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Apple AirPods 3 combine the best of AirPods Pro with the worst AirPods feature

The AirPods 3 make a splash at Apple's fall event, and feature a revamped design and a bevy of software improvements.

Published onOctober 18, 2021

AirPods 3
  • The Apple AirPods 3rd Generation feature spatial audio, a new audio driver, and retain the same open-fit design as previous AirPods.
  • With a water-resistant build, listeners can exercise with the earbuds.
  • The AirPods 3 are available to order today and retail for $179.

After much anticipation, the Apple AirPods 3 have made their way to the public sphere. The AirPods 3 are a clear descendent of the AirPods and AirPods Pro with an open-fit design, short stems, and stout charging case. This time around, you get spatial audio support with Dolby Atmos and head tracking on the new AirPods, something that used to be reserved for the Pro and Max version of AirPods.

See also: The best true wireless earbuds you can get

Apple kept the same open-type fit as we’ve seen with the previous generation AirPods, but reshaped the AirPods 3 contour, so it should stay in place more faithfully than before. The drivers are slightly angled to send audio more directly to the eardrums. Speaking of which, Apple completely redesigned the dynamic driver in the new AirPods to further minimize distortion while delivering loud bass and clear treble notes.

AirPods 3 Price

No matter how good the raw frequency response is, it’s important to remember that an unsealed fit lets in background noise, ultimately degrading audio quality. An open-fit has its sound quality drawbacks, but earbuds like this are generally safer to wear in busy spaces as this design keeps you aware of the environment.

Apple made no mention of a custom EQ, but like the AirPods Pro, the AirPods 3rd Generation use Adaptive EQ to adjust the sound quality in real-time. Also similar to the AirPods Pro are the shortened stems with a force sensor that listeners interact with to control playback and more.

An H1 chip sits inside the AirPods 3; iPhone owners who spring for Apple’s latest earphones can take advantage of hands-free Siri access, battery optimization, and automatic playback switching.

AirPods 3 Features

It’s well known that older AirPods models have lackluster battery life, but Apple claims the battery life is better with this headset. You get six hours of playtime on a single charge and the case can fast charge the earbuds: a five-minute charge provides 60 minutes of listening time. The case holds an additional four charge cycles, totaling up to 30 hours of on-the-go playtime. It even supports MagSafe, so you can use the AirPods 3 case with the same wireless Apple charger as your iPhone 12 or iPhone 13.

The Apple AirPods 3 are available to order today and cost $179. The new AirPods will begin shipping out next week, and when you place an order you can request a personal engraving on the case.

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