Apple AirPods (3rd generation) review

Apple AirPods (3rd generation)

The only thing that comes to mind when we talk about real wireless headphones are the Apple headphones. In addition, its sales have increased significantly over the last 10 years. This is due to the strength and good quality of its product. Many people think that is enough. But it is not. The headset also comes with many other special features. Today we are going to discuss one of the latest products of Apple AirPods (3rd generation).

Pros
  • Spatial Audio with head tracking
  • Adaptive EQ (iOS, Android, Windows)
  • IPX4 rating
Cons
  • Sound quality
  • Features limited to iOS
  • Poor fit, no isolation

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Price and availability

The Airpods (3rd generation) come with a white colour option. It is prices $ 179 and will be available to order from the Apple Online Store US and stores in more than 26 other countries and territories. Moreover, the AirPods 2 are sticking around at the new lower price of $129.

Who is for Apple AirPods (3rd generation) designed for?

  • Mostly for iPhone or iPad users. Because, this headset comes with advanced H1 chip. Which only works when you use it to pair with Apple’s hardware. Thus, if you want to take full advantage of all the features, you must have an iPhone or iPad with you.
  • For those who do not want the active noise cancellation features on their headphones.

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Box Content

  • AirPods
  • MagSafe Charging Case
  • Lightning to USB-C Cable
  • Documentation

See also- How do headphones work? Guide to the internal operation of our headphones.


Let’s discuss the design of the Apple AirPods (3rd generation) headphone?

Apple AirPods (3rd generation)

Looking at the MagSafe charging case, you will probably find that the case is much smaller than the AirPods Pro and slightly wider than the previous model AirPods (2nd generation). Speaking of earbuds, it fits magnetically into the case and closes the case with a booming click. Apple Airpods (3rd generation) are more comfortable and lighter headphones than other Apple headphones.

By design, earbuds look almost identical to Airpods Pro. Airpods (3rd generation) are built with fairly small stems that are more comfortable for long sessions. However, unlike the AirPods Pro, these headphones come with a tip-less earbuds design. Lack of ear tips makes many users unable to achieve a secure fit, leading to comfort problems and a complete lack of isolation.

Apple Airpods (3rd generation) offer advanced skin-detection sensor feature. Who knows the difference between your ears and other surfaces. So, audio only plays when you’re wearing AirPods – and pause when they’re in your pocket or on a table.

Can you use Apple AirPods (3rd generation) for a workout?

Both the AirPods and the MagSafe charging case are rated IPX4 sweat and water resistant. So they will cope with anything from rain to heavy workouts. Sweat and water resistance means using airpods in the gym without worrying about damage. The IPX4 rating allows airpods (3rd generation) to handle light water droplets, but still has no protection from drowning or dust, so these are not earbuds for adventure enthusiasts.

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How to controls Apple AirPods (3rd generation)?

To control Apple AirPods (3rd generation), you have to negotiate with the force sensor on the stem of any earbud. A rectangular devotional delimits the sensor from the non-touch-sensitive part of the stem, so there’s no point in randomly tapping yourself. Touch controls are listed below.

Action (stems)Either earbud
One tapPlay/pause
Two tapsSkip forward
Three tapsPrevious track
Press and holdSiri
“Hey Siri”Change volume, request directions, playback control, receive messages, and more

Furthermore, Apple Airpods (3rd generation) headsets do not offer transparency mode to amplify external sound. It makes sense to ignore how you can’t get a seal with airpods (3rd generation). You can use the Settings app to choose which AirPods stem you want to use for Siri.

Is there an app available for Apple AirPods (3rd generation)?

Apple AirPods (3rd generation)

Yes, these headphones come with the Apple app. With this app, you can turn automatic ear detection on or off (on by default), select what happens when you press the force sensor on the earbud stem, and name your airpods. When you delete and insert the earbud, the automatic ear check continues, the media pauses and resumes. When you remove both buds, playback stops simultaneously and does not resume when re-inserted.

However, the iOS and iPadOS settings app is the only app that is best compatible with all Apple Airpods models. As a result, only users with Apple hardware can access the most advanced and premium features like firmware updates and hands-free series access and spatial audio.

Additionally, you can use the app to select which microphones AirPods use during phone calls and to address Siri (left, right or automatic). Find My AirPods is an Apple-specific feature that can also help identify lost airpods earbuds.

