Sad story, happy ending

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The Audeze iSine20 headphones I reported on are perfect for indoor use tethered to a wire, but not what I need outdoors. Gotta be wireless.

About six weeks ago I added my name to the waitlist for the Apple Airpods. These Bluetooth wireless wonders slip easily into the ear without entering the actual ear canal—just what I wanted for my morning jog.

One week ago I received notification they would arrive the next evening. I was excited as hell. A new toy to play with. As I pulled into the driveway my headlights illuminated the anticipated box, waiting for me on the front porch. Awesome.

Only one thing wrong. Instead of the under one pound expected, it weighed closer to twenty. Drat! Some low account no-brow in UPS had opened the package and replaced its contents with pieces of scrap metal. A panicked call to a helpful woman at Apple soothed my anxiety and another pair arrived two days later.

Would they be a pain to setup? Would they stay in my ears? Would they be comfortable, unobtrusive? And most important, would they meet my high expectations for audio quality. No, yes, yes, and yes.

Pairing with my phone was instant and without fiddling. I honestly cannot even feel them resting in my ears. But as soon as my finger touched the play button I nearly swooned. As if by magic the angelic voice of Renée Fleming started singing the soul-gripping hook in Puccini’s “Chi il bel sogno di Doretta“, from ‘La Rondine’ (The Sparrow). A chill went up my spine and tears pooled in my eyes. I was lost in the music, the beauty of the melody, the spaciousness of the hall.

On wireless earbuds!

Are they as good as the Audeze? No. Not even remotely close. Doesn’t matter.

I can’t tell they are in my ears save for the full-bodied music that seems to magically come forward, along with every other sound around me.

Apple hit this one out of the park.