Considering Apple AirPods, but have some questions

Hardware and Accessories

Hello, everyone. I find myself doing something I never thought I would. Due to my lightning EarPods breaking, and to me having to replace them at least once a year, I am now contemplating buying AirPods. I never really wanted to have to leave my Bluetooth on, but if it means not having my wires breaking on me? You bet I'm up for it! I have never owned a Bluetooth set of earbuds, but the fact that I like how EarPods fit me and how simple the pairing process for the AirPods is, I figure I'd love them. Yeah, I'm irritated that the AirPods have no volume control, but I'm still in. So, I'm wondering. If you own the AirPods, do you like them? Is there much lag with VoiceOver? Do you find that your set's battery suffers if you leave the earbuds in the charging case when not in use? I hate to spend $160, but honestly, buying new pairs of EarPods at least yearly is getting old.



Submitted by Patrick Smyth on Saturday, January 27, 2018


They fit well. Pairing is easy. No annoying wires. The case is fun to click open so it's actually enjoyable to put them away.. They're a little less obvious.


Lag exists but it is tiny, less than what you'd expect.


No volume controls. Controls are a little unresponsive. Siri doesn't always pick up your voice as well as on the old headphones. They seem easy to lose. They cost many cash dollars. You feel coerced to get them because of the lack of a headphone jack.

Submitted by Anna Beige on Saturday, January 27, 2018

I bought AirPods last May and love them. They sound a lot better than the lightning earpods, at least I think so. I had problems with my lightning earpods and gave them to my brother...
I usually just plug my case in at night, but I've forgotten to do it a few times and it's been fine. It depends on how much you use the AirPods. I think the case is supposed to charge them five full times before needing to be charged itself, but I might be wrong about that. I usually will charge the AirPods before they make that noise because of the battery hitting ten percent. I like being able to see the battery status of the AirPods with the battery widget.

Submitted by Anna Beige on Saturday, January 27, 2018

I've used a few different pairs of bluetooth headphones/earbuds. The AirPods have the least amount of lag in comparison.

Submitted by MelodicFate on Saturday, January 27, 2018

Thanks for the comments. I'm sad to hear that sometimes the controls are a bit slow. I've resigned myself to the fact that I'll probably just use my phone's volume buttons to control volume. I'm excited that now, at least, you're able to skip to the next and previous tracks. You can customize the AirPods more, which is awesome. Oh! How well does the whole "pausing music when you take one earbud out" thing work? That sounds pretty awesome, have to admit. :)

Submitted by Patrick Smyth on Saturday, January 27, 2018

The part where you pause music by taking the pods out works great. In general I think they're a great product that is probably better for music than for Voiceover type stuff, but it's fine for that too. I do miss the volume controls when I use them but that's just me.

Submitted by MelodicFate on Saturday, January 27, 2018

In reply to by Patrick Smyth

I think I'd miss the volume controls too. But with that auto-pausing thing, maybe I won't use volume controls so much? I'll just have to try them for myself. I'm very glad to hear auto-pausing works as advertized, though. I'm still a little intimidated about the price tag, but I really am getting sick of buying new lightning EarPods so often.

Submitted by Lielle ben simon on Sunday, January 28, 2018

Hi, i love my AirPods, i had use them for 2 years for now and i very love them. the battery is enough to 5 hours, and to me it's very good products. it doesn't disturb me that there is no volume controls button on AirPods, but it doesn't big dill, there is no lag with VoiceOver for regular using .

Submitted by MelodicFate on Sunday, January 28, 2018

Thank you. So glad to hear they hold up over time. Also excited to hear that there's no lag for you. How do you all deal with the no volume controls? Do you ask Siri, or just use the buttons on your phone? Which is easier? Note: I hardly ever use Siri.

