Point/Counterpoint: AirPods


Photo courtesy of Karina Lee

Seniors Karina Lee and Meg Nelson show off their Airpods in class. A lot of friends share their Airpods to listen together, and the wireless aspect of them makes sharing very easy.

Point by: Kiley Ring

Taking the world, or at least the hallways of WJ, by storm this year have been Apple’s AirPods: Bluetooth earbuds that come at a price. The $160 earbuds have become one of the coolest releases from Apple to-date as students have been rushing to get their hands on a pair.

For starters, let’s discuss the price. Sure, you’re paying $160, but maybe it’s worth it if you’re tired of untangling your earbuds’ wires between classes. The wireless aspect is priceless. It’s not as if you have to worry about watching out for the wires when you go to do things such as put on a backpack or a seatbelt. With AirPods, you get more mobility. Want to go for a run? Just pop your AirPods in and head out. No strings (or wires) attached.
The AirPods design also allows for several tap commands which can be useful if you’re away from your phone. Personally, I set my AirPods up so that I double tap my right earbud to skip to the next song and double tap the left earbud to use Siri. Having such accessible commands adds to the overall simplicity and straightforwardness of the AirPods. If you’re listening to music while your phone is in the room, you just need two taps to change the song.

Plus, now you can charge your phone while you listen to music! Just think about the uproar following Apple’s decision to remove the headphone jack. Now imagine a world in which you can do both simultaneously. Having Bluetooth earbuds makes things more efficient; with AirPods, you won’t have to deal with the struggle of choosing between watching that new show on Netflix or charging your phone.

That brings up a good point: what sets AirPods apart from other Bluetooth earbuds? Two things in particular make them stand out: the sound quality and sheer convenience. Compared to other competitors, AirPods have not only better ambient noise isolation, but they also have better volume. Whereas with some earbuds you have to turn the volume up super high just for the music to be loud, with AirPods, the range allows for more comfortable listening, whether that be for listening while doing homework or working out.

Additionally, AirPods are much more convenient than normal earbuds. Contrary to popular belief, they don’t slip out of your ears, so you can run, work and do nearly anything in them. The extended battery life makes them useful for trips to the grocery store or the mall. With normal earbuds, they can start to be painful after a little while, but AirPods remain more comfortable since there’s no wire pulling them down.

Now I know what you may find yourself thinking. Since you don’t need to charge normal earbuds, in theory you could use them far longer than AirPods. While this may be true, the battery life of both the AirPods themselves and the case is amazing. According to Tom’s Guide, AirPods last five straight hours before they need to be recharged, and if the case is fully charged, you can get three hours of charge in just 15 minutes. And let’s be real, just how long are you going to be listening to music?

Finally, AirPods have several different precautions to make sure that they don’t get lost. Whenever one earbud is removed, whether it falls out or you take it out yourself, the music stops in both ears. This comes in handy in that if one of your AirPods falls out for some reason, you’ll be alerted right away by the abrupt stop of your music. Additionally, AirPods are trackable using Find My iPhone, so if you leave them somewhere, you’ll be able to locate them. For everybody out there who thinks that AirPods are too easy to lose, there are several measures put in place to make sure you have them at all times.

In the end, it all comes down to preference. Apple’s normal earbuds have their pros, one notable factor being the cost, but looking at the product as a whole, AirPods are well worth the price. And besides, wouldn’t you rather make a one-time investment and be able to listen to music anywhere you go, or would you rather continue to sacrifice listening to music every time you need to charge your phone?

Counterpoint by: Lydia FitzPatrick

“AirPods changed my life,” said everyone I know that owns AirPods. I don’t disagree with that. The real question is, do they change your life for the better or worse?

I personally think, for worse. AirPods are Apple’s popular new advancement that is receiving all sorts of attention these past couple of months. They are wireless headphones that can just pop right into your ears and are easily charged by the small case they come in. Teens are raving about these new AirPods. Everyone wants them. Not only are they much less of a hassle than having to untangle and deal with the wires on headphones, the sound is said to be the “best sound quality I have ever had with wireless headphones” (Apple customer review,  https://www.apple.com/shop/reviews/MMEF2AM/A/airpods), and most people even think they look cooler while wearing the trendy new piece of technology, at least from what I see. All of my peers proudly show them off in selfies on their Snapchat stories or on other types of social media. Apple sells AirPods for $160, not too bad of a price for such a “life changing” piece of technology. Seems like a pretty good deal. $160 for wireless Bluetooth headphones with amazing volume and a guaranteed increase in your clout.

As an outsider to the life of an AirPods owner, I wouldn’t know what it’s like to be able to constantly listen to music with little hassle and great sound quality. However, I’m not sure I want to know. AirPods are a perfect way to get a little break from everything around you because you can so conveniently just pop them in whenever you want, which yes, sometimes may be nice, especially for angsty teens who are just a little bit self-centered and sometimes “emo,” but we still need to learn how to interact with those around us. There have been multiple times where I have asked my friends a question or tried to tell them something, but they don’t hear me because their AirPods are in. Yes, this could happen with normal headphones as well, but at least from what I’ve noticed, is that Airpod users always have them in. They’re addicted to the subtle way that you can have them in all the time and some people might not even notice. I am sure most teachers don’t. When this happens, I usually just don’t bother by the second or third time that they haven’t heard me. These AirPods listeners don’t know what they’re missing. I could have told them something very important and valuable, and they would never know. This baffles me.

Listening to music is great. Who doesn’t love it? Therefore, I see the appeal of being able to listen to it constantly, loudly and easily. However, it is not necessary to listen to music that often. Teens have their AirPods in practically all day: in class, at lunch and I assume during all after school activities. I rarely see them taking them out. I’ve even heard my friends complain about headaches that they think are related to their AirPods. Yes, it is probably not great for your ears to have music playing into them all day long.  Even further, I’ve heard of kids using them on tests to cheat, because the teacher won’t see it, hidden behind your hair. As soon as you have AirPods, it becomes difficult to take them out, because they’re just so convenient to keep in your ears all day. It’s for that reason that you just shouldn’t buy them in the first place.

It’s important to keep your ears open. You might not realize what you’re missing. AirPods have a way of keeping users closed to your surroundings, 24/7. This is in no way necessary, which is why I believe that AirPods are simply not worth it.