Hear, Hear: Seven things we would like to see in the new AirPods
Lend us an ear, Apple!
True wireless earphones have existed for a while now but the completely wireless audio experience only got the attention it deserved about a couple of years ago when Apple introduced the AirPods in 2016. Immediately after the Cupertino tech giant cut the cords from its EarPods (well, it looked like that anyway), the tech industry’s focus shifted and wireless earphones suddenly became a superhero gadget on their own rather than just being sidekicks to the smartphone brigade.
While many companies have had a go at the truly wire-free experience, it will not be an exaggeration to say that the AirPods are the most popular true wireless earphones in the market at the time of writing. These petite white audio ear drops may be popular but they also are two years old (a long time in tech) and well, for all their popularity, they are definitely not perfect. So with rumors of Apple coming up with a new version of the AirPods (something we have been hearing for a while), we thought it would not be a bad idea to list out all the things we would like to see – and hear – in them. So without further ado, here are the seven things we would like to see in AirPods 2.0 or whatever Apple decides to call them:
Provide more earfit size options
For all the ads that Apple has created to highlight how the AirPods do not fall out of ears, no matter what you are doing (almost), the theory is pretty far away from practicality. Yes, the earphones do not pop out of one’s ears like popcorn out of a popcorn machine but they do fall out. You can use them while walking and to an extent while running but during any other strenuous physical activity, the buds might not stay put as they should. And it all stems from the fact that the AirPods only have one size eartip for all users. Hence, we would like Apple to bring the second generation AirPods with a few more generic earfit sizes. The AirPods could have changeable silicon tips like many truly wireless earphones do or maybe Apple could figure another way around it, but we would just like them to stay stable in our ears.
When it comes to sheer audio, true wireless earphones are often a step or two behind wireless and wired earphones. And this applies to the GodPods as well. For all the accessibility and ease of use the AirPods bring, they definitely struggle to offer top-notch levels when it comes to audio. The audio quality on these wire-free earphones may not be bad but it is not great either. Which unfortunately leaves it in a very average zone, especially considering its price tag. Not a great place to be, eh? So, we would want the new AirPods to be packed with more audio bang – a little bit of extra bass, a notch higher volume option, some treble and few audio settings taken up a step and maybe the new wireless earbuds from Apple would change opinions about the quality of sound on truly wireless earphones.
Get them IP ratings
If you are wondering what an IP rating is, it is actually the degree to which a device is water and dust proof. There are different ratings that determine how resistant a device is to water and dust. And well, the current lot of AirPods does not come with any kind of dust and water resistance. There is not even a slight coating to keep them safe from sweat, which can be a problem. Now, wireless earphones are often aimed at people who are always on the go, if not strictly at the work-out crowd, but water and dust resistance are now attaining almost hygiene level importance at this price point. The fact that many of the AirPods competitors come with some kind of dust and water resistance makes it kind of the need of the hour for Apple to bring some kind of IP rating to the new AirPods.
Better battery life
Apple claims that the AirPods can easily last a day on a single charge when the buds are charged multiple times with the help of the charge case. That said, the charge on the buds itself can last for about 3-4 hours when listening to music on maxed out volume and they only give you about 1.5-2 hours worth of talk time on a single charge. While it is convenient to have that tiny charging case, we think, the AirPods themselves should come with a longer lasting battery. Yes, the battery performance of the AirPods may be better than some of its competition in the market today but call us greedy if you want, we would want some more juice in the new buds. Try doubling that battery life, Apple, and not on the case, but the pods themselves.
New ways to control volume
There are two ways of adjusting the volume of the AirPods while you are using them. You can either wake up Siri by tapping one of your AirPods and ask her to do it for you or you can do it manually through your phone. While none of these two methods are super inconvenient, we think having gesture-based volume controls on the AirPods themselves will take the audio experience to another level. And it is not impractical or unimplementable either. Bragi offers gesture volume controls on the Dash Pro and while it has complicated it with a few more tricks, we think Apple could keep it simple and go with just volume controls. Imagine: swiping up on the buds to increase the volume or swiping down to decrease it. Blissful, right? Do it, Apple!
Active noise cancellation
No matter how great the audio experience on a pair of earphones may be, ambient noise can actually be a mood spoiler, if not taken care of. And while you cannot control your surroundings at all times, having active noise cancellation can solve this problem. Unfortunately, the current lot of the AirPods do not come with any kind of noise cancellation, let alone an active one. And this detracts from the audio experience on the AirPods in noisy conditions. This is where active noise cancellation can come into the picture for the second generation AirPods and simply let us hear more, irrespective of the noise around us.
We have seen Apple do colors and it does them well. The company has been introducing more colors on the iPhone over the years and we witnessed it jazzing up the iPhone XR with so many different and vibrant colors recently. That said, when it comes to its other products, the Cupertino tech giant has been pretty restricted. We would like to see that change with the second generation AirPods. A pop of red, black, yellow or any other color along with the basic white variant, would be very much appreciated.