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How does the Apple AirPods (3rd generation) sound?

The most notable feature of this headset is its spatial audio. Spatial audio resonates around you with dynamic head tracking locations to create a three-dimensional listening experience for music, TV shows, movies and more. In addition, the airpods are immersing you in sounds from every direction so that it feels like you are in your own concert hall or theater or club. So far, this feature only worked with AirPods Pro and AirPods Max. Because they rely on their built-in accelerometer and gyroscope to track the position of your head and make sure the sound is coming from the right direction.

There are many songs around the world, but classic music is compatible with spatial audio. The music sounds really good in Clash, space audio by Dave and Stormzi (2021). In addition, AirPods also manages rhythmic changes for a pair of earbuds at this price. Listening without spatial audio and splitting between different instruments is less impressive. Still, the soundstage is still very well balanced and pleasant to listen to.

Spatial audio works well for music, but the best application of technology is for movies. Apple Airpods (3rd generation) are more than capable of handling complex Dolby Atmos soundtracks. Looking at the animated short blush on the Apple TV Plus, we felt like the rocket was really zooming out of our heads.

Apple Airpods (3rd generation) are far superior to their predecessors in terms of sound quality. They come with new custom-made, low-distortion drivers and a high dynamic range amplifier. The company also suggests that the headset come with “cycle, clean, powerful bass with high frequencies”.

What Bluetooth codecs does the AirPods (3rd generation) support?

However, the Bluetooth codec only supports SBC and AAC. Typically, this codec is a very common in Apple devices. All Apple headers come with SBC and AAC support. As a result, AirPods (3rd generation) cannot handle high-resolution audio streaming. These AirPods lack the latest Qualcomm aptX codec, which can handle very advanced and high bass audio from your device.

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What is the Apple adaptive EQ profile?

Apple AirPods (3rd generation)

Earbuds come with much better bass frequency than the predecessor AirPods 2. They have a very powerful and warm sound. These are by no means good listening in-ear headphones. But, they are well enjoyable and provide better sound when playing music or podcasts.

Thanks to support for the adaptive EQ (first seen on AirPods Pro), AirPods (3rd generation) should suit your ears. This technology tunes the sound of earbuds in real time depending on how it fits in your ear. According to Apple, the inside microphone monitors for sound, and then the computational audio that powers the adaptive EQ feature tunes low and mid frequencies to “account for what may be lost due to differences in feet”.

The position of equipment in space is subtle, but effective. To our right is the melodious guitar, while the limb is to our left. Behind the sound stage, bass and drums provide a rhythmic backbone of the track, while Jim Morrison’s dulcet vocals turn right again.

Each instrument has its own place to shine, and the bass, mid and trouble frequencies seem to be well balanced. Not the most detailed or rhythmically tight presentation we’ve ever heard of this particular track, but the AirPods 3 works best in depicting the spirit of space and the state of the various instruments in the virtual realm.

Michael Kiwanuka’s You Int the Problem is equally impressive in this regard – although we find the electric guitar lines in the mix very passionate, to the point that the hookie ‘la-la-la’ section song was initially suppressed. The AirPods 3 share similar issues with three times the rigidity than their predecessors, and the more busy tracks sometimes seem muddy.

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How well does the Apple Airpods (3rd generation) cut out noise?

Apple Airpods (3rd generation) do not come with any kind of Active Noise Cancellation support. So, it does nothing to block the background noise. However, as Apple improved the previous silhouette of its third-generation AirPods, the company kept it an unsold fit. These unsealed ears help you when you are on the busy streets of the city, running or jumping and want to hear everything that is going on around you. In addition, the open back design will have a negative impact on how your music sounds, if you are lucky enough to have earbuds where they are.

If you know that most common earbuds come with rubber type eartips. Which helps to seal the ear and provide a somewhat passive isolation. Additionally, with this pressure seal, you can see a slight fading in sounds below 1KHz, but AirPods (3rd generation) do nothing of the sort. Because external noise can still penetrate your ear canals, you’ll run into audible masking – while loud noise (external noise) makes relatively quiet sound (your music) relatively difficult to hear. This is not only bad for sound quality, but you may be forced to increase the volume to drown out the areas around you, which can lead to loss of sound-induced hearing loss.

How Good the Apple AirPods (3rd generation) for taking voