I’m not much of an Apple user. I have my iPad, my iPod Touch (yes, still rocking an iPod) and subscriptions to some of its services, but wouldn’t describe myself as a heavy user.
When Beats first appeared on the scene they had a reputation for bass-heavy tuning. Since its purchase by Apple, that reputation has been turned around and the Studio Buds represent something of a full circle with Beats’ flag planted squarely in balanced, clear audio.
While Apple did not start the true wireless market (that was Onkyo), they did help popularise it. The problem was their popularity helped enshrine the initial feeling of convenience over audio performance. The second gen model didn’t improve matters much.
The design, something we’ve remarked upon a lot, has not been conducive to getting the best audio performance, leaving your listening experience vulnerable to being swamped by outside noises. Bass has always been a weakness of the AirPods true wireless, the way they’re seated in the ear not helping. While the feature set has been strong, there’s always been an iOS-focused emphasis, which means there’s not a huge appeal to those without an iOS device.
The Beats’ outlook was refreshing. And although the fast-pairing support for both Android and iOS is unlikely to be replicated with the AirPods 3; the upcoming AirPods look set for a new design, shortening the stems and going for something more in tune with what the Studio Buds and AirPods Pro have gone for.
And the hope is, at least on the audio side, that this will result in improved performance, something that would actually make the AirPods a good true wireless in their own right rather than an accessory to the newest iPhone.
If they could do that, then Apple could finally realise the potential of their AirPods. I’ll be watching the September event to see if they finally take that opportunity.