Since AirPods first exploded in 2016, they’ve become a must-have product. The wireless charging, sleek design, and noise cancellation are just some features that have attracted fans. AirPods sales could reach $22 billion by 2024 and become Apple’s third-most popular product over the next decade.
However, with a price range between $129 and $549, the price of AirPods may cause some hesitation. Many cheaper alternatives are on the market, so are Apple AirPods worth it?
In this guide, we’ll look at the features you get with genuine AirPods and compare them to cheaper knockoffs. We’ll also look at how you can tell if your AirPods are accurate and whether they are worth the price tag.
Comparing AirPods models
Apple currently has four AirPods models. Let’s take a look at a breakdown of their features:
AirPods (2nd generation)
This is the most affordable model at just $129. AirPods (2nd gen) have over 24 hours of listening time with the charging case and up to five hours on a single wireless charge. The ‘Hey Siri’ feature is always on and lets you skip songs, get directions, or make a call.
AirPods seamlessly integrate with the Apple ecosystem; all you have to do is turn on your Bluetooth, place both AirPods in the case, and open its lid. This will connect the AirPods to any Apple devices.
AirPods (3rd generation)
The third-generation AirPods has up to six hours of listening time on a single charge and over 30 hours with the case. You can also navigate songs and calls with the force sensor on the AirPods’ stem. This water- and sweat-resistant design has a unique acoustic mesh that reduces wind interference.
AirPods Pro (2nd generation)
At $249, these are the most expensive of the earphone AirPods models. Most people will have heard of their Active Noise Cancellation feature, which prevents unwanted noise from disturbing your listening experience. These AirPods will also automatically detect when you’re conversing with someone and lower the volume of what’s playing.
The only over-ear headphones in the AirPods range, AirPods Max, are also the most expensive model at $549. While the other models come in white, you can choose from five colors with AirPods Max, including sky blue and pink. This model has 20 hours of listening time; you get 1.5 hours of battery life from a quick five-minute charge.
The headphones detect when you take them off your head, pause your music, and resume playing when you place them back. AirPods Max features eight microphones (six outward-facing and two inward-facing) that help monitor noise levels and adjust volume.
How can you tell if AirPods are real?
Although it’s getting harder to tell fake AirPods from the real thing, there are usually some clues to tell whether your AirPods are genuine or fake. This includes checking whether the serial number on the box is genuine, examining the packaging, and checking the AirPods for any obvious faults or irregularities.
Are fake AirPods any good?
Fake AirPods won’t have the same quality as the genuine product. For one, the product will likely have ill-fitting mesh, buttons, and grilles that don’t have the same clean finish as an Apple device. You’ll probably notice seams, rough edges, and raised buttons.
You won’t get the same exceptional sound quality with knockoff AirPods. The sound may be distorted or silenced with a slight echo. Some cheap alternatives might also give you ear pain after prolonged use because they are ill-fitting.
Are genuine AirPods worth the money?
AirPods have great listening time, so they’re the perfect option if you need hours of battery life. Whether you’re out on a long run or commuting to work, you can rely on genuine AirPods to last over five hours on a single charge.
They’re also water resistant, so you don’t need to worry if you get caught out in the rain. This makes them a good option for runners training in all weathers.
AirPods will also connect automatically to your Apple devices, so you can quickly answer calls or play music without worrying about connectivity issues. It is handy for people who work with lots of different devices.
Although you may save some dollars by getting fake AirPods, you’ll compromise on quality. Genuine Apple AirPods are made with cutting-edge technology that can’t be replicated. There will always be deals with fake products, whether the sound quality or the finish of the earbuds and case.
If you want guaranteed quality, Apple AirPods are your best option. If you want something similar for less and don’t mind poorer quality, there are plenty of cheaper options on the market.