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AirPods are (clearly) the run away success for Apple in 2016

I’ll start off by confirming that I don’t currently own a set of AirPods. I didn’t order them at launch and, now, Apple tells me I’ll have to wait until mid-February to get my hands on a pair.

I’m a bit of a headphone addict, to be honest. I find it tough to resist the lure of even the most garish Beats over-ears and I’ve lost count of how many in-ear headphones I’ve been through over the years. Sitting somewhere between a casual listener and audiophile, I’ve long searched for the perfect combination of portability, ease-of-use and great sound when it comes to ‘cans’.

Unfortunately, no single product has hit the spot thus far. My wireless Beats are OK-ish sound-wise, yet rather cumbersome and regularly drop their Bluetooth connection.

Apple’s EarPods have always served me well and were a fabulous upgrade, sound-wise, when they replaced the original white earbuds that shipped with every iPhone. I do have a bit of a problem with them staying in my ears, though, which forces me to constantly readjust the fit as I’m walking the dog (working out, unfortunately, simply isn’t an option with these headphones).

So, I eagerly await the AirPods. According to reviews, they sound good, do a remarkably admirable job of staying in one’s ears and, perhaps most importantly, finally offer a blindingly simple pairing solution that – in old-fashioned Apple tradition – ‘just works’.

The sheer number of positive reviews and clamour for AirPods goes some way to proving that they may just be the one product Apple released in 2016 that actually struck a chord with customers. MacBook Pro disappointment, the removal of the iPhone’s headphone jack in a relatively lacklustre update and the lack of pro-level focus capped off something of a disappointing year for Apple, yet the AirPods were a lingering, flickering light of hope that all may not be not lost.

I await full judgement until I have a pair, but if they really do restore some of the Apple magic of old, let’s hope we start to see it proliferate throughout the rest of their product arsenal once more.

Stuff really should ‘just work’ and delight, Apple.

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