Plague of the AirPods: A Change for the Worse


Dozens of scientists have signed a United Nations and World Health Organization petition to warn against the potential dangers of Apple AirPods. (Gary Reyes/Bay Area News Group/TNS)

Megan Gill, Staff Reporter

Apple came out with AirPods in late 2016 and their popularity has been rising ever since. Despite their popular appeal, there are definitely disadvantages of owning a pair of the portable Bluetooth earbuds.

AirPods are in people’s ears all the time, whether others notice it or not. AirPods’ sleek and portable design makes them barely noticeable. Apple describes their AirPods as, “Simplicity and technology, together like never before,” and they say that the result is “completely magical.”

According to NBC, Apple sold an estimated nine million pairs of AirPods during the 2018 holiday period. The use of the word AirPods has also recently shot up, as shown by Google Trends.

Although the design of the AirPods is lustrous and pristine, the effects of owning a pair of AirPods is not completely positive. As kids continue to use them to show off to other kids, their popularity rises.

According to a review titled “Apple AirPods—Pros and Cons: A Review,” the microphone on AirPods is not good. The microphone on wired Apple earbuds are better than on the AirPods. AirPods are also said to have a very high electromotive force output, which means that the electrical intensity is very high. People are exposed to very high levels of EMF (electromagnetic fields) when wearing AirPods.

According to The International Agency for Research on Cancer, EMFs are “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”

Also, a University of California Berkeley scientist, Joel Moskowitz, told Daily Mail Online, “AirPods might cause irreversible brain damage, including an erosion of the brain-blood barrier.”

Charging is a main feature of Apple’s lightweight AirPods. The charging is good, considering one can get five hours of music after a single charge, but wired earbuds do not need to be charged. Apple also has a wireless charging case, but it is currently unavailable.

Another big downside of Apple’s AirPods is that they’re easily lost, and they are not cheap to replace. Because the AirPods are $159 a pair, they are pretty costly to lose.

iFixit gave AirPods a zero out of ten for “repairability,” because they cannot be fixed on their own. iFixit also stated that, “Glue is the only external fastener used in the case or the earbuds,” which means that they can break easily.

Education is being impacted by AirPods as well. Because of their size, AirPods are very easy to hide from teachers. Instead of listening to the lesson, students are listening to music.

Many kids who own AirPods are being negatively affected, whether they realize it or not. They are being sucked away from school lessons and discussions because they would rather be listening to music.

Even though owning a pair of AirPods can be seen as trendy and cool, people should value their education and health more than their social status. They should take into account the pros and cons of AirPods before deciding on buying a pair. They may be very lightweight and appealing, but they can be harmful to overall health and education.