Submitted by Brian Giles on Sunday, January 28, 2018

No inline controls is a deal breaker for me. I played with the Air Pods at the Apple store recently since another set of regular ear pods had broken. Yes you can now customize what happens when you double tap each air pod, but it's still not as good as the controls on the regular ear pods for me. I like to quickly be able to reach up and adjust the volume or skip a track while I'm walking, and air pods wouldn't provide that. Yes, you can ask Siri, but I don't want to be asking her to do stuff all the time while I'm in public. lol Also, is it just me, but FaceTime calls over any bluetooth headphones is terrible! Sometimes it sounds like you're on a call where you have bad cell reception. Regular phone calls are fine though. I also find with my Bose QC35s that if someone calls me, it doesn't always switch over to the headset, but it works if I make an outgoing call, meaning I have to call the person back. Does this also happen with air pods?

Submitted by MelodicFate on Sunday, January 28, 2018

No volume controls is the one drawback I can think of, but I just plan to use my phone's volume buttons. I plan to customize one earbud to skip to the next track, and the other one to either go to the previous track or call up Siri. Haven't decided. I'm just honestly fed up with the wired EarPods breaking on me so much. I know they're $30, but I have to buy a new pair at least once a year. If someone who has AirPods can comment on their quality over FaceTime calls, that would be great. I do use FaceTime quite often.

Submitted by charles on Monday, January 29, 2018

Some games require almost split second responses, such as racing games, pinball, and so on. Has anyone found this a drawback to Bluetooth ear bud use? I just purchased a set of Bluetooth ear buds, which is in the process of being charged. I haven't tried gaming with them. Although these are not Apple Air Pods, they are Bluetooth, so they may not be compairable. I just cannot see paying $160 for a set of ear buds.

Submitted by MelodicFate on Wednesday, January 31, 2018

So, I couldn't resist temptation, and I bought a pair of AirPods. I love the case, having no wires, and how easy they are to take with me. No more worrying about breaking wires. Also, they do sound a little better than the lightning EarPods. However, I was talking on FaceTime last night, and I found out that talk time is significantly less than that of listening to music. While it makes total sense, I was wondering how you guys dealt with this. I'm considering talking with only one earbud in, then switching when the one I'm using dies. The good thing is, they seem to charge fast. I'm just wondering how constantly having them in the case for storage and travel purposes effect the battery. Any insight from you guys on any of this would be welcome. :)

Submitted by That Blind Canuck on Thursday, February 1, 2018

Hi MelodicFate, that is a good question. I suspect that leaving the Airpods in the charging case is probably similar to plugging your phone every night. I am sure that even if you leave your AirPods in the charging case, that once the AirPods are charged, the charging process stops so as to not damage the batteries in the AirPods. Plus I am sure that there is no harm in leaving them in the charging case for a long period of time.

Most likely, they don't stay in the charging case for weeks at a time, I usually take mine out several times a day. I am sure that over time though, like anything else, the battery will degrade and age, but that is the way of things when it comes to lithium ion batteries.

Although I do miss the remote on the EarPods, having an Apple Watch, I've enabled the Now Playing screen to appear on my watch face every time I am playing something, so that way I can raise or lower the volume using the crown, or skip back. You can even use the volume buttons on your phone to raise and lower it too if you'd like. So even though you lose the remote with the AirPods, there is at least other ways of accomplishing the same.

Submitted by MelodicFate on Thursday, February 1, 2018

Thanks. Hoping you're right about there being no harm in storing them in the case. I use the volume buttons on my phone, and when I'm talking, I've started leaving only one earbud in. I have no Apple Watch, so don't have that convenience. Now it's just a matter of me deciding if I want to keep them since I believe there's a period where you can return new purchases. As I said, I'm loving the small form factor and their sound for listening to music. I also love how fast the case charges them. I do not miss that cord hanging in my way.

Submitted by That Blind Canuck on Thursday, February 1, 2018

There is no harm in using one AirPod at a time, I've heard of many technology journalists who do exactly that. They use one AirPod until the battery runs out, then pop it back into the charging case and take out the other one and continue listening. Like I said, it would be stupid on Apple's part if they sold us devices that couldn't handle being left charging for a while. Most of the time, we don't leave our devices charging for days at a time, we've grown used to unplugging our devices when their charged, but in the case of the AirPods, I believe that we can leave them in for long periods. But again, it would be very rare for someone to leave them for days, or weeks at a time. Most people that have AirPods use them often throughout the day.

