Apple yesterday introduced the new in-ear headphones called EarPods that ship with every iPod touch, iPod nano and iPhone 5 (also available as a standalone accessory). The promotional video was published on Apple’s web site, explaining how the company went about re-engineering its previous crappy in-ear headset and why it spent three years redesigning it.

Not everyone was aware of the clip and you needed QuickTime to stream it from Apple’s web site. Not anymore, as Apple uploaded the EarPods video to its YouTube channel. Let us know what you think in the comments…

Exhaustive research and development effort had Apple spent three years designing it.

From YouTube description:

A breakthrough for ears everywhere, Apple EarPods look unlike anything you’ve ever seen, and sound unlike anything you’ve ever heard.

Jonny Ive, Apple’s head of industrial design, says in the clip:

The human ear is so unique. No two are alike. Making one headphone to fit everbody’s ear would be like trying to make one pair of shoes to fit everybody’s feet.

I mean, it’s impossible.

So, how did Ive and his team go about re-thinking the headphone?

We three-dimensionally scanned hundreds of ears and looked for commonality. From that, we were able to determine the common volume.

“This was our starting point for developing a form to fit a broad range of ears.”

From there, the team determined the best shape to fit most people’s ears.

“The shape of the EarPod is actually defined by the geometry of your ear.”

Ive’s mission statement resonated with me:

Sound is so important to the way you experience an Apple product. So we wanted to make a headphone that was absolutely the very best it could be.


That said, the EarPods better fit and sound better than the crappy headset they replace, wouldn’t you agree?

  • I honestly liked the previous set of earphones that came with the 4S. But these do seem much, much better. I’m excited to try them out.

  • Kok Hean

    “EarPods are designed to intentionally direct sound right into the ear hole.”

    For those of you who don’t understand what this means, he’s not stating the obvious. Typical earpieces bounce sound into your ear. This means that those who like to blast music into their ears at the loudest volume (I still don’t know why) will affect people around them. In-ear headphones create a seal to do this but the sound is just bouncing off the seals and into the ear, but the EarPods don’t need seals.

    EarPods: Designed for Humans 😛

    • Actually, the speakers inside these headphones are positioned in a way I can’t explain, so I’m just going to show you an image. 🙂
      img17 dot imageshack dot us/img17/9568/15187303323825811.jpg
      As you can see, the sound has to bounce off the side of the headphone, and then enter the ear canal.

      • Kok Hean

        Well, you get the idea 🙂

  • Polysyllabic Pseudonym

    Leaving aside the earphones which one can always replace with their preferred brands – the iphone5 in it self is not rewarding for anyone except for 3Gs users.

    If you own a 3GS and have stuck to it until now, this is a leap in terms of phone experience. For 4S users and to a large extent iPhone 4 users, this is a marginal improvement in experience at a steep cost. Sad.

    I am an iPhone4 user and this launch tells me that Apple can now only polish further but not blow us away with their product cycles. I will probably wait for a iPhone 5S so I don’t feel cheated for buying this model – only to see a beefed up version next year.

    • Um, I totally disagree with your statement. I have a 4S and am now dying to get the 5. So much was improved and it’s pretty ignorant to say your 4 will be anything close to the 5.

      • Polysyllabic Pseudonym

        I don’t know for how many years you have used a cellphone. Perhaps you can afford to every iteration of an expensive phone. I can’t.

        And your observation about my ignorance is careless. Like I said, the improvement is marginal for a 4S user unless a refined exterior and upgraded hardware is considered groundbreaking – which in your opinion seems to be the case.

        For a 3GS user looking to upgrade, this is a great phone – not so much for a 4/4S user like me.

        Outside of the 10 hours at work where I am online, I spend no more than 4-5 hours on my phone’s cellular connectivity. I can’t sign $200 contracts to get my hand on this phone – the return is not compelling.

        But whatever works for you, just offering my personal opinion – not a verdict on the phone itself.

      • mo

        Agreed. The 4 to 4s was marginal as well. The 4 to 5 is at a higher margin but not one high one to warrant a upgrade (at least for me).

