I bought some ear buds a while back, thinking they’d be an excellent way to listen to music on my iPhone. (I get an Apple Music subscription free with my Verizon account. Actually, starting next week I’ll also be getting Hulu and ESPN+ for free, in addition to Disney+. I don’t know how long these deals will last, but I’ll say I really love taking advantage of stuff that comes to me for free when I’m paying for something anyway.)
In any case, the ones I got were middle-of-the-road Jabras. Not super expensive, but not cheap ones either. I tried them out some and they were . . . fine. I didn’t like how outside sound seemed to echo in my head when I had them on, and I listen to enough different devices through the course of the day (my laptop, my phone, my iPad) that switching between all of them was a real pain. In the end, I stopped using them that much. They were nice, but not enough to get me to start listening to music regularly again.
This is surprising to me in many ways, since I used to listen to music all the time. I would go everywhere with my portable CD player and happily listen to music all day. I still listen to music plenty in the car, but I had stopped doing it throughout the day, just because it felt like too much of a pain, I suppose.
With the shift to online learning at the university, Denisa has needed to use my iPad more and more for her classes. (Along with the Apple Pencil, she can use it as an on-screen whiteboard in Zoom classes.) It’s a year and a half old, so old enough for me to justify buying a new iPad and just bequeathing my current one to her so that she can use it whenever she needs it. And when I went to buy the new iPad, imagine my surprise to see Apple was doing a deal for educators: buy an iPad, get AirPods for free. For a bit more money, I could upgrade to the pros. I’ve loved my noise canceling Bose headphones on planes. If these worked the same way, without cords . . .
I bought them. I’m a sucker for technology, and I hoped the Apple reputation for ease of use would make the difference.
I’m very pleased to say that it did. The sound on them is really impressive, and the noise cancellation is fantastic. There’s an easy way to switch between letting the outside noise filter through and tuning it out, and changing from listening on one device to another is also just a few clicks away. I can go from listening to a Zoom on my laptop to listening to my phone as I walk around campus without any real effort. Siri works well on them, too.
Consider me a happy customer. (Though since I paid half off for them, it’s not like it was a huge bar to pass.) Would I still be happy if I had paid the full price? I think so. I could see me using these on planes instead of my Bose headphones. (The one drawback is that they might get uncomfortable after 4+ hours of being in. Not sure on that yet. It seems for now that I’m getting used to them. But then there’s the issue of battery life. Recharging them halfway through a flight might be a pain. Does it override the smaller travel footprint? If I ever get to fly again, I guess we’ll find out.)
I know Apple gets a lot of disdain from some, but there’s a lot to be said for how easy it all works together when you’re all in the same ecosystem, technologically.
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