Apple’s $19 EarPods are hot again

Wired headphones are Formal in fashion again – and leading the charge is cheap Apple EarPods was once offered for free with your iPhone. Everyone from Bella Hadid to Kim Kardashian has rocked Apple’s iconic but ancient shoots, boom all over TikTok, thanks to people supporting their “classic” aesthetic. Yes, EarPods are now considered classic and I feel old.

To see what all the hype is about – and to temporarily feel famous – I decided to unearth a pair of old unused EarPods. iPhone 8 Plus and used them as my primary headphones for a week. And while doing so comes with some disappointments, I was ultimately surprised to discover how well these $19 headphones perform in 2022.

Mike Andronico / CNN

As someone who has mostly used wireless headphones since 2018, adjusting to my rudimentary old EarPods was a bit of a pain at first. I didn’t miss having to take off my headphones every time I wanted to listen to some music, and didn’t even start wearing them with a mask (pro tip: mask first, EarPods second). I’ve accidentally dropped my phone from my desk several times due to being connected, and using a wired headset makes it harder to move freely around the apartment while I’m on a call.

EarPods feel incredibly loose after years of enjoying the secure silicone fit of AirPods Pro and recently, Beats Fit Pro. I really miss the active noise cancellation (ANC) feature of more expensive headphones, especially when I’m passing a construction site or have to hear my dog ​​snore while trying to try to work. I’m also frustrated that I can’t charge my iPhone while listening to music – an issue I haven’t had to worry about since Apple killed the headphone jack on the iPhone 7 I bought in 2016.

How have I lived like this for all these years? I certainly don’t feel any cooler wearing Apple’s old but popular headphones, and I often have to resist the urge to go back to the convenience of my wireless Beats doll. But I’ve committed to really reviving the EarPods, and after a few days of use, I’ve discovered a few benefits to going back to basics.

Mike Andronico / CNN

You never have to charge your EarPods – and they’re harder to lose
Despite the disadvantages of the EarPods, it feels great to go back to a pair of headphones that I never have to charge. Beats Fit Pro and Jabra Elite 4 Active I’ve been using them all lately with good battery life, but I still have to make sure I charge the case every few days or I don’t want to end up dead. It’s nice to leave the apartment knowing that my headphones will work and that I never face the pairing issues that sometimes pop up with the wireless buds. In addition, as someone who has sent many AirPods flying after falling In their case, I appreciate that EarPods are much harder to misplace.

Sounds like a good value for money
Apple’s wired headphones won’t impress any audiophile, but they sound perfect for $19. I definitely noticed a lack of bass and overall nuance compared to my Beats Fit Pro, especially at higher volumes, but they still do a decent job of delivering bright guitars and smooth vocals throughout. My daily expression list when I’m out for a walk. or work at home.

The inline controls are awesome
I also didn’t realize how much I missed the EarPods’ inline controls, which felt more comfortable and intuitive to use than the various taps, taps, and pinchs I’ve performed close to the real ear. themselves over the past few years. The EarPods’ controls let you control the volume (something even the AirPods Pro’s in-ear controls can’t do), and a double-tap to skip tracks or long-press to call up Siri still works. for an intuitive feel. Plus, the large inline button makes ending calls much easier.

The microphone is better than more expensive earbuds
There’s a reason you see TikTokkers everywhere holding the EarPods’ long rectangular mic module to their face when recording videos and voiceovers. Microphone quality is surprisingly good for a cheap pair of headphones, and the sound was much clearer and more consistent than the much more expensive Beats Fit Pro when I compared the recordings of the two. . This is a major benefit of having an interference-free wired connection as well as the microphone being actually positioned close to your mouth instead of pointing towards it from your ear.

Mike Andronico / CNN

As much fun as I had with my EarPods test, I’m eager to get back to my trusty wireless buds. I don’t want to deal with wires in 2022, and I miss the Beats Fit Pro’s noise cancellation and more secure fit. Still, it’s nice to be reminded how good the EarPods are for a cheap pair of headphones you probably already have in mind.

Apple’s wired headphones sound good for the price, and the handy inline controls and clear microphone give them an edge over much more expensive wireless headphones. Plus, you never have to worry about running out of battery – or worse, a misplaced headset is lost.

If you’re ready to be one of the cool kids (or just need to replace broken or lost EarPods), note that Apple’s $19 headphones come in two variants. There is a Lightning connection option that will plug right into your iPhone or iPad, and a 3.5mm connector version that will work with the standard headphone jack like on a MacBook. You can also get $9 Lightning to 3.5mm . Adapter if you want both options. Unfortunately, Apple no longer offers free EarPods for its newest iPhones.

I can’t say how long Apple’s white wired buds will be on TikTok or in your favorite celebrity’s ears. But I can say they’re still a very good $19 pair of headphones, whether you’re on a tight budget or just want to assure subway commuters that you’re trendy.

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