Apple’s attention to detail, and to how people use their headphones, extends to the way that the sensors on the AirPods and the software on the iPhone work together. If you’ve got audio playing on an iPhone and then you pop an AirPod into one ear, the iPhone automatically switches the audio input to that AirPod—in mono mode, no less. Put an AirPod in the other ear and now you’re hearing everything in stereo.
Without a cable, there’s no clicker to play or pause your music, but if you pull one of the AirPods out of your ear, the iPhone pauses automatically—a cue that you’re removing an earbud because you want to hear something in the real world, or are talking to someone. Pop the AirPod back in and the audio begins to play. Take both of the AirPods out and the iPhone switches its audio output back to its own speakers. On my current pair of Bluetooth earbuds, when I’m done with a run I need to take the earbuds out and then mash on a button for a few seconds until it finally turns itself off and disconnects from my iPhone. This is better!
When I first saw the demo, I couldn’t believe this was Bluetooth or built on top of it, but it’s indeed the latter. These are some of the things which people don’t get until they try them once. But once they do, it’s hard to go back.