I have been an iPhone owner for several years. During those years I have replaced the wired headphones, on average, every three months. Which, apart from being a hidden expense of ownership is also annoying. The phones are great, don’t get me wrong, but things seem to happen to them with a depressing frequency that you could almost set your Apple watch by.
Reasons vary. It is usually wear and tear, or more accurately heavy use. I never take them out. As a result, cables wear and odd behaviour emerges – only one ear bud will work, or the mic stops working. Sometimes the phone starts or rewinds audiobooks. Sometimes it opens apps or sends emails and text messages because Siri thought you were talking to her, when you were in fact yelling playfully imaginative invective at the driver that just cut you off… that can take some explaining. I hear.
And of course, there are more extreme examples. I have lost count of the times the phones got caught on a door handle. In a seat belt. A zipper. It’s a pain, sometimes literally. On several occasions such wire trapping has ripped the connector from either phone jack or ear piece leaving the sad remainder dangling like a broken robot in an animated Disney movie. Ouch, on both ears and wallet. .
The fact that I have dropped my phone countless times only to have it saved by effectively bungee jumping from my ears instead of hitting concrete is not lost on me. Headphones are far cheaper to replace than iPhones. Still, this saving grace aside, I have spent hundreds of dollars on replacements over the years. No more, I decided. No more. I finally caved and spent my money on a set of Air Pods.
These are basically the same headphones but with one major advantage: They are wireless.
This freedom has pros and cons. No fear of walking through a door, or fastening a jacket. My ears are ideally shaped, I literally cannot make them fall out no matter how I leap around (although each time Nikki hugs me – a lot – one or other pops out). Other than that, they are locked in and work perfectly. A tap on the side of your head and you are talking to Siri. A tap on the other one and your music stops or starts. These things are pretty slick, and I’m very happy with them as we go into our second month together.
There is, though, one other advantage of the wireless headset that I have not seen written about before, so let me be the first. Health benefits. Well, I choose to see this as a health benefit. A bonus.
Because there are no wires connecting phone to ears, it’s easy to leave the phone in the car. Or on the bedside table. Or, if not the phone, the little headset charging case. And you know what that means.
I’m walking a heck of a lot further than I planned.
Strolling happily into work, greeting my fellow workhorses, and the distinctive tones of a lost connection remind me to turn around and go back across the rainy parking lot to get the phone I left on charge. Every. Damn. Day. If I have the phone, I’ve left the charging case, and when the phones need recharging… back to the car I go. I’ve covered miles, and then some. And all that walking is healthy. They say. I must admit, that thought does not cheer me as I traverse the blizzards each day. Twice.
Then, of course, you might leave the Pods, the charge case or the phone in the bathroom, or on the coffee table down stairs. Or in the car. And you need them in the bedroom, particularly your phone which is of course your alarm clock… That’s more walking, and you can throw in a bunch of stairs, too. Pretty healthy living, if you ask me.
I have to get a handle on this. My poor little legs are getting shorter every day.