The iPhone 7 has been announced in San Francisco at Apple’s annual fall press event. Alongside the iPhone 7, Apple announced three wireless options: two high-end Beats headphones, Powerbeats3 and Solo3 Wireless; and the new Apple AirPods. Oddly, when the Cupertino company introduced its wireless AirPods, it went on for a long time about their new W1 chip. Apple claims the new chip goes beyond the capabilities of traditional wireless chips. We’ll get to that later, but first, let’s talk about the functionality of the Apple AirPods.

Apple AirPods

Apple AirPods Design

Visually, the Apple AirPods look like what would happen when you let a 5-year-old shave your sideburns. They aren’t exactly earpods because only the cord has been chopped off. The glossy white hard plastic dangles stiffly from the foam tips, but you cannot count on them during running and outdoor sports activities. Two months from now, the market will be drowning in AirPods anchoring leashes to keep them from falling off our ears. Perhaps, Apple could release an accompanying FindMyAirPods app.

Certainly, the overall design is first-generation and requires a lot of polishing. But, let’s cut Apple some slack. After all, it’s the first company to push the entire wireless industry forward with the wireless earpods.

Apple AirPods Performance

When Apple introduced its AirPods on Wednesday, it said very little about the technology that delivers the sound to the wireless earbuds. The wireless earpods feel the same way as the ones shipped with every iPhone for years. As you would have thought, they’re much lighter than most Bluetooth headphones. But, here comes the bothersome part – these earpods only promise five hours of up time. Nobody wants to have a pair of earpods that run out of battery.

Of course, to save on power, the AirPods can sense when they are inserted into a user’s ear. The AirPods have embedded infrared sensors, which can turn the device on and off when needed. The AirPods carrying case also doubles as a recharging station. According to Apple, 15 minutes of recharging yields more than 3 hours of up time. You flip open the case top, which triggers a pairing operation that automatically connects to all your other devices. Although, this will only work on the new iPhone, Apple Watch, or any other devices linked to a user’s Apple account.

The Apple AirPods sound quality isn’t bad. Even though the noise canceling feature is missing, the earpods can do a pretty good job of filtering outside noise. The embedded sensors also route sounds when the AirPods are off to let you know when your phone is ringing.

As mentioned earlier, the wireless earpods work only with Apple devices running iOS 10, macOS Sierra, and watchOS 3. Apple plans to ship the AirPods will in late October for $159.