level of convenience. However, this convenience comes at a cost. And we’re not even talking about monetary value, either. To get the convenience of wireless earbuds, you must sacrifice the audio quality you deserve. Compared to dedicated over-ear headphones (and even some other in-ear options), the audio quality of Apple AirPods leaves much to be desired. Bluetooth audio just can’t compare to wired audio.

Incompatible With Non-Apple Devices

Apple claims that its AirPods and AirPods Pro can be paired with any compatible Bluetooth device. While this is technically true, you don’t get anywhere near the full range of features without an Apple device. Pairing is certainly possible with Android devices and other rival tech brands. But, AirPods have very limited functionality with these non-Apple devices. You can only enjoy the complete list of benefits that come with the AirPods or AirPods Pro if you pair the product with an iPhone or iPad. This is a major downside for anyone who isn’t an Apple user.

Constant Updates

If you’re an Apple iPhone, iPad, MacBook, or Apple Watch user, then this next point will probably sound familiar to you. Apple puts out a new generation of the AirPods or AirPods Pro on an annual basis. Just like it does with all its other major products. This renders old generations of Apple’s wireless earbuds outdated in record time. The more new AirPods the tech giant releases, the more irrelevant your purchase will start to feel. Before you know it, you might get the feeling that your AirPods are completely outdated.

Negative Impact on the Environment

Lastly, let’s consider the AirPods’ negative impact on the environment. This is not so much a problem when in use, but rather when the time comes to dispose of an old used pair. Due to their non-replaceable batteries and their electronic components, AirPods have to be disposed of properly if you want to protect the environment. Throwing them in the trash will eventually cause those components and the battery to damage the environment as they degrade. Apple seriously needs to consider addressing this concern with future releases.

Alternatives to Apple AirPods

Here are some alternative wireless earbuds to consider instead.

  1. JBL Vibe 200TWS True Wireless Earbuds - Black, Small
  2. JBL Vibe 200TWS True Wireless Earbuds - Black, Small
    • Features JBL's Deep Bass
    • Includes several earbud tips to suit your ears
    • Supports 20 hours of playtime (case: 15hrs, earbuds: 5hrs)
    • Supports touch control for voice assistant and calls.
    Buy on Amazon

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    08/29/2023 10:24 am GMT
  3. Beats Studio Buds – Black
  4. Beats Studio Buds – Black
    • Battery life: 8 hours (24 hours with charging case)
    • Transparency and Active Noise Cancelling listening modes available
    • Find your fit with 3 sizes of ear tips
    • Bluetooth connectivity (class 1)
    • IPX4 water and sweat resistant
    Buy on Amazon

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    08/29/2023 10:19 am GMT
  5. SAMSUNG Galaxy Buds Wireless Earbuds, Mystic Black
  6. SAMSUNG Galaxy Buds Wireless Earbuds, Mystic Black
    • Features an AKG-tuned speaker for studio sound quality
    • Available in 5 stylish colors
    • Earbuds last up to 8hrs and come with a case for additional listening time
    • Includes Active Noise Cancelling mode
    Buy on Amazon

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    08/29/2023 10:24 am GMT
  7. Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earbuds
  8. Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earbuds
    • Listening time: 9hrs (earbuds), 24hrs (case)
    • Features adjustable earhooks for a secure fit no matter what you're doing
    • Earbuds are sweat resistant
    • Supports auto pause/play
    Buy on Amazon

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    08/29/2023 10:24 am GMT
  9. Sony LinkBuds S Wireless Earbuds
  10. Sony LinkBuds S Wireless Earbuds
    • Feature Sony's Smart Sound that learns your habits and then adjusts your sound automatically
    • Supports Noise Cancellation
    • Includes the V1 Processor for the most immersive sound
    • Can connect to 2 different devices at the same time
    Buy on Amazon

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    08/29/2023 10:29 am GMT

In Review: Reasons to Avoid Apple AirPods Today

There’s no doubt that the AirPods and AirPods Pro are incredibly alluring products. They promise an unparalleled blend of technology and convenience to anyone who buys a pair. However, beyond all the hype and the glamor, there are ten serious problems you need to take into account before you buy. From high costs to limited battery life, from environmental concerns to compatibility issues, you may be better off without a pair of AirPods or AirPods Pro. Carefully consider each of the ten points listed above before you make up your mind.

10 Reasons to Avoid a New Pair of Apple AirPods FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Are AirPods water resistant?

AirPods are not officially water-resistant. They aren’t built to withstand heavy exposure to water or sweat. Their waterproof rating allows them to survive light splashes or a little sweat during a workout, but not much else beyond this. The same is true of AirPods Pro. Simply put, don’t plan to go swim laps with your AirPods.

How do you charge AirPods?

AirPods come inside a handy charging case. This charging case gives the AirPods an additional 20-30 hours of battery life over the course of several charges. To charge them, just place the earbuds in the case and close the lid. They’ll start charging automatically. If the case itself is dead, it can be charged with a cable or a wireless charger (depending on your particular case).

How long do AirPods last per charge?

AirPods battery life will vary depending on how you use them and what you use them for. For general use, the latest generation of AirPods will last around 4-5 hours. For phone calls, they’ll last around 2-3 hours. AirPods Pro up general use time to 5-6 hours and phone calls to around 3-4 hours. This time will decrease with time as the battery deteriorates.

Do AirPods work with Android?

Yes, you can use AirPods with non-Apple devices such as Android. However, you should know that many of the AirPods’ features will be limited without an Apple device. While basic audio playback should work, you won’t get the full range of features such as seamless device switching or easy device pairing. Consider an alternative, like the Galaxy buds, if you have an Android device.

Does Apple sell AirPods replacement parts?

Unfortunately, Apple does not sell replacement parts, only whole devices. If you lose an AirPod, your best bet is to buy a used replacement AirPod secondhand. However, if you lose your charging case, you can buy a replacement straight from Apple. Apple offers replacement cases at the Apple Store (and charging cases, of course).

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