Freshly Squeezed Op-Ed: Apple, Gimmie Some Truth

Mar 25, 2022 | OpEd | 0 comments

I was a regular bar playing musician for many, many years. Despite limitations due to health, until now, I still dabble in composition. When Apple announced Spatial Audio, their version of Dolby Atmos, I was very interested to hear their results. I wanted to revisit some of my old favorites. Granted, some would sound somewhat crappy because they weren’t recorded with this in mind. Luckily, quite a few famous performer’s master recordings were pristine enough to be translated to Spatial Audio successfully. Within months of their release, I dutifully marched down to my Apple Store and bought a pair of AirPod Pros to kick the audio format’s tires.

I was giddy. It was like hearing recordings for the first time again. Albums that I had listened to (literally) hundreds of times now revealed new surprises and depth.

The AirPods worked for about a year and a half, then issues arose. I started getting that dreaded crackle. Plus I lost 80% of volume in the left earbud, plus other assorted anomalies.

So, I hiked down to the Apple Store because I knew of their policy regarding the crackling issue and to see if I qualified for a free repair. I did.

They took them in the back where the Genius Bar now resides and performed some kind of technological voodoo out of sight and returned them to me. They sounded as they did when I first bought them.

But about a month later they returned to acting awry. Plus, this time it included some bonuses. If I pressed on the right earbud while it was in the ear, I got a low bass hum for five seconds. And there was randomly a sharp screeching noise in the left earbud.

So, I trekked back to my local Apple Store, told them the backstory and asked if they could do anything about it. They took them into the back to the Genius Bar (behind closed doors) and had at it. They came out and gave them to me, pronouncing them repaired. I took them back into the car for a listen, and they sounded markedly better than when I first got them. They sounded so much better that I started to believe they just gave me a brand-new pair of AirPod Pros!

It then dawned upon me that in prepping my AirPod Pros, when you go to take them in for repair, not unlike many Apple products, you’re to take them off Find My. Well, I backed up my iPhone, but neglected to turn off Find My. It dawned on me that if they were a new pair of AirPod Pros, I should now have listed in Find My TWO pair.

When I got home, I launched Find My. And guess what I found? There were AirPod Pros and AirPod Pros #2! So, in fact, I called it – they replaced the AirPod Pros.

I’m over the moon with that. The sound is so much better than the OGs. The bass is fuller and punchier, the overall sound is clearer. There’s more dynamic range, the effects are better. You are truly immersed. What I am not happy about is that Apple wouldn’t just say what they did.

To me, that would be a plus in their column if they said ‘Hey, this didn’t work, so we replaced them’. Granted. Anybody and their brother would then come crawling out of the wood work and claim that their AirPod Pros are affected, in the hopes of snagging a new pair. But this wasn’t that kind of case.

So, I have mixed emotions about this. On one hand, I got a new pair of working AirPod Pros. Thank you, Apple. On the other hand, they won’t admit that the thing was definitely screwed up, and they had to replace them.

Now I understand that for business reasons (as I mentioned earlier) many people would begin claiming untrue things, and it would end up costing them a fortune. But then again, they could afford to buy the planet.

Apple, please. You may think you’re too big to be touched by anybody, but you’re not really endearing yourself to us. You’ve made great strides recently in hardware, but your work in software and your relationship with your customers is going right down the crapper.

Don’t turn away from this chance to again, ‘Think Different’.


©2022 Frank Petrie


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