      • Personally as an iphone 4 user, i think the upgrade is well worth it, although if i had an iphone 4s i don’t think that would be the case.

        I can see that pattern carrying on, i likely won’t get the next iphone, but will get the one after that.

        That’s assuming that things aren’t massively changed by then, i’m keeping my eye on other brands.

    • I agree, there sure is a lot of hatred on this phone even tho it was drastically changed (yes making the phone Larger, thinner, lighter, faster,better cameras, speakers.) What on the iPhone has not changed? Other than the way the front of it looks, there are only so many things you can do to a touchscreen device to make them different from one another. LIke somebody else said on a different thread, Look at Porsche, had the same body style for the last 40 years, but you dont hear anyone complaining about those minor upgrades from year to year. A Lambo is a lambo, a Honda is a Honda, and an iPhone is well just than, an iPhone. Expect it to look like one! Most people (including myself) have no idea the engineering that goes on behind the scenes to change every single component on the phone, whether its just a faster processor, or a bigger screen, apple does all of this and then still makes the phone THINNER than the last model. Sure we can add TONS of features if we want to hold a freaking brick to our heads like most Android phones. As far as not being able to afford this phone, dont hate on people because they got more money than you. If you had the money to upgrade to this phone, you probably would (correct me if i am wrong).

      • Polysyllabic Pseudonym

        You are assuming that not finding compelling value for money and not being able to afford an upgraded phone are same things. It’s not.

        Just because it’s a much improved phone isn’t reason enough for most people to upgrade. For me a top of the line phone is like a car – I use it for at least 3 years before upgrading for a newer model.

        And which line gave it away that I am hating on people for buying this phone? For all I care, you can buy two iPhone 5 – you know what to do with the second one 🙂

      • Well my account is due for an upgrade, so why not sell my 32 GB 4S for at least 350 and get the brand new one? If i was under contract you bet your ass I would not be upgrading.

  • “We three-dimensionally scanned hundreds of ears and looked for
    commonality. From that, we were able to determine the common volume.”

    And then… BANG.. time to Samsung sell a black version rip-off at a lowest price.

    “Why wasting time on research if we can copy”

    • Do you buy all those products you see on infomercials, because you sure do seem like a pretty naive person to me. Like I said above, Apple truly can make a sensation out of everything. What they don’t mention is that already existing in-ear headphones feature rubber / silicone (even foam) tips which fit better inside the ear (better than any other kind of headphones), and because of the fact they also cancel out / isolate outside noise, they provide better sound quality.
      These seem to me like yet another cheapo, Apple headphones.

    • True Story

  • Apple truly can make a sensation out of everything. They’re made of high quality polycarbonate. (In other words, good ol’ plastic.) I can’t imagine plastic feeling comfortable for prolonged periods of time. Even my rubber / silicon in ear headphones start hurting after few hours. :/

    • When we talk about earphones, it’s all about the shape and not the materials. If we get the “right shape” you can use it for prolonged periods of time without feeling unconfortable. Rubber/Silicon or Polycarbonate will feel the same.

      What Jony Ive said make sense.. but only testing for a long period of time we will know that. And for sure that experience will vary from person to person.

      • Polysyllabic Pseudonym

        And folks, this is how you start a counterpoint only to wash your hands off by the last sentence 😉

      • “…it’s all about the shape and not the materials…” Have you ever heard about rubber or silicone? Great thing about those materials is they can, you know, change shapes and adapt to your ear? I don’t see how is plastic capable of that.

      • I know they are adaptable, but since they can be molded when you wear them, they can change the shape while you’re using them… that’s why for prolonged periods you need to take them off. And since they tend to be longer and almost enter in your ear, that makes them be more unconfortable. I own one of those and personally, I don’t like it. Just like I didn’t like either the first apple earphones. The second version (I think) are much more confortable since they got a rounded shape.

  • gothamguy

    What I don’t see in that video is the little clip that you can slide up the cord to keep them from tangling when you wrap them up. I don’t want to carry a case around all the time.

  • Look really nice, but I won’t be ditching my Sennheiser with my FiiO amp for them. 😉

  • Mac_Guy

    I wish you could get the headphones in black with the purchase of the black iPhone 5