I am on my second stint with the AirPods Pro and the experience is a little better this time. A little better…
I was advised by a friend recently that the issue with dizziness may have been reduced, presumably quietly, while I simultaneously read about the noise cancellation being reduced to the point that it no longer works as well as it used to. This noise reduction change has been written about on multiple forums etc and seems to have appeared in a recent update.
What I have noticed as I spent more time with the AirPods is that they have some distinct advantages over my Jaybird Vista earbuds and also two disadvantages which go some way to making me still feel uneasy about them, and especially because of the price.
I will now list some categories with my points out of 10 for each one.
Comfort: AirPods 9 Vista 7
Connectivity: AirPods 10 Vista 9
Battery: AirPods 8 Vista 9
Charging Case: AirPods 8 Vista 9
Size when worn: AirPods 9 Vista 7
Look when worn: AirPods 9 Vista 7
Noise Cancellation: AirPods 5 Vista 9
Sound Quality: AirPods 7 Vista 10
Value: AirPods 6 Vista 9
Total: AirPods 71 Vista 76
As you can see the Vistas win, but it isn’t so easy for a product that is very personal to each and everyone of us. There is no doubt that the AirPods are more comfortable, that they look better to others when you are wearing them outside and that they have that seamless quality that only Apple seems to be able to inject at times.
They are very capable earbuds, but the issue with dizziness remains for me, I simply cannot use the Noise Cancellation, and the overall sound quality just does not cut it. The quality is fine overall, but the moment I put the Vistas back in I realise that the difference is night and day. The Vistas sound natural, deep and all-encompassing. The AirPods sounds digital, shallow and a mere representation of what the Vistas are able to produce.
If sound quality is everything, and it certainly should be high up the priority order, the Vistas win by a mile. The truth, however, is that we see people wearing AirPods everywhere because the sound quality is ‘good enough’ and the practicality and fashion aspect of the AirPods means that they will sell in much bigger numbers.
The price aspect makes the Vistas appear to be an even clearer winner, but the AirPods exemplify Apple’s ability to leverage a higher price point than almost any other product it makes.