After months of delay, Apple's highly-anticipated AirPods are finally for sale (though you'd be fortunate to receive them any time soon). The wireless Bluetooth earbuds are Apple's vision of the future, complete with Siri capability and intuitive sensor recognition. While there's little doubt of the technology Apple has implemented, questions (and lots of jokes) over the AirPods design highlighted its reveal. So how do the reviews actually stack up? Here's what the critics think:
Rolling Stone calls them "pretty f--king cool" despite the naysayers. "It's become sport for some people to bash Apple's every move and the AirPods got their fair share of abuse," Greg Emmanuel writes. "Most of it centered around the design, and we don't get it." He points out that the AirPods look exactly like every other set of Apple earbuds, save for the cord. He goes on to criticize the sound quality, which is good for a tiny earbud but doesn't offer a "pure sonic experience." Still, the review found the AirPods to be worth every penny of the $159 price tag.
Digital Trends is also in favor of the new device, calling them "the best fully wireless earbuds." Again, the sound quality was deemed to be average at best, but the wireless range and battery life justify the purchase. "In the end, though, we're rating the AirPods based on their position in the emerging wireless earbud segment," writes Caleb Denison. "In that context, they're the best overall choice." Just make sure you don't use them for a run at the gym, though, he warns.
Did anyone straight-up dislike the AirPods? Wired sure did. In his review, David Pierce writes: "U-G-L-Y, they ain't got no alibi. All the best features only work with Apple gear. They don't sound as good as they should for the price." It's a harsh criticism, but he isn't totally against Apple's Bluetooth earbuds. In fact, the Bluetooth is one of the better features according to the review — Pierce found it extremely easy to connect the AirPods and wrote that Siri is a worthy and helpful assistant. That being said, he's more interested in the AirPods' potential rather than what they are now.