But it's a good thing that you're trying them, at least if you find out that they're not for you, then at least you know. I suspect though that you will probably end up keeping them. I wasn't sure myself and thought all these stories from other AirPod users saying the same thing was a little far fetched, but after having a pair of my own, I see what they were talking about. I do find that they sound much better then the EarPods, and do last for quite a long while. I typically charge my case once a week and after 7 days, my charging case is at about %30 and my AirPods are both at %100, and I use them quite often throughout the day.

The one thing I did notice is that there is a small lag, although I did hear some users, not from AppleVis, say that the response of VoiceOver was instant, I find that this is not the case. But having used many bluetooth headsets, a bit of lag is typical, so the small lag with the AirPods, although a little annoying, it's still fairly useable and I've gotten used to it.

I do find though that if you use them with a Mac, there is far less lag though, maybe better bluetooth components in the Mac, not sure, but there is much more responsiveness on the Mac then with my iPhone.

Submitted by MelodicFate on Thursday, February 1, 2018

I have noticed the small lag, too. My case has had to be charged once, but then, when I received the AirPods, the case was at 75%. I'm glad you mentioned the Mac. I don't know how to get them working. I know they're supposed to work with anything using my account, but I don't know how to select them to make them work. You're probably right, I likely will end up keeping them. I mean, I like using both for music, but if I can get used to using one to talk, it should be fine.

Submitted by That Blind Canuck on Thursday, February 1, 2018

I honestly don't know why some of the podcasters who use AirPods with VoiceOver said that there was barely any lag. Maybe they have a special iPhone or something, but in my case, I definitely can tell that there is a lag. I also have a pair of Aftershokz Trekz Titanium that also have a lag, maybe not as much as the AirPods, but unfortunately, that is the price we pay for now when using wireless headphones. Like I said, the lag is there and noticeable, but you get used to it after a while. I find that if I am at home, I tend to use the EarPods, unless if I am doing work around the house and wish to listen to something, I will usually start it up and put my AirPods on while I work. If I am sitting down for a long while listening to podcasts or an audiobook, I will at times use the EarPods or the AirPods, just depends on my mood. I do use the AirPods a lot while I'm at work or at a friends or family member's house, as some people usually can't stand hearing VoiceOver on my phone. Especially my dad. Every time I am over at their place, my folks always ask me to put headphones on as they can't stand to hear Samantha speak. Yes I am one of those who prefers Samantha as my VoiceOver voice. LOL

As for getting the AirPods to work on your Mac, you have to manually connect to them. Before, if memory served me right, the AirPods would connect automatically, at least that is what I recall hearing from podcasters. Now if you go to the extra menu, the one that has your Wifi, Siri, Spotlight, one of the menus will be bluetooth. If you don't have it, you will have to go to the System Preferences, under Bluetooth, and in the bluetooth settings window, there is a checkbox near the bottom that you have to check to add Bluetooth to the extra menu.

Once you open the Bluetooth menu, you can turn bluetooth on or off, view devices, and you should find your AirPods in the list with a submenu. Just open the submenu and select Connect and your AirPods should switch over to your Mac. To get them back to your iPhone, you have to go to your bluetooth settings and tap on them to reconnect. I believe that when the AirPods first came out, Apple was promoting the fact that once you paired your AirPods to one device, as it is now, it also pairs them to all of your other devices on the same iCloud account. But what they were also promoting is that if you had your AirPods connected to your iPhone and you then went to your Mac, your AirPods would automatically connect and switch to your Mac, without you having to do anything. I believe that some found this to be more of a pain as when they would raise their wrists to use their Apple Watches, the AirPods would try and connect automatically to their watches, but not always work. I am not sure if this was the reason, but it appears that once you pair the AirPods to one device and it propagates to all of your other devices, it won't switch automatically when you use a different device. You have to manually connect them. Not having a pair when things worked automatically, I can't say for a fact if having the AirPods switch automatically was a pain, but knowing me, I would have probably found it a pain and prefer connecting my AirPods manually. It's not like I use them on my Mac everyday, so they stay connected to my iPhone most of the time anyways.

