A few days after having received my AirPods order, I’ve quickly come to realize how the lack of accessible audio playback controls can hinder the overall experience. In my previous reviews of true wireless earbuds, I’ve consistently brought up on-device controls as a positive or a negative. When you remove the wire and the controls so many of us have gotten used to, offering a new means of control is necessary.
With the AirPods, the main and only means of audio playback control is by double-tapping above the AirPods’ stem. Based on your settings this either activates Siri, allowing you to speak all of the basic playback commands, or controls play/pause for audio. Double-tapping and only being able to play/pause controls aren’t enough for daily usage, but relying on Siri, especially when internet connections are weaker, makes for a cumbersome experience at best. These issues highlight the need for Apple to introduce an offline mode for Siri.