Apple's AirPods have a huge problem no one expected

It's there before your eyes. You just have to look very closely.

Apple's AirPods are the subject of a shocking claim

You see them here. You see them there.

You see them worn by people desperately wanting to ignore you and live in their own blissful bubble.

It seems as if you're not of the modern world unless you have the unfinished earrings known as AirPods  inserted into your very being.

At first, they seemed a little strange. But Apple types swiftly committed themselves to constant AirPod wearing. So much so that, in one infamously informative survey, 17% of AirPod owners insisted they kept them on during coital conflagration.

Nothing could stop the inexorable rise of Apple's wireless earbuds.

Until, that is, now. For there's a big, big problem: the cool people are, apparently, eschewing them. Yes, in favor of the old-fashioned white wires hanging from their head.

The mere idea seems odd. But I know there's something to it because the Wall Street Journal says so.

Why, luminaries such as Lily-Rose Depp and Bella Hadid have been spotted, wired up in the ancient mode. So has Zoe Kravitz.

And honestly, if these three icons of modern living have turned against AirPods, what hope is there?

There's even, so I've just learned, an Instagram account called @wireditgirls. It chronicles the gorgeous and influential proudly displaying their gorgeous and retro wires.

The Journal offers that corded headphones "wall you off from others" more successfully than do AirPods. It produced a style expert who mused that putting up obvious physical barriers is part of something called the "grungy aesthetic."

That's so blissfully 90s. Are they back again?

There is, however, a darker reason for this apparent return of the Wired and Proud. Some, it seems, now associate Apple's precious wireless buds with "that whole tech-finance-bro look where they always have their Patagonia vest on and their AirPods in."

This is entirely persuasive. Does anyone actively want to look like those excessively confident, sickeningly arrogant types who seem to populate the stark white corridors of hidden power?

Other than those who are desperate to become one of them, that is.

It's one of the joys of product marketing that you never quite know who's going to buy your product and how they're going to use it.

Brands are often forced to project an image of, say, youthful abandon when sad males with particular issues buy their products. And I'm most certainly not referring to any manufacturers of sports cars here. Not specifically, at least.

I fear there may be one other aspect embraced by AirPods refuseniks: They're simply a pain.

You have to remember to charge them. You have to fiddle about with the little things and fear daily that you might lose one and suddenly not have access to the full aural elegance of Dua Lipa or Brass Against.

Why, some AirPods owners openly confess they have nightmares -- real, frightening events during sleep time -- about losing an AirPod.

Of course, this wire-wearing retro thing may only itself be a passing fad. The It People constantly need to reinvent themselves in order to maintain their Itness.

What might be next? A complete return to over-the-ear headphones? Or, perhaps, not wearing headphones at all and instead of taking in the sights and people around you?

Yes, that is a very strange concept.

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