We put Apple's wireless earphones through their paces
MOVING more than 100 boxes, mowing the lawn, cycling and even running - there were plenty of opportunities for Apple's AirPods to fall out.
Instead, they helped power me through moving home - as well as doing the more mundane jobs around the yard.
Apple has certainly turned up the innovation dial with these devices.
But there's still some easy improvements.
You can't, for example, use them to turn the volume up and down by stroking them up and down, as you would expect. Nor can you simply flick to the next track, without using a voice control.
From the outset, I found them to be pretty comfortable - and remarkably stable in my ears, no matter how much I was moving or sweating.
When Apple first announced AirPods, the tech giant claimed it would reinvent the way we listen to music, make phone calls, enjoy TV shows, and movies and interact with Siri.
They certainly do some of that- but not all.
My 12-year-old son loved them, especially the fact that he could simply tell Siri to play the next song.
I found some voice commands a little hit and miss.
But the more you use them, the better they get.
While the price tag of $229 is pretty steep, there is a lot of technology packed into not only the ear pieces but the charging station they come in.
They are super easy to set up.
Put them in your ear and the music starts simultaneously. Take one out and the music pauses.
Tap twice on one of the AirPods and you activate Siri.
The AirPods particularly work well when you are using an Apple Watch to navigate through music choices at the same time.
The audio quality - for both music and making and receiving phone calls - is definitely better than most wireless pods I have tried.
There's a decent bass sound, taking away the 'tinnie' sound of ordinary earpieces.
But the distinction between various elements within a music piece is not as great as you get with high end headphones, as you would expect.
Significantly, the AirPods don't completely block out the sound around you, which means if you are using them on a train or in a noisy environment you will need to crank up the volume.
But that's a feature I actually liked.
Using them in an office or home environment, I am still aware of things going on around me - and of course if my attention is required, I can simply take out one of the AirPods to pause what I'm listening to.
An ultra-low power Apple W1 chip provides the 'intelligence' that sets these devices apart. You can go from listening to music, to taking a call, and then back to music, completely seamlessly, without having to do a thing.
The AirPods have dual optical sensors and accelerometers that work with the W1 chip to detect when AirPods are in your ear, so they only play when you are ready to listen.
An additional accelerometer in each AirPod detects when you're speaking, enabling a pair of beam-forming microphones to focus on the sound of your voice, filtering out external noise.
Apple says the Apple W1 chip operates at one-third of the power of traditional wireless chips, enabling AirPods to deliver up to 5 hours of listening time on one charge.
The charging case holds additional charges, for more than 24 hours of total listening time.
Would I buy them? Yes, especially if they came in black!