Airpod users know the wave


Susan Lor

Airpod headphones hold 60 percent of the headphone market, equaling 75 million pairs in use.

Jack Tierney , Campus Connections Editor

Apple continued to walk their way through the world of wireless tech on March 20 with the release of their second-generation AirPod headphones, and UW Oshkosh students took notice.

Sophomore Nik Klessig said he wears his AirPods daily and said they’ve made his life as a student more convenient and less tangled; adding that not only do they take away a burden while walking to class, but the sound quality is better too.

“I like that they’re cordless, obviously,” Klessig said, “but I especially like them when I go to the gym because the wires used to constantly get in the way of my hands and be a real nuisance. Now they don’t.”

The new headphones allow 50 percent more talk time, hands-free “Hey Siri,” an optional wireless charging case and a specially crafted H1 chip.

Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, called AirPod headphones the world’s most popular headphones and most beloved product Apple has ever made in a March 20 press release.

Counterpoint Research analyzed the headphone market and reported that AirPod headphones hold 60 percent of it, equaling 75 million people using the iconic white wireless headphones.

The H1 chip, which has been designed specifically for this headphone and is at the center of another Apple dilemma, enables performance efficiencies like faster connection times and hands-free “Hey Siri,” which helps users switch songs, cue directions, ask about the weather and more.

A reported downfall to the AirPod headphones is their battery life. William Gallagher, a writer for Apple Insider, studied that the original AirPods released in 2016 have lost over 50 percent of their battery life to date and picked up on stemming issues because of it.

Gallagher said that because Apple products are glued together and have small lithium batteries located within their products, many users cannot repair their gadgets themselves and turn to specialized stores like UbreakIFix at an increased rate or simply throw their gadgets away and buy the latest product offered instead.

Klessig agreed that the battery life is a minor burden. “Once the battery starts to die you have to charge the case and then you charge the headphones. It takes like 45 minutes.”

The Atlantic reported that the disposal process of tech products like AirPods has led to a mass build up of non-biodegradable plastic garbage that countries like China are no longer willing to buy. Users are hoping for a more efficient product this time around and in turn are hoping to cut back on garbage build up.

A stigma surrounding the AirPod headphones is that they’re a luxury product. Priced at $170, they are attainable for many consumers but considered frivolous by others.

Popular memes saying “it smells like broke in here” have been released featuring people with AirPod headphones making fun of people who do not have AirPod headphones. AirPods also have a special section reserved on Snapchat under the “AirPod users be like” filter where people will record or post pictures of AirPod users in a mocking or humorous way.

Apple’s in-house brand Beats comes out with their own concept of completely wireless Sport headphones in April. Users are expecting many of the same features with the Beats as the AirPod headphones. However, Beats don’t come under as much ridicule over their battery life as the AirPods do, but draw comments on social media like “I didn’t know my parents were broke until they got me Beats.”

At the end of the day, wireless headphones like AirPods are the latest growing trend that, given they don’t fall off, will make wired headphones obsolete.