Apple AirPods (2019) review: Small improvements to good headphones
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.
- Audio quality is good
- Wireless charging is handy
- Easy Siri access
- Improved battery life
- 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.
- You can have them in white, white or...
- Light and comfortable for long periods of use
- Compact charging case
- Good audio quality
- Hey Siri works well
- May not fit well in every set of ears
- Expanded battery life
- Wireless case is very convenient
- Better than the originals, but only by a bit
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.