A strange thing happened about six months ago, when I started to notice more and more people wearing Apple AirPods on the train each day. 

The AirPods were mocked when they were first launched in 2016, for being over-engineered, and over-priced – and by people like me who couldn’t actually get the darn things to stay in their ears for more than five seconds at a time.

Yet, a couple of years later, the AirPods are very much in vogue, and the internet is abuzz with rumors of  the AirPods 2 on the way. 

With loads of other manufacturers taking a cue from the true wireless design of the AirPods, Apple actually seems to have popularized a whole new category of headphones.

There are plenty of gadgets and games that seemed to crash and burn when they were first launched.

Of course, the AirPods aren’t the only tech product to have undergone such a dramatic reversal of fortunes. There are plenty of gadgets and games that seemed to crash and burn when they were first launched, only to rise phoenix-like into the tech hall of fame. 

So let’s take a stroll down memory lane and look at some of the zeroes that somehow managed to become tech heroes.

Apple AirPods (2016)

Image credit: Apple

The wire-free AirPods did get some good reviews when they were first launched, but they cost £159 and the audio quality wasn’t much better than you could get from a cheaper set of Bluetooth headphones.

Yet, in the last six months or so, the AirPods have been all over the place, being worn on trains and out on the streets – and featuring prominently in Velvet Buzzsaw, the new Jake Gyllenhaal film on Netflix.



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