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Are Apple’s wireless Airpods worth shelling out $160?

Recode’s Kara Swisher and The Verge’s Lauren Goode debate what’s so special about Airpods on Too Embarrassed to Ask.

Apple Holds Press Event To Introduce New iPhone Stephen Lam / Getty Images

After months of delays, Apple’s wireless earbuds, or Airpods, are finally starting to ship out to consumers — but if you haven’t plunked down $160 yet, are they worth buying?

The Verge’s Lauren Goode and Recode’s Kara Swisher debated the merits of Airpods on the latest Too Embarrassed to Ask. Apple claims the Airpods can connect to multiple devices with less hassle than normal Bluetooth audio gear, but Goode said that feature has been inconsistent for her in practice.

She noted that the Airpods were most useful for her while she was working out, but said they’re not a must-buy for most people.

“For certain power users, they’re good,” Goode said. “If you’re using them for a specific application — for example, I like the Airpods at the gym — but I find that when I’m at work and a phone call comes in and I have to grab my phone and run into a room quickly to take a phone call, a lot of times I end up using my wired headphones.”

Swisher said she was not impressed with the earbuds’ design, which feature a thin white stick that dangles out of the ear. That stick holds a microphone for making phone calls and talking to Siri.

“I have yet to see someone who looks cool in them,” Swisher said. “And men, in particular, for some reason. I should like men with earrings, I live in the Castro in San Francisco, but there’s something about them that’s ... Austin Powers-like.”

“Over time, I’ve liked the way they look less and less,” Goode said. “I think it was the novelty.”

And the big question: Are you going to lose two small white earbuds with no wires connecting them? Goode said the saving grace for forgetful people is a charging case, included with the Airpods, that is about the size of a pack of dental floss.

“If you are leaving your Airpods lying around, just as the Airpods themselves, I’d say you have a very good chance of losing them,” she said. “They’re tiny and they’re light. If you remember to take your Airpods off and put them in that charging case every time, I think there’s less likelihood you’ll lose that.”

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