People use headphones on a daily basis, in the subway, during lunchtime or while jogging in the evening. AirPods are a set of wireless headphones marked by a formal and functional symbiosis of charging case and earbuds. They fascinate right from the start: when taking them out of the charging case, they are instantly set up and ready for work with an iPhone or Apple Watch. Since they are driven by the custom-designed Apple W1 chip, they offer highly efficient battery life, with one single charge lasting for up to five hours of use. In addition, the charging case allows holding of multiple charges for a total of more than 24 hours of listening time. The AirPods fascinate users with both outstanding user comfort and exquisite sound quality. Thanks to optical sensors and motion accelerometers, the earbuds immediately start to play sound as soon as they are placed into the ear, and stop playing automatically when removed from the ear. For user communication, the AirPods resort to the Apple proprietary Siri software, which is easily accessed with just a double tap. Moreover, the earbuds also astonish with their reactivity in the case where users want to simultaneously make a phone call or talk to Siri, as a second voice accelerometer, which works with a pair of beam-forming microphones, then filters out external noise to focus on the sound of the user’s voice. The AirPods thus deliver a special experience of interactivity – they almost seem to work magically and emotionalise users on a daily basis.
Statement by the Jury
The compact and sensuous design of the AirPods delivers an entirely novel experience of interaction. They perfectly embody the Apple product world and promote a high degree of wearing comfort. Thanks to their smart design concept, they adapt to user behaviour to impressive effect. They are functional and ergonomically well thought-out, sitting firmly in the ear even while jogging. The AirPods make a clear mark in the design of wireless headphones.