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Apple AirPods (2019) review: Small improvements to good headphones

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Apple's new AirPods are still among the best small bud Bluetooth headphones you can buy, although there's not much here to entice you if you already own a pair.

The good

  • Audio quality is good
  • Wireless charging is handy
  • Easy Siri access
  • Improved battery life

The bad

  • Audio quality identical to original model
  • No change to fit if they were already problematic

It's been no secret that Apple was working on wireless charging AirPods, ever since it announced its now-cancelled AirPower charger. That's a dead product, but the new AirPods are here, with a wireless charging option and just a few new features. They're still a quality option if you like the wire-free design, but there's not much here that's absolutely compelling or new.


Design

  • You can have them in white, white or...
  • Light and comfortable for long periods of use
  • Compact charging case
Apple Airpods (2019) Image: Alex Kidman/Finder

Performance

  • Good audio quality
  • Hey Siri works well
  • May not fit well in every set of ears
Apple AirPods (2019) Image: Alex Kidman/Finder

Battery

  • Expanded battery life
  • Wireless case is very convenient
Apple Airpods (2019) Image: Alex Kidman/Finder

Verdict

  • Better than the originals, but only by a bit
Apple AirPods (2019) Image: Alex Kidman/Finder

Apple's AirPods still sit in a prime position among small wireless buds generally, and that's a testament to their solid original design.

However, that's perhaps an issue for the 2019 iteration because it feels likely that if you wanted a pair, you've already got them.

Unless hands-free Siri integration really excites you, there's not a huge jump in overall performance, especially on the audio side here to make them an absolutely worthwhile upgrade, especially at Apple's asking price. If wireless charging excites you, just buy the standalone battery case and continue as you were.

If you're a new iPhone owner keen on a pair, they've entirely replaced the old stock, and they're certainly worth consideration as long as you're happy with Apple's rather inflexible stand on colour and style. Presumably that's what the new wireless Powerbeats Pro headphones are for.


Pricing and availability

Apple's new AirPods sell in Australia for $249 with a standard charging case or $319 with the wireless charging case. The wireless charging case is also available as a standalone battery pack for existing AirPod owners for $129.

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View details

Specifications

Apple AirPods (2019)

Build

Category
In-ear Headphones
Colours
White

Connectivity

Wired/Wireless
True Wireless
Bluetooth
Yes
Bluetooth Version
Bluetooth 5.0

Features

Noise Cancelling
No
Rechargeable Battery
Yes
Battery Life
Up to 5 hours

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