This blog won't be about how bad Airpods are because that's furthest from the truth.
That being said, Airpods are consumer grade headphones and aren't best for business applications.
Will they pair with your cell phone? Yes.
Will they pair with your computers with Bluetooth? Yes.
I get it, Airpods are lightweight and look cool. You would think if you have a computer and cell phone with Bluetooth that your Airpods should work seamless.
Unfortunately that's not how it works.
#1 Connectivity to multiple devices isn't seamless
Whether you work from home or in an office, you may use a mix of devices like a computer, cell phone or desk phone.
Along with these devices you may also have a number of communication apps like MS Teams, Zoom, RingCentral, Cisco, Avaya and more.
When you pair your Airpods to a windows computer with Bluetooth and your iPhone, this is what you'll experience (comments from real customers)
Using your Airpods between your iPhone, iPad and Mac you'll have a more seamless experience.
When you add a business communication app in the mix, then things start to confuse the Airpods.
For example, if you use Skype and have an incoming call on both your phone and Skype, the Airpods will sometimes get stuck on which device to answer.
In addition, Pairing Airpods to a computer or cell phone is no problem, but this is the issue.
As an example, say you're listening to Spotify on your Windows computer, and you receive an incoming call to your personal phone.
You now have to turn Bluetooth off in your computer, THEN go into the Bluetooth menu on your phone and tap "Airpods".
Not very seamless, right? By the time it will take to do all this, you'll miss the call. Or you'll need to answer on the call and later switch to your headset.
#2 Callers will hear everything going on in your background
This is one HUGE disadvantage of Airpods talk quality that isn't as talked about.
Recently I came across an article from SoundGuys you can read here, that lets you hear a microphone test of Airpods. Once you listen to the mic test, you're able to choose your rating.
Out of 469 votes so far, the image below will show you how others rated the Airpod mic quality.
Overall, not bad by any means and should sound good enough for a lot of people.
The downside of this microphone test is you only hear what the mic sounds like if you were in a quiet room.
Take the same mic test and put yourself in a real world application like working from home, in the office, outside or in the car.
Your callers are going to hear every distraction going on around you.
Dogs barking, office chatter, babies crying, wind blowing on the mic, car noises etc...
For personal calls this usually won't be a big deal. But for business calls, this is going to be distracting for the caller and a less than ideal business conversation.
That being said, If you're going to always be in a quiet room for your calls or video meetings, then a noise canceling microphone won't matter and Airpods will sound fine for most.
#3 Limited talk time and no replaceable battery
On average you can expect to get about 4 hours of battery on a single charge per Airpod.
If you prefer both ears covered, then that means you'll only get 4 hours of battery.
Or you can leave one Airpod in the charging case, when the earbud you're using runs low on battery, you can then put it back in the charge case and use the other.
That being said, this can be a hassle and less than ideal for your business voice calls.
In addition, Airpods can only last through so many charge cycles before the battery starts to degrade. Meaning, when you buy Airpods brand new, you may get 4 hours to start.
Fast forward 6 months, 1 year, 2 years down the road and the battery may only last you a couple hours. So, you'll constantly be fighting with keeping a charge.
Imagine being on an important business call and your Airpods shut off because of a low battery and disconnect an important phone call.
You can invest $150+ on another pair of Apple Airpods. OR you can consider a few other headset options better built for business calls and meetings.
Alternative options to consider
All options will give you a noise canceling microphone so your callers will be heard as clear as possible without the background distractions.
Aftershokz Opencomm- Best for calls on your cell phone. Will connect similar to Airpods, so this isn't a headset best designed for seamless connection to cell phone and computer.
Plantronics Voyager 4220 UC- Best used in work applications where you use a mix of mobile phone and computer to give you seamless connection.
Bose 700 UC- Sounds great with music but has 8 mics built in so you're heard great. The Bose 700 UC gives you the best of both worlds. Great for music or business calls on your mobile phone and computer. Connectivity is seamless!
Voyager 6200 UC- If you prefer ear buds and want a better microphone with noise cancellation to reduce unwanted background distraction, this will be one of your only choices.