I lost my wired apple earphones so decided to try the wireless airpods. This was after getting a free pair of beats solo3’s, hating the sound, and giving them to my daughter. However, I did like the wireless part and saw some potential there.
To provide context, I own a nice audiophile system (Schiit, Sennheiser HD800S, Marantz, B&W, etc.) and am pretty picky about headphones (I own a few). I must say that I am pretty happy with the airpods. I can actually use my iPhone 7 plus as an audio device on the road, be completely wireless, and listen to my FLAC lossless recorded CDs through VOX (primarily using the stock rock eq).
Do they sound as good as my much more expensive headphones? No, not even close. Do they sound better than the beats I owned? Night and day - there are actually highs (treble) and the bass does not overwhelm the music.
They sound a little better than the wired earpods, but no quantum leap there either. However, the wireless convenience is very nice. I was all prepared to try these and send them back, but I’ll be keeping them for a while.