Apple AirPods validate the memes they inspired

Thomas Galindo


Someone with AirPods: “Compared to normal Apple headphones the sound is actually much better.”

Mechanical engineering freshman Ben Gitzinger received his Apple AirPods as a gift last May for his birthday. He understood he was ahead of the curve and in the minority of AirPod users who got theirs before Christmas 2018 came around.

“I didn’t see my first AirPod meme until after Christmas, when everyone was getting them as gifts,” Gitzinger said.

Toward the end of 2018, the popularity of AirPods peaked. AirPod memes took over Twitter and Instagram in late 2018 and early 2019. Young adults who received Apple AirPods as holiday gifts took to social media platforms to make sure all their friends knew about it.

Psychology senior Jennifer Rodriguez said she enjoyed the memes before enjoying the actual product.

“Before I got them, I was laughing about (the memes),” Rodriguez said. “I always thought they were kind of a bit silly, but now that I have (AirPods), I can’t live without them.”

While the wireless headphones may draw eyes, they live up to the hype, according to UT students who have them. Biochemistry freshman Star Ni said there are many reasons she enjoys owning AirPods.

“They’re convenient, easy to take in and out and easy to charge,” Ni said. “I definitely plan on continuing to use them in the future.”

As more people began to buy and receive AirPods, memes took Twitter and Instagram by storm. With a price tag of $159, owning a pair is portrayed as technological elitism through these memes.

“I think they’re a little too pricey and expensive,” Rodriguez said. “But there’s a lot of upside. Price is the only downside.”

While their sound quality and viral popularity have contributed to AirPods’ success, students point out that they can easily be misplaced.

“They’re very easy to lose,” Ni said. “I use them many times a day when I walk to class, so it would suck to lose them.”

Computer science freshman Devin Metzger works at the Campus Computer Store in the Flawn Academic Center and said he did not expect AirPods to live up to the hype.

“I was actually surprised; I expected (the sound quality) to be average,” Metzger said. “I’m always looking for bass with my headphones. They were really good about that.”

In his time working at the Campus Computer Store, Metzger said he has noticed a wave of people coming in to buy AirPods, which led to a shortage.

“We don’t have any right now,” Metzger said. “I’ve seen the sales skyrocket since the meme at Christmas. That’s just speaking anecdotally, but we actually have tons of people coming in to get AirPods.”

Metzger has owned two pairs of AirPods previously and has lost both of them.

“I’m broke now, and in high school my mom paid for them,” Metzger said. “If I ever have enough (money), though, I plan on buying more.”