Sorry if this may be a little long, I tend to be a detailed oriented person. Hope this helps!

Submitted by MelodicFate on Thursday, February 1, 2018

I don't find the lag to be too terrible, either. The iPhone is still most definitely usable. I just love how the case charges them and they'll always be topped up when I pull them out of my pocket. No more untangling the cord. It really is great. As for connecting to Mac, thank you for your instructions. I do indeed have the bluetooth menu in my menu bar. That should be no problem. And as I have old EarPods just for my Mac anyway, this really is no problem. It's more for curiosity's sake.

Submitted by Patrick Smyth on Friday, February 2, 2018

The lag is there and noticeable, but yes, doesn't make the phone a pain to use. I think people talk about it generously because if you've tried another non-airpod bluetooth headset, you'll find the lag to be 3-4 times longer, which is a big deal.

Submitted by MelodicFate on Friday, February 2, 2018

Oh yeah. If it was worse, it would be a huge deal. In fact, mine lagged really bad today when I was receiving a FaceTime call so that I couldn't answer. That was annoying, and now I'm thinking of just going and exchanging these for some lightning EarPods. I'll be sad, though, as the audio quality is definitely a little better with the AirPods.

Submitted by That Blind Canuck on Friday, February 2, 2018

I know that when a phone call comes in, you can just double tap on either AirPod and it will pick up the call, and double tap again to hang up. Now I haven't tried Facetime, but I am guessing that the same should work.

Submitted by MelodicFate on Friday, February 2, 2018

Maybe the problem was that I was doing the two-finger double-tap on the phone's screen. Next time, I'll have to double-tap on one of the AirPods.

Submitted by That Blind Canuck on Friday, February 2, 2018

You should be able to do the two-finger double tap, or better known as the magic tap, on your phone to pick up a Facetime call. I found that once your phone begins to ring, give it about 3 to 5 seconds before performing the magic tap. I used to try and pick up the moment it began to ring and found that it didn't always work, but when I began waiting a few seconds before picking up, it worked more often. I think you could probably do the same when picking up using the AirPods. I find that waiting a few extra seconds seems to make all the difference.

I too agree that although there is a little lag, it's not as bad and you do get used to it

Submitted by MelodicFate on Friday, February 2, 2018

Thanks. I had no problem using the magic tap with EarPods, but I'll have to try your method with the AirPods. My phone just kinda froze up and wouldn't let me do anything, but then, the person who called said they heard me, I just couldn't hear them. Actually, that also happened earlier this week on a regular phone call. Hmm. Much as I love the small form factor of these things, I'm sadly beginning to wonder...

Submitted by That Blind Canuck on Friday, February 2, 2018

Does this happen each time you get a regular phone call or Facetime call? Do you shut down your iPhone and restart it once and a while? If the issue persists, you could always do a hard reset. Don't worry, this won't format your phone, it will just make your phone restart, in the event that an app or your phone freezes. Depending on the iPhone model you have, the process for doing a hard reset can vary. I think that any model prior to the iPhone 7, you can just press and hold the home button and side button at the same time for 10 seconds. If it's a iPhone 7 or 8, I believe you have to pres the volume up once, then the volume down, and then press and hold the side button for 10 seconds.

As for the iPhone 10, well that one I honestly don't know what the process is.

Good luck, I hope you figure the cause.

Submitted by MelodicFate on Friday, February 2, 2018

It's only happened twice, so nope. It's not a persistent issue. I don't restart my phone too often, but I do let it die fully a lot of the time. One thing I am thinking of trying to do is repair the AirPods. The worker at the Apple Store had me hold the button on the case to get them to connect. I know you don't necessarily have to do that from things I've seen on YouTube. Therefore, I've wondered if that could be my problem.

Submitted by charles on Saturday, February 3, 2018

Although my Bluetooth ear buds are not Apple Air Pods, I find that the lag prevents me from gaming accurately. A friend who I play music with at Church does have a set of Apple's Bluetooth ear buds, and I tried them. While they do sound good, there is still enough of a lag to prevent me from accurately gaming. By the time I hear a cue to strike a moving object, it has already gone out of range, so I miss. The same is true when listening for when to steer a racecar, and I crash due to not turning soon enough. I do like the Bluetooth concept and convenience, but will only use them for listening to music or books, podcasts, and other stuff that does not involve timing on my part. This is the exact reason that I wish that Apple had not done away with the headset jack on iPhones. Until the lag problem of Bluetooth has been resolved, it will forever be problematic in some tasks. And I still cannot justify paying $160 for a set of ear buds based on what I've experienced.

Submitted by That Blind Canuck on Monday, February 5, 2018

Well, it could just be a random glitch. It still wouldn't hurt to shut down and reboot your phone every once and a while. Although Apple loves the idea of leaving your phone on all the time, these are still computers and do occasionally need to be rebooted. In most times, rebooting might actually fix a glitch. I know when my phone seems to act a little buggy, I shut it down and reboot and, for the most part, seems to fix the glitch. You can also try removing your AirPods from your bluetooth device list and try re-pairing them again. Sometimes unpairing and then re-pairing them can solve the issue.

@Charles, I agree with you regarding playing games where you need to react quickly. Granted I don't play many of those types of games, but if I do need it, I typically use the lightning EarPods that came with my iPhone.

As those times where you just need to listen, then the AirPods shine. I listen to a lot of audiobooks, podcasts or movies and TV shows and would often walk around the house with my iPhone in my pocket and my EarPods sticking out up and to my ears, which could often snag on cupboard doors or any other obstacles. Even with a bit of lag, when all you need to do is listen and occasionally pause or skip forward or backwards, then a bluetooth device is much better. I have a set of Aftershokz that I just love for my commute, and use the AirPods around the house. When I am out and about, if I need to quickly check my phone, whether I'm at a friend or family member's house, I will take an AirPod out of the case and quickly use my phone.

On the price tag though, I agree with you whole heartedly. A lot of Apple's products are way too over price in my mind. I do agree that they do design their products beautifully but don't feel that it merits the high price tag. I know most people would probably say "Then don't buy their products" and I do agree on that. I keep buying their products, I still have the right to my opinion. As for the AirPods, here in Canada, they are priced at $220, which I find their a little too steep. I would think they would be worth more $160 Canadian, that's more of a fair price.

Submitted by Lielle ben simon on Monday, February 5, 2018

Hi, I playing in menny games but i hava not incournter to lag of VoiceOver or games that based on sound. I playing in BlindFold games seiriss and i am very satesfy

Submitted by Luke on Monday, March 5, 2018

Hey there. I got a pair recently and think they’re good overall. The VO lag is my biggest complaint. It makes it really hard to type, but I am finding that I’m getting somewhat used to it. Everything else is excellent though. Love the slick and seamless operation, the charging case which actually charges the pods pretty fast and the freedom from cords! They’re a very clever bit of engineering, for sure. I still keep my EarPods with me because they’re still my preference for extended typing such as emails, but for music, YouTube, browsing the News app or doing social media, it’s AirPods all the way

Submitted by MelodicFate on Monday, March 5, 2018

I ended up returning mine to get the refund. I loved having no cord, and the sound quality was a lot better. What killed it for me was that sometimes, I'd get a phone call, and I'd tap the AirPod to answer. Only, it'd lag doing that so badly that the person calling would hang up. This wouldn't happen all the time, but it did enough times to be annoying. That being said, I do miss being free of the cord. I'm hoping for good things for AirPods 2.