Survey says you'll love AirPods and want to tell all your friends

AirPods charging case with Lunies leather keychain case
AirPods charging case with Lunies leather keychain case

I've been using AirPods since shortly after they were announced in September. I use them when I go out every morning and evening, when I have calls at home or while I'm on the road, when I'm watching video or while I'm filming it. They're the only in-the-ear headphones that have ever stayed in my ears for more than a few minutes at a time, and I'm continually astounded at the amount of technology Apple managed to squeeze into those tiny little buds.

Ben Bajarin, writing for Tech.pinions, shows I'm not alone.

The big story is customer satisfaction with AirPods is extremely high. 98% of AirPod owners said they were very satisfied or satisfied. Remarkably, 82% said they were very satisfied. The overall customer satisfaction level of 98% sets the record for the highest level of satisfaction for a new product from Apple. When the iPhone came out in 2007, it held a 92% customer satisfaction level, iPad in 2010 had 92%, and Apple Watch in 2015 had 97%.

What's more, the "net promoter" score, or the willingness of someone to recommend AirPods to others, is similarly off the charts:

Apple's Net Promoter Score for AirPods came back as 75. To put that into context, the iPhone's NPS number is 72. Product and NPS specialists will tell you anything above 50 is excellent and anything above 70 is world class.

This is where most people will note that, despite the customer satisfaction and promoter scores, Apple still hasn't been able to keep up with demand. And that's incredibly frustrating.

It's also something the company is going to have to continue to weigh when choosing release dates for products that push the limits of current manufacturing processes at scale. Ship now and face delays, or ship later and be delayed.

At least in the case of AirPods, though, it seems like customers are not only currently finding them worth the 6-week wait, but finding them worth recommending in spite of it.

And I think it's easy to see why: AirPods are truly delightful. The controls can leave a lot to be desired at times, but there's a euphoria that comes from being truly wireless. It feels freeing — almost humanizing.

Once you start using them, you never want to be tethered to a device, or have buds tethered to each other, again.

Rene Ritchie
Contributor

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

20 Comments
  • Well I'm in the other 8%. I haven't tried them, no need. I've heard enough to know they are just EarPods without wires. I'm sorry, putting a new chip, moving controls, and cutting wires, while keeping the same low end drivers doesn't justify a $130 price increase on top of a 6 week waiting period. It astounds me that anyone is willing to pay $160 for $30 earphones because they don't have wires.
  • So your opinion is not valid in this topic, you are just trolling here! Come back when you own a pair
  • Trolling is not the correct terminology for an opinion. My opinion is based off of others' use. An opinion based on the data of others.
  • Trolling would be calling other people names, or saying they're stupid for buying them, not giving an opinion.
  • I would just lose them and there goes 150$
  • Actually, when you compare the cost of Airpods to some of the other totally wireless solutions currently in the marketplace (i.e. Bragi. etc), you'll see that the 160 is right in the "sweet spot" for these class of earbuds. I own BT buds and headphones from Bose (QC30's and QC35's), Beats (Solo 2 Wireless), Jaybird (X2's), and the AirPods have replaced all of them as my "daily drivers". The convenience of AirPods and how well the W1 chip performs has to be considered in any discussion regarding whether they are "worth" the 160. These are NOT 30 dollar Earpods with the level of technology packed into each bud. If I have any complaints about them, it's the lack of controls offered and their reliance on Siri (or Watch) to perform tasks such as volume control, track changes, etc. I was a doubter before I grabbed a pair. I was lucky enough to pick them up in January from ATT online.
  • Yes, the AirPods fit in the same price group as many other Bluetooth earphones. However all the others have much better sound quality. Like the BeatsX, which are also $10 cheaper with more functionality and still has the W1 chip. The BeatsX cost more to produce due to added neck cable and still manages to be $10 cheaper than Apples own AirPods. I understand the ease of use and completely wire free argument, I just disagree that it's worth $160 at its level of sound quality.
  • That's not actually true. While I haven't tried a pair of Bragi CNET reviews actually gave the Airpods an overwhelming victory in the area of sound quality. Furthermore, your comparison to the Beats X is a bit unfair given that the Beats X are "in-ear canal" buds which prevent sound leakage thus giving the perception of better "quality". I was also a skeptic owning several brands of buds and headphones, but apparently most people find the Airpods acceptable quality and I guarantee if you actually tried them, you would be pleasantly surprised. Given the sound quality, W1 chip, no wires, great battery and power options (i.e. case),, Apple has a winner and apparently can't provide enough units to keep up with demand.
  • "Quality" is just quality. Which is based off the drivers used in the headphones or earphones. As for the subjective sound, that's due to sound signatures. Each brand sounds a particular way, that's their signature. The quality is a qunitative measurement based off the physical hardware. Physically, the BeatsX are better earphones than the AirPods. The BeatsX being in-ear as you mentioned, merely gives you better sound isolation which allows you to hear more of your music.
  • I recommend them. I get asked about them all the time by people, they ask about whether they fall out, it happened one time. They ask about battery life, the only time I have huge battery drain on them is when someone calls me using facebook messenger. That app will drain the airpods in about 90 minutes, normal phone calls and skype there isn't an issue though. Listening to music or podcasts I comfortable get the 5 hours and quite often get 6 hours or more before the little chirp for low battery sounds. They ask about playback, I tell them that if the earpods were good enough but you kept catching the wire and ripping them out of your ear forcibly then they will cure that problem. For me it also means that I can do tasks that where I don't want to take the iPhone and keep it sat in a safe location where it is not going to get damaged and still use the iPhone for receiving/sending calls or listening to music. I'm sure others might view my opinion as that of a fanboy, you're entitled to that opinion and I don't care.
  • I am waiting untill Apple comes with black airpods.
  • I like mine, I used them all the time not only for taking making phone calls when working from home but also recently started using them for the gym. Yeah I know they aren't sweat proof but for me they are an awesome headphone for the gym.
  • Just think what will happen when people can actually buy them in stores!
  • I'm also the other 8%. not because of the concept. I would love that. If they sound just like the Earpods, then I'm out. No passive noise cancellation and they don't sound that good compared to other earbuds. For me, anyway, those are deal breakers.
  • I don't understand why Apple.ca still says 6 weeks for delivery after this product has been out so long. I think it was mentioned in a podcast recently by how its been so hard to get certain apple products. Always the wait or low supply. I keep wanting to buy a pair but kept putting it off since I'm not going to wait 2 months. Still so many problems with the iMore site also. I couldn't even log in today from the main page top corner link. I had to go to some other page on the site where the login menu worked. Read more links at the bottom of pages never work also. I know iMore is working on it though.
  • I felt the same way at first. I waited hoping they would catch production up to meet demand but then I realized two months had gone by and if I had ordered them I would have had them by now. I ordered mine and it took just over 5 weeks. I just got them last week and I like them a lot. The sound is a little better than the EarPods but I love having no wires. I can carry the little case in my pocket and quickly pop them out and put them back without the delay of dealing with the wires and so I find myself using them more than I did my old earphones (both wired and Bluetooth). I highly recommend them (unless you are an audiophile or need active noise cancellation).
  • Not surprised. In terms of usability and that "Apple magic", the AirPods are probably the most impressive product they've released in years. Shame the actual audio quality is mediocre. Definitely many better deals out there (wired or wireless) if you're prioritizing sound quality above all else.
  • I prioritize noise reduction and sound. I commute on buses and trains in NYC. Earpods (and therefore Airpods) suck at that.
  • So do I (commute in NYC) and use AirPods everyday. And yes, this comes from someone who owns higher end Bose QC's (30 and 35's).
  • Gah! What is with Rene always with the phone face down on bricks and concrete! I would never do that in a million years....... Its like someone scratching a chalkboard to me...... :-P