I’ll start this post off saying I really wanted to love these. I ordered them the day they were available online for pre-order, and I finally received them two weeks ago on the 7th. I picked them up when I was last at Westfield Miranda. I waited this long to write about them as they were not quite what I expected.
Some people don’t like the fit of Apple earphones, however they suit me, so I was very keen to get a wireless pair. After unpacking them and pairing them with my iPhone 6S+, the sound kept dropping out every few seconds. The pairing with the phone was easy, just as Apple describe it. You open the case and they appear on your phone. I did think the sound drops may be due to the number of bluetooth items I own, so I gave them a day or so more of testing in various scenarios. They never improved, even dropped and hung up on conference calls when I was in the office.
I’d tried everything I could think of, re-pairing, switching off all other bluetooth and radio devices to no avail. On the third night I chatted with Apple support in Austin, Texas. Ran through all the same things I’d already done, which of course made no difference. The lady on the chat line booked me in for an appointment at the Apple Store in Sydney a week later (Apple service appointments are getting harder and harder to book…)
Turned out to be the worst Apple Genius appointment I’d ever had, at first they were surprised I had brought in AirPods, as the other support person had actually booked me in for a phone issue. The Genius also hadn’t ever used AirPods, so I really ended up demonstrating to him how they worked. Of course nothing could be done about the issue and in the noisy environment it was hard to hear anything through them at all. Apple didn’t have any spares I could swap with.
In the end I was fed up with them, Apple charge a premium for products that are supposed to “just work” and these clearly didn’t. At A$220 a pair, they have to be perfect and since I was in my two week return period, I just told them to process it as a return. This is thus the first Apple product I’ve every returned for my cash back.
It didn’t quite end here, after a service appointment Apple send you a link for a survey on your appointment. Of course I left a scathing review of the product in that survey and yesterday Apple called me back to discuss it. Since I’ve returned them, Apple did release a firmware update and they are going to reserve a new set for me in store and call when they arrive. I’ll give them a second shot since the returns process is quite simple. Only time will tell.