Bought another set of natural-sounding in ear earphones that are a marked improvement over the Apple stock iPod / iPhone / iPad earbuds that came with iPods prior to 2014; those being the Apple Earpods.
Apple Earpods Review: Intro
Apple Earpods are a higher class product than sub-$20 earphones we’d enjoyed for years. After testing a few of those medium to low-end models, we began to accept this fact. To get truly good sound, you just can’t go cheap on your earphones. We’ve taken the cheap earbuds route often. But we really never found the high quality that you get in Apple Earpods. And you get all that for just $10 more on average.
Earpods offer practically everything that’s important, from rich but not muddy bass, to low-tin mid range, to snappy and resonant high frequencies. They don’t distort, even when playing an iPod at full volume. They insert into the outer ear easily, and remove just as quickly, and they stay in place, without having to fiddle with them every few minutes, to reposition them for the best sound. Wearing them never grows tiresome, and their low-mass and flexible cable minimizes microphonics.
Earpods include a high fidelity microphone that can be used on some iPod and iPhone models, for recording memos and carrying out hands-free cell phone or Facetime calls. Plus, the remote also features buttons for adjusting the volume as well as pausing and navigating music tracks on any media player that support this function through a 3.5 mm jack.
So with nary a reservation, we declare Apple’s Earpods as a high fidelity audio product, which is close to perfect. We would, without hesitation swap the earlier Apple stock earbuds for these. No attribute that you’d care to discuss on those older buds is better than the corresponding trait in this set.
Benefits, Pros, and Features of Apple Earpods Earbuds
No ear tips to fit or change.
Well Written Guides
Instructions tell of how to safely listen and avoid possible hearing loss, as well as detailed procedures for how to use the built-in in-line remote control and microphone with various devices and services such as Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, Vokul, and other digital assistant programs.
They have flexible strain relief at the gold-plated plug end of the cord as well as at each ear driver and at the microphone / remote control too. The only place it’s missing is at the Y, where the single cord splits into two (left and right). Yet Apple Earpods appear built for years of trouble-free listening, talking, and remote controlling an iPod or iPhone.
Gold Plated Plug
A stereo gold-plated 3.5mm male plug is featured, along with a very light-weight, low mass audio connecting cable. Though light, the cable appears quite flexible and rugged. We’ve used Earpods for several months now on daily walks, and have jerked them numerous times when we dropped the attached iPod. Still they continue to function flawlessly.
Very Low Microphonics in Apple Earpods
In ear, yes, but not inside the ear canal. Like the first generation Apple stock buds, the drivers here sit just at the entrance to the ear canal, inside the outer ear.
Stay in your Ear Better
So, they’re more sanitary, less apt to become misaligned, and you can still adequately hear the outside environment. Be careful though, not to play them too loud, because they can deliver enough volume to mask out exterior sounds like cars coming.
Apple Earpods indeed look expensive because of this, and their unusually small sound ports make them a curiosity. How can such big sound come through openings that small?
Smaller Sound Ports
This means less exposure of the drivers inside, to sweat, rain, and other foreign debris.
Apple Earpods Offer Comfort Without Cushions
The rubber edge cushions around each audio driver appear in the older stock earbuds are gone on the Apple Earpods. This has no impact on comfort that we could feel. It’s good that they got rid of these edge cushions as they deteriorated quickly and fell off anyhow.
Reproduces all audio frequencies clearly.
No noticeable sound coloration or harshness thus. They sound notably flat (the good kind of flat, that is). Yet they still deliver the extra bass or treble you desire, if you use an equalizer. The iPods have one of these built in.
The left and right earbuds are embossed with easy-to-read L and R letters respectively. Find these labels on the business side of each earbud.
It’s Hard to Confuse LEFT and RIGHT Speakers
Earpods use a symmetrical ear bud design, in which the LEFT bud fits and sounds best in the left ear. Also, the RIGHT bud sounds and fits best in the RIGHT ear.
Less Distortion at High Volume
Excellent sensitivity, producing somewhat higher levels of clipping free volume as the iPod stock buds for a given volume setting.
The Apple Earpods Give Decent Comfort in Bed
Apple Earpods do not jut outward from the ear very much. So they’re quite comfy when listening in bed, with one ear resting on a pillow.
About the Right Cord Length
Thirty inches of highly flexible cable from the bottom of the Y vertex to the audio connector. Then, there’s twelve more inches of cord from the top of the Y to each earbud.
Stay Put in the Ear
You don’t have to fiddle round much with Apple Earpods once you put them into your ears. Not even in marathon iPod jam sessions.
Low Magnetism Leakage
You could make the drivers in the older stock earphones repel each other if you held them the right way. Plus, they’d stick to some surfaces. But very little if any magnetism leaks from Apple Earpods.
Bright White Color
One Year Limited Warranty
Disadvantages, Problems, Cons, and Concerns of the Apple Earpods
These are fairly costly earbuds, and indeed most of us hate expense. But you really get what you pay for in this product. We have a great-sounding, well-supported earphone.
At roughly $29 per pair, Apple Earpods cost about the same as Apple’s earlier stock model, but have much improved sound and fit. After having gotten used to the $10 to $20 caliber earbuds, it was at first hard to accept this added cost. Hard that is, until we spent several albums listening to our music on the iPod with them. All we could say at first was, “Seriously? Wow !”
No Travel Pouch
But you can easily wrap them back up and store in the original plastic case. Yes, this would take a bit more time than just throwing them into a pouch.
No Harmonic Distortion or Driver Size Figures
In fact we found no specs in the included printed materials. We visited the Apple Web Site to get them.
The Apple Earpods Have Little Sound Isolation
May be wrong for some environments, where the user would like not to hear much outside noise. Since these buds do not “plug up” the ear canal, they only somewhat reduce these sounds. So outside noise can distract in this product.
Some Sound Spill
Likewise, these do not keep the sound inside the ear very well. So you may disturb nearby passengers on trains and planes, if you play your music very loud.
Hard to Fix
Given the small form of the cables and plug on Apple Earpods, these earphones cannot be repaired, practically. Indeed, the wires inside are hair-thin. So once they break, they’re done. We don’t mind this for el cheapo earbuds. But we’d like to be able to fix our earbuds should they fail.
Apple Earpods Specifications
- Type: Open air.
- Apple Earpods frequency response: 5 – 21,000 Hz.
- Apple Earpods Impedence: 23 ohms.
- Sensitivity: 109 DB.
- Weight: 10 grams.
- The profile is simple, to the point, and appears quite durable.
Our Rating for Apple Earpods
We’d rate the Apple Earpods ear buds at 98 out of 100. They’re among the best quality earbuds we’ve tested. The extra 15 hertz at the low end, as well as the extra 1000 hertz at the high end adds greater fullness and realism to the sound. Even lower bit rate AAC files sound great.
We could find very little else but good things to say about them. So, we would suggest them to even our audiophile friends and novices alike. A novice listener though, might not fully perceive just how great Apple Earpods sound, until she’s heard some bad buds first. These are nonetheless, an decent upgrade from Apple’s original stock earphones.
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References for this Apple Earpods Review
- Apple Official Website
- Earbuds, Earphones, and Headphones on Wikipedia
- Where to buy Apple Earpods Earbuds
- 2020-04-11: Added more tags.
- 2019-06-07: Added key word targeting for ‘Apple Earpods Review’, removed ad code, and added more links and tags.
- 2015-12-29: Added even more appropriate tags.
- 2015-10-04: Added more appropriate tags.
- 2015-09-07: Added more appropriate tags and categories.
- 2015-06-23: Originally published.