AirPods, the most sought-after earbuds in the market, is by far the highest-selling earbuds in the market since its release. From about 50% of market share to a little less than 30% at present. The drop may be big and remarkable but you should know that the 2nd in the market, Xiaomi Redmi shares only 16%. The drop in market share is actually not due to lesser AirPods’ sales but is due to the growing competition in the lower end of the market. With this, you may ask, why? How much are AirPods?
AirPods’ prices are not going down. Some may be concerned about market sales but not Apple. Their ideal customers are definitely not the lower end of the market. Thus, despite the decline in market sales, they wouldn’t budge. Looking at Apple’s numbers alone, AirPods, by the number of units sold, are in fact selling really well.
AirPods were released in December 2016. The estimated number of AirPods sold in 2017 alone is about 16 million units multiplying to $200 (the average price of AirPods) that is $3.2B of revenue. In 2018, Apple sold 35 million units or an estimated $7B of revenue. In 2019, they sold about 60 million units with an estimated revenue of $12B.
The AirPods are being innovated based on customer needs and wants, and reviews from the currently released versions. This is why Apple’s AirPods first-gen has been phased out from Apple’s online store.
The AirPods first-gen topped the sales during the time it was released. The sleek, minimalist design (which is expected from Apple) gave more royalty than other AirPods. The AirPods pairing with iOS devices is extremely easy. The touch control panels are helpful, especially when multitasking. Lastly, the 24-hour battery (with the help of its charging case), and the fast-charging feature are game-changers.
AirPods features and specifications
Powered by a W1 Bluetooth chip, it goes beyond the regular Bluetooth 4.2 streaming and power management. It balances audio syncing between the two earpieces and syncing with the case. The Bluetooth pairing of the W1 chip gives you a stable BT connection i.e., you don’t have to reconnect over and over again. Once paired, the smart sensors will automatically connect you (in about 3 seconds) continuing your music from speaker to AirPods or vice versa when an AirPod is removed.
It also gives you advanced sensor inputs that automatically pause your music if you remove one AirPod from your ear. You may simply tap an earphone to answer a call or double-tap to go to the next song are extremely helpful for those who use the AirPods while driving. Did we say you may customize the double-tapping command of your AirPods? Because, yes you can!
The W1 chip also helps in battery life. It gives you 5 hours of listening time while you get 2 hours in talk time.
How much are AirPods
In late 2016, when AirPods first-gen was released, the only ones with W1 chips were Beats Solo3 Wireless, Beats PowerBeats3 Wireless, BeatsX. This gives more royalty to the AirPods having the same chip as Beats. The original AirPods, now being called AirPods 1st-gen or AirPods 2016 retailed at $159.
The AirPods 2, released in 2019, is more powerful with an H1 chip that showed enhancements on battery life or talk time, Siri activation, faster syncing and device switching, and better sound quality. There is an additional hour of single-charge battery life giving you a 3-hour talk time. Now, you can listen to your favorite music with better quality sound too. It also helps you utilize Siri to become your right hand while your AirPods are on. Moreso, the AirPods 2 feature faster switching among devices.
AirPods 2 features and specifications
AirPods first-gen supported Bluetooth 4.2 with its W1 chip. The new AirPods uses the Bluetooth 5.0 version which allows audio streaming to multiple devices. It also offers a faster and more stable connection to your devices. AirPods 2 features a rich, high-quality sound as Apple said that they have a custom audio architecture in this model.
In one charge, the AirPods can support 5 hours of audio playback and up to 3 hours of talk time. Similar to the original AirPods, the charging case carries 24hours of battery health. Its charging case offers almost 2 hours of talk time by simply putting back the AirPods in the case for 15minutes.
The AirPods 2 also features 30% less latency which is beneficial for a better user experience when playing mobile games.
Like the first-gen AirPods, the touch controls of the AirPods 2 are powerful enough to answer calls, play music, etc. But the AirPods 2 activated Siri as your voice assistant. Thus, you may simply command Siri to call your Mom, play a song, lower down the volume, or even give directions with a simple “Hey Siri!”
How much are AirPods 2
AirPods 2 is now powered by an H1 chip (its predecessor was the W1 chip). Again, only Beats whose parent brand is also Apple is the only other earbud that carries the same chip. To simplify, the H1 chip’s major components improved its Bluetooth connectivity, decoding the compressed audio stream, and its handling of sensor information.
The AirPods 2 with a non-wireless charging case retails at $159 similar to the AirPods 1st-gen when it was released. Alternatively, you may opt to get the one with a wireless charging case bundled at $199 with your AirPods 2.
Seven months after the release of AirPods 2, Apple launched the AirPods Pro. Audiophiles would love the AirPods Pro because it’s the first of the AirPods to offer an Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) feature. It also came into a smaller case allowing for a small design of the AirPods.
What’s new? The AirPods Pro offers an in-ear feature with customizable silicone tips that come in small, medium and large. This way, you will have the perfect fit i.e., for your AirPods not to swing so you wouldn’t lose connection. It is also said to be more comfortable in the ears. You may test its fit through the Ear Tip Fit Test, and if it’s properly placed, the AirPods have a Good Seal and it will tell you.
AirPods Pro features and specifications
Since the AirPods Pro has silicone tips that are in-ear, it lessens the sound coming from outside making it easier for the device to activate ANC. It has an outward-facing microphone that detects your surroundings’ sounds where your AirPods cancel with anti-noise. Likewise, there’s an inward-facing microphone that listens to you - inside your ear and activates anti-noise. Both cancel the unwanted external and internal sounds.
Along with its high-quality sound is the adaptive EQ tuning music to the shape of your ear, the H1 chip also made the amplifier powering up the speaker to remove outside noise. The AirPods Pro also lets you share a song or a podcast via Audio Sharing. Moreover, wear your AirPods Pro and feel a theatre-like experience as the Pro surrounds you with music or a noise-free call.
The Force Sensor controls music easily with just one tap. You may also customize your controls by simply changing it in your iPhone and applying it to the AirPods. With such, you may change the press speed, press and hold duration, and microphone changes among others.
How much are AirPods Pro
Because of the ANC features the AirPods Pro comes at a high price. Moreso, it is the only pair of AirPods that has an IPX4 rating signifying it’s water-resistant (but still not waterproof). IPX4 only means it resists splashes of water so never submerge any AirPods in water.
Furthermore, it offers a longer battery life having 4.5 hours of listening time on one charge. Its charging case also has more than 24 hours in its charging case. It will also tell you if it’s time to charge.
The AirPods Pro retails at $249.99. It’s pretty high but with the ANC upgrade, we would say the price is right.
Apple has recently released their AirPods Max which is less of an earphone but more like a headset. The AirPods Max offers high-quality audio that limits distortion giving you deep bass and clean highs. The AirPods Max automatically switches across your iOS devices fast.
It’s the first AirPods that are over-ear headphones. And, unlike the AirPods and AirPods 2, it doesn’t have a charging case that covers its whole body. The charging case covers the one that touches your ears alone. It looks sophisticated with its mesh-design canopy on top of your head and is made to reduce pressure on your head. Inside, it is built with stainless steel; however, on the outside, it is soft to touch. On your ears is a customized mesh that offers pillow-like softness.
Moreso, it doesn’t only come in plain white. It comes in 5 colors - sky blue, green, pink, silver, and space gray which all are two-toned.
AirPods Max specifications and features
The AirPods Max uses mesh textile in your ears and provides you with ear cushions that create an immersive seal. The AirPods Max offers great ANC and delivers high-quality audio because Apple provided us with a custom-built driver that produces sound with ultra-low distortion across the audible range. It mimics those big floor-standing speakers that provide really clear playback.
Enter its ANC features and block outside noise. The Max fits and seals your ears, and makes you feel like you’re in the movie scenes. It features spatial audio with dynamic head tracking giving you a theater-like experience. With its external and internal anti-noise, you’re fully immersed in what you’re watching.
The AirPods Max also features Transparency Mode so you may hear what’s going around. When stored in their soft, slim Smart Case, AirPods Max enters an ultra‑low‑power state that preserves charge. Like the AirPods 2, Siri is voice-activated and Siri may announce incoming messages as they arrive with Announce Messages. You can even tell Siri to respond — no hands required.
How much are AirPods Max
It is best when it comes to its battery life. It offers 20 hours of listening, movie watching, or talk time i.e., even when ANC and spatial audio is enabled. If its battery drains, simply place it back in the charger case. A 5-minute stint in its charging case could already give you about 1.5 hours of talk time. The H1 chip enables real-time noise cancellation.
With such high features and being the over-ear headset of Apple, the AirPods Max retails at $549.
The AirPods will always have high prices to give it an Apple royalty. However, all features accounted for can give justice to being expensive. The AirPods first-gen, although now unavailable on Apple stores, is priced at $159. Likewise, AirPods 2 are priced the same with an additional $40 for a wireless charging case. Lastly, the first over-ear headphones are priced at $549.
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