FINALLY! AIRPODS THAT FIT WOMEN!
Headphones were introduced in the early 20th century. Based off of the telephone earpiece, they started out bulky and cumbersome. When earphones, or smaller headphones, were popularized in the 1980s, they were lighter in weight, fit outside the ear canal, and notably fit women and men alike. But around the year 2000, in-earphones or more popularly named, earbuds, became fashionable.
This is truly where our story starts. Ask any woman over the age of thirty today if her earbuds fit and she will undoubtedly respond, “no.” That’s 51% of adults using technology every day since 2000, that was never fit for them. While Apple, the forerunner in hardware and software, became undeniably the source for the popular earbuds, they clearly lacked female engineers, designers, test users, or general design-thinking solutions for the majority of women. It’s been uncomfortable enough companies like Rose Rockers, and Skullcandy created whole product lines to make headphones comfortable for women.
So how did this happen? We won’t bore you with some lengthy explanation. The short answer is that the design teams were made up of men who never thought to size the earpieces for everyone. Much like a lot of tech history, the development budget accommodates for one solution. That status quo is almost always the average adult-size man. Ear tech was no exception. Still, earbuds manufacturing costs are minimal compared to other hardtech development. And this lack of empathy and crucial design thinking literally pained millions of women for decades.
Then came Apple’s AirPods Pro in late October 2019. These inner-ear devices are similar to the earbuds, but cordless… And one more thing - they come with three sizes of inner ear tips! Small, medium and large allow for the user to select which end dimension works for him or her. It grants users with slightly smaller ears or slightly larger canals to be comfortable with their tech. And even better, the multi-sized pieces are displayed cleanly and equally within the pristine packaging. Finally! Us women aren’t the “second choice” or the “alternative” solution! The small size ear tip is uniformly wrapped and shown aside the other two volumes. This is truly a marvelous feat!
It’s been a long time coming, but now that women purchase the majority of tech, designers and engineers are starting to find high-tech and hardtech solutions for us. Thank you Apple for finally creating headphone tech that fits our lives and our bodies. It makes us think, “Can you imagine the future?! Maybe next we’ll see appropriately sized cars, and watches that buzz our loved ones when they are about to forget something!”
Tech is catching up to fulfill and add to women's lives, and we’re excited about the future. Now let’s take our newly fitting AirPods and enjoy this new tech development era.