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  1. tinyman392
    Unless they walk away from the earbud design, that won't happen. Sure they can add ANC, but that'll cripple either the battery life and/or sound quality. Though I do wish they'd turn the ADDIEM into truly wireless buds :wink:
  2. bubsdaddy
    I would buy one on the first day available.
  3. Bob24
    I’d say they are purposely going for a design which doesn’t isolate too much because IEM would feel more ackward when speaking with someone on the phone or to Siri, and they don’t want to endanger people using them to exercices in urban environments where attention required. Plus earbud will feel comfortable for a wider audience than IEMs (maybe not within Head-Fi members, but if you look at the general public).

    So I’d say the only chance of seeing IEMs is if they release a more niche alternative version which exists next to the earbuds. If they keep only one design, IMO it will remain earbuds (possibly with ANC which can be enabled/disabled depending on the situation).
    MICHAELSD likes this.
    If you’re after earbud-style AirPods, I’d speculate that Apple will release them under the Beats brand as soon as next year.

    Considering how AirPods has been an absolute hit, it only seems natural for Apple to release truly wireless Beats earbuds in a variety of colors at a higher price point. Then release a new AirPods generation the year after :wink:.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2017
    Gotta say though, AirPods are basically the ideal form factor for music. It’s simply music delivered straight to your ears. No wires, no headband, no ear tips, no pads. That is a beautiful sentiment and Apple is the first company to accomplish this.

    Now, imagine if they sounded as good as i.e. Audeze’s iSine. That could be an endgame headphone.

    Apple, buy Audeze and create a high-end version of the AirPods aimed at audiophiles and more discerning listeners. Apple has dominated the casual listening market, they have the ability to also dominate the high-end market.

    I do think lossless streaming is on Apple’s roadmap and the day will come when even AirPods are audiophile products.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
    Bob24 likes this.
  6. Bob24
    Absolutely, the ease of use and comfort are unrivalled for wireless earphones and Apple got that very right.

    If there was something equivalent with significantly better sound quality and some isolation I’d be ready to pay quite a bit more money for them. But I am no holding my breath (and not as optimistic as you about beats, things might change but for now it seems like to me Apple has just let Beats keep doing its own thing to please its audience and besides providing the W1 chip they haven’t influenced product design very much).
  7. SparkOnShore
    I think everybody’s problem here in Head-Fi with the audio quality of the AirPods is mainly psychological, which is a well known matter of the so called “audiophiles”. If on the very same headphones was writing some brand like Audeze or whatever, you would like the audio like crazy!! There is nothing missing in the audio presentation of AirPods! Nothing at all!! Read some expert’s review on them and check the graphs also in order to understand. They are crisp, clear, without any distortion, and with a rather balanced bass approach. Yes there is no isolation since we also want to speak with them and not exclude ourselves from the rest of the world like autistic. And keep in mind that all bass of closed in ear is a type of fake boom using the coupling of the trapped ear canal, without any real body bass feeling that you would get from big speakers for example. The AirPods produce this bass by keeping your ears open at the same time, which is quite admirable...
  8. SparkOnShore
    No, there is nothing like lossless streaming on Apple’s roadmap, since Apple is a huge consumer approach company and not some fake dreams “audiophile” small corner shop manufacturer. Lossless is proven to not offer anything to the moving urban listener and AAC is a really high quality compression type file. It’s also proven on blind tests that a big percentage of humans do not discern any difference. Now if you and 0,2% have golden ears, this does not concern a trillion dollar company like Apple.

    AirPods are not “audiophile” products, that’s why they are awesome, highly practical products for the everyday urban people...
  9. Bob24
    I can't agree with that. I really like the AirPods and use them regularly but while OK the audio quality could definitely be vastly improved. My Bose QC30 which wouldn't be considered audiophile either definitely sound much better.
  10. Bob24
    While I agree about Apple's target audience and their limited interest to lossless, I think they will do it eventually. Partly becasue the increase in storage bandwidth will become of little relevance as networks speed increase and device have more storage. But also because it is becoming more and more of a thing and at some point it's gonna be problematic of they are the only service not to offer it.

    Here in Europe the main streaming services that would come to my mind are: Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, Tidal, and Qobuz.

    Out of these 5, 3 of them offer lossless (Deezer, Tidal, and Qobuz), one of them has been testing it in the wild with an intend to launch a higher subscription tier (Spotify), and only Apple Music is not talking about it.

    Even of most of their customers can't tell the difference and are not ready to pay a premium for it, I think it will eventually become an issue for Apple not to be able to thick that box in streaming services comparisons.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
  11. SparkOnShore
    In what exactly way “better”?? Could they just be different? One is closed, the other one is open. You could just realize that it’s only a different sound approach. As mentioned before, what you consider as better, I believe, comes from your blocked ears which are just concentrated to music. Well, Apple does not want that approach and neither do many other people, including myself, since we use these things for many different purposes! AirPods sound is really good, for OPEN headphones, and most of all, it’s real, not coming from a trapped air ear canal!

    In general if you cannot quantify an argument it’s difficult to back it up as well!!
  12. Bob24
    Wider soundstage, more clarity, better instrument separation, bass is better defined.

    Seal/isolation is a different topic for me and doesn't affect my sound quality impressions. I am judging based on listening to them at home in a perfectly quiet environment.

    Also for reference the Bose can't really be considered closed. Yes they are IEMs but they use rubber tips which are not too deep and don't provide full seal, and the earphones themselves seem have small vents to let outside air in similarly to the AirPods. It would probably be more accurate to call them semi-opened versus the AirPods being fully opened.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
  13. SparkOnShore
    Since most customers cannot tell a difference, because honestly to most normal or medium hearing ears, there is no real difference, Apple will never occupy with asking a premium for nothing actually...In any case this is my belief, future will prove who is right and who is wrong...

    Keep in mind that Tidal is really a mockery with very few songs, no new music etc, targeting mainly some old jazz or classical fans, or forgotten guys who want to think they need something special to enjoy like Neil Young and the like... Apple has a completely different approach as you can understand...
  14. Bob24
    Yes I have zero interest in Tidal. Qobuz however is much better than Apple Music in terms of promoting good music. Apple is much more limited in the range of music they help you discover.

    In any case my point remains: if they don't start doing it in the near future, Apple will soon be the only streaming service with no lossless offering. And while I get your points I still think it will be a problem for them (it's not like not supporting Flash which at the time was "supported" by Android but didn't actually work - Lossless streaming works and there is an audience for it which while limited will influence what is been said about various services and thus consumer choice).
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
  15. SparkOnShore
    As I guessed previously, these “audiophile” “copy/paste” phrases like wider soundstage, better instrument separation etc, are not quantifiable so I don’t know if they have any substantial meaning in the real world. Believe me I have heard many headphones and speakers, and the so called instrument separation and clarity of the AirPods is in really high level. What is clearer on your Bose? Do you hear an instrument or a song’s part on your Bose that you cannot discern on AirPods? Really, I don’t think so... Check the graphs to see for yourself. Mids and highs are quite extended, what exactly is “hidden” to your “trained” ears??
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