Apple‘s AirPods boast several attractive features: the Bluetooth enabled wireless earbuds are perhaps the lightest weighing wireless listening product on the market when compared to wireless headphones, and when it comes to battery life, the rechargeable AirPods prove their endurance. One singular charge delivers five-hours of listening time, while a quick 15-minute charge offers three-hours, maximizing the earbuds’ on the go potential. When stored in the charging case, the AirPods afford more than 24-hours of battery life, thanks to the case’s ability to hold “multiple additional charges.”
And yet all that glitters is not quite gold. AirPods are a continual subject of user criticism on account of their reportedly poor sound quality, the earbuds’ compromised audio the product of the AirPods’ open-air design that fails to concentrate sound within the earbuds. One such AirPods user, Thomas Ricker laments AirPods’ tendency to leak sound. The AirPods’ insufficient sound quality leads Ricker to wonder how he might close the earbuds’ air gap to prevent audio escape. A YouTube channel titled “PoltergeistWorks” is the host of a video tutorial that shows AirPod users how to do just that.
After viewing the step by step DIY video, Ricker applies the techniques shown in the video to his own AirPods, successfully managing to close the air gap, an action that improves the AirPods’ overall audio quality. “My AirPods now have bass!” Ricker writes in his account of his AirPod hack. “The better sound, especially at the low end, is remarkable,” Ricker states. Ricker notes that the hack effects a more immersive listening experience, the closed air gap preventing external noise from competing with his music. An added bonus? Users consequently may decrease their listening volume.
Photo Credit: The Verge
The foam covers with which Ricker outfits his AirPods to block air flow fit within the earbuds’ charger case, distinguishing Ricker’s DIY method from other hacking approaches that while useful, require the hacked AirPods users to remove the covers prior to charging. Other AirPods associated features like the earbuds’ Siri compatibility and the ability to advance tracks when listening to the AirPods are not affected by the hack.
While Ricker’s DIY approach requires a bit of extra effort from AirPods users seeking greater sound quality, Ricker’s exclamation— “My AirPods now have bass!”—indicates that tinkering with the AirPods design might just be worthwhile after all.
H/T: The Verge