As posted on People really love Apple’s AirPods, but they still look ridiculous
Apple’s newest killer accessory, AirPods, might look ridiculous — but that hasn’t stopped them from taking over as one of the must-have gadgets of 2017.
The wireless buds dominated headphone sales after their release and have seemingly become a fixture in ears everywhere. Even This Is Us heartthrob Milo Ventimiglia reps AirPods, as Mashable‘s Nicole Gallucci discovered in her profile of the actor’s love for all things Apple.
But AirPods were bound to fly off the shelves no matter what, at least at first. What’s more important is how everyday users actually feel about the buds after using them, no matter how silly they might look. According to a study by Creative Strategies and Experian, AirPod users are loving their fully wireless audio experience at an unprecedented level, even compared to other beloved Apple gadgets.
The study asked 942 AirPod owners about their experience using the buds. Nearly every respondent answered positively, giving AirPods a whopping 98 percent customer satisfaction rating.
That’s impressive enough — but when you put the response in context, the rating is even more notable. In similar studies, the original iPhone and iPad had 92 percent customer satisfaction levels, and the Apple Watch garnered a 97 percent satisfaction rate. At 98 percent, AirPods have the highest rating of any new Apple product measured by the study’s authors.
AirPod owners weren’t just happy to keep the experience for themselves, either. The study also asked respondents if they’d recommend the device to others and crunched the Net Promoter Score (NPS), which is a standard benchmark for consumer surveys. The AirPods scored a 75, which again, was a higher score than other recent Apple releases, and well above the average NPS score of 39.
The study’s authors note that the NPS score is even more impressive because most of the respondents are “early adopters,” which are typically less likely to recommend the devices to others.
That said, I’m left wondering if the overwhelming enthusiasm and loyalty of Apple fans could factor into the high scores. There’s no data to back up my suspicions, however — although Miriam-Webster recently used a sentence mocking Apple adherents to help illustrate the definition of the word “sheeple,” so take that as you will.
The study found respondents were particularly happy with the AirPods’ quick pairing via the W1 Bluetooth low-energy chip.
The study didn’t discuss how easy it can be to misplace an AirPod, as our own Ray Wong unfortunately discovered.
While Apple introduced a Find My AirPod feature with iOS 10.3 to make it easier to retrieve a loose pod, replacing one of them will still run you $69. It’s better than buying the whole rig for $159, but it remains an issue for forgetful owners more used to carrying wired headphones. Still, the study’s respondents were largely unconcerned with product loss or failure, and more than half (64 percent) said they haven’t kept a set of wired headphones on hand as a backup.
There were no reports of complaints about the AirPods widely derided electric toothbrush head design, either. Remember, all of the study’s respondents have already committed to wearing them — so if they’re so eager to recommend them, it might just be so they’re not the only ones walking around with the little sticks poking out of their ears.