Opinion: It’s high time Apple shook up the design of the AirPods
The Apple AirPods are maybe essentially the most iconic true wireless earbuds on the planet, popularizing the fledgling type issue after they had been launched in 2016.
4 years on, and the world of true wi-fi earbuds has been reworked. Now, these completely untethered earphones can provide audio high quality to rival the finest over-ear headphones, with further options like noise cancellation, gesture controls, and low-latency Bluetooth connectivity.
In different phrases, true wi-fi earbuds have never been higher, and that’s in no small half right down to Apple’s personal improvements within the area of private audio. Most just lately, the corporate introduced that the noise-canceling AirPods Professional could be getting Dolby Atmos spatial audio, monitoring the movement of your head and your gadget, to make sure that the audio all the time seems to originate from the right place. Nevertheless, there’s one facet of Apple’s really wi-fi earbuds that are long overdue an improve: the design. Regardless of upgrading the AirPods in 2019 with its new H1 headphone chip (permitting for quicker pairing occasions and a hands-free Hey Siri function), the design remained unchanged.
And, with the AirPods 3 reportedly on the way in which in 2021 (or even perhaps 2020 if we’re fortunate), it’s the right time for Apple to interrupt away from the look of the authentic 2016 AirPods.
What’s wrong with the Apple AirPods design anyway?
Earlier than we go into the assorted causes that Apple ought to eliminate the design of the unique AirPods, it’s necessary to notice that it did serve the corporate nicely – very nicely, in reality.
In any case, the unique AirPods are arguably the primary true wi-fi earbuds to essentially seize the general public’s consideration, convincing many people to chop the wire for good. They nonetheless dominate the market at the moment. In 2019, Apple commanded an enormous 50% of the true wi-fi earbuds market share, eclipsing well-known audio manufacturers like Sony, Bose, and Sennheiser.
That’s partly right down to the immediately recognizable design of the Apple AirPods – whenever you consider a pair of really wi-fi earbuds, possibilities are that you conjure up a picture of Apple’s earphones, with their all-white plastic casing and lengthy ear stems. It’s a design that took inspiration from the wired Apple EarPods, which come free with iPhones (at the very least, for now, they do), and is due to this fact an already well-known and trusted look.
Merely eradicating the wire connecting each earbud to one another and to your phone looks as if a no brainer for a corporation that needed to encourage probably hesitant consumers into the world of really wireless listening.
That design, whereas recognizable, isn’t good, and it might maintain Apple again if it chooses to implement it once more with the AirPods 3.
Goodbye, long stems
One of the derided points of the unique AirPods is their lengthy ear stems that protrude from your ears when you put on them.
These ear stems could have allowed for the implementation of touch-sensitive controls, however, because the AirPods Pro have confirmed, these controls don’t require an enormous footprint to work. On the AirPods Professional’s far shorter ear stems, you’ll discover a capacitive pressure sensor; squeeze this and you may activate noise cancellation or Transparency mode, in addition to skipping and pausing your music.
Plus, improvements in system-in-package electronics (SiP), means that you can squeeze an terrible lot extra tech into smaller units. It’s a technology utilized by the AirPods Pro, and it’s rumored that it is going to be utilized as soon as extra for the AirPods 3 – so, with no mechanical want for these lengthy ear stems, there’s nothing stopping Apple from getting rid.