Are Airpods worth it?

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AirPods have taken over the world in 2019. They were the hottest Christmas gift this year and have made many people decide to switch from regular wired earbuds to AirPods. Although many have been enticed by Apples AirPods, they are very expensive. On Apple’s website they are selling for 159 dollars, while regular wired earbuds are retailing at 29 dollars. However, there are still holders of regular wired earbuds not only in Glen Rock High School, but in the world. There are many arguments that occur daily between the AirPod users and the wired earbud users. Some of the arguments consist of “AirPods fall out when you’re running”, ”The wires get tangled, ”The wires keep your phone from hitting the ground”, or “AirPods make it easier to switch the song”.

Even though people are entitled to their own opinion, some Glen Echo staff members including Alex Vicinanza, Mike Silver, Rob Zamparelli, Kevin Lederer, Michael Taromina, Andrew Kastelman, Ryan Hornish, and I gave AirPods and earbuds the ultimate test. Our first test was range, or how far could the Air pods keep playing music while being away from its case, which is its main power source.

Before we took the test we asked a few AirPods users how far they think  their could play music while being away from its case.

Kenneth Vergel De Dios said, “Not far probably, maybe twelve yards.” Brendan Sullivan guessed “20 feet” (6 yards), and Nolan Clark said “10 yards”.

Testing the range outdoors

For this test we put AirPods up against the Bose wireless soundsport Headphones which retail for 199 dollars. Silver and Vicinanza both put their AirPod case down on the end zone line of the football field and walked until their music stopped. We used 2 pairs of AirPods because we wanted to make sure one isn’t better than the other. Both Air pods went 19 yards until the music completely stopped.

Photo Credit: Rob Zamperelli
Mike Silver and Alex Vicinanza stand near the 19 yard line, which is where their music in their AirPods completely stopped.

Apple does a nice job making AirPods exactly the same each time they are made. Ryan Hornish, who uses Bose wireless soundsport headphones, did the same, although his music stopped playing after only 17 yards.

In this test the AirPods beat a more expensive device by two yards. 

Testing the range indoors

We also tested the range of each AirPod inside Glen Rock High School to see if the surroundings affected the connection. This can relate to many students who leave class to go to the bathroom with AirPods in their ears, but leave the case in class. With this test we see how far the range goes with AirPods and the Bose wireless sportsound headphones.

Silver and Hornish put their phones and cases on the stairs in the beginning of the senior hallway and walked until their music stopped. Silver’s AirPods went 52 yards, and Hornish’s Bose wireless headphones went 73 yards. These results were shocking because they both had a bigger range inside than outside and Hornish’s Bose wireless headphones went a little more than 6 times its range from outside.

Overall the Bose wireless Soundsport headphones beat the AirPods by 21 yards indoors.

Testing the speed durability

We then tested AirPods on how well they can stay in ears while a person is moving. This test will determine if AirPods or earbuds will fall out because of the sweat and muscles pumping throughout the body. This is a very important test because you rarely see a person running without some type of earbud.

Some AirPod users believe they stay in better than wired earbuds. Still, even if wired earbuds fall out, people most often wear the wire down their shirt, which prevents it from falling to the ground. Unlike if an AirPod were to fall out, you would be able to reposition a wired earbud without stopping running. If one of your AirPods fall out, you have to stop running to pick it up which isn’t easy if you’re running long distance.

We tested this outside on the football field, sprinting a 100 yard dash. For this test we used AirPods, Bose wireless soundsport headphones, and regular wired earbuds.

We tested out the AirPods first with Mike Silver running. He had made it to the opposite end zone with both AirPods still in his ear.

We then tested the wired earbuds with Mike running again, and one earbud fell out near the 50 yard line but the other stayed in the whole way.

Lastly, Ryan Hornish put his Bose Headphones to the test as they stayed in, even while jumping a hurdle in the middle of sprinting.

The reason one of the wired earbuds fell out would be that the arms are moving rapidly while sprinting, which could causing the wires to be yanked downward, putting stress on the earbud itself until it completely falls out.

Overall both AirPods stayed in, both Bose wireless headphones stayed in, but one earbud fell out during the dash.

Photo Credit: Colin Boisits
The AirPod cases sit on the goal line of the football field, which is the place where they were put for the testing. The case is where the AirPods get their connection from.

Testing the collision Durability

This leads us to our final test which is durability. This test can relate to passing time in school when everyone is rushing to class and sometimes you bump into someone while you’re listening to music. We had Mike Silver take a hit from Alex Vicinanza, and Ryan Hornish get tackled by Rob Zamparelli to see if the AirPods, wired earbuds, and the Bose wireless headphones stayed in.

Both AirPods stayed in, and so did the Bose wireless headphones, although one of the wired earbuds fell out during the collision.

After the ultimate AirPod tests, the results were very surprising. The outdoor range tests were very close to what Kenneth, Nolan, and Brendan said. They guessed 6 yards, 12 yards, and 10 yards, while the results turned out to be 19 feet (6.33 yards) for AirPods. Since the Bose wireless headphones only reached 12 yards without being near its power source it was very disappointing for Bose, and gave AirPods a major score since the Bose wireless headphones are nearly 40 dollars more than AirPods which are already more expensive.

The indoor range tests were almost completely opposite from the outdoor range tests. It is is shocking how far Mike Silver went down the senior hallway while still having his music play until he hit 52 yards. although Bose wireless headphones were a big let down in the outdoor test, they were more effective inside by going 73 yards which is the entire length from one end of the senior hallway to the other.

The speed test was the most relatable test because of how many people go running with AirPods and earbuds. During the trial both of the AirPods stayed in throughout the entire 100 yard dash, and one of the wired earbuds fell out during the dash. It is safe to say that it is more likely for a wired earbud to fall out than an AirPod because  the dangling wire dancing around against your clothing can drag the wire towards your pocket which is when the earbud falls out.

Finally, the results of the durability test were more of a test for the argument that AirPods fall out. Apple AirPods definitely impressed during this test. Zamparelli was more than ready to knock Mike off of his feet, and even through the collision and Mike hitting his head on the turf, the AirPods still stayed in. Once again, one of the wired earbuds fell out due to a hand to the face from Vicinanza, which hooked on to a wire pulling the earbud from Mike’s ear.

These tests hopefully have showed the pros and cons of Apple’s hottest accessory. There will still be many people who will stand by the regular wired earbuds, and at the end of the day those people will be the ones who save the most money. The features that AirPods have including double tap your AirPod to change your song is unlike any other wired earbud. Yes, wires get annoying because they get tangled, and yes you can lose AirPods easily, and Air pods are a bit overpriced for their use because you hear the music the same as you do with wired earbuds. But the features and technology of AirPods puts them over wired earbuds. The price of AirPods is a big part of why people don’t support them, but price aside AirPods are taking over the halls in 2019 and will continue to stack shelves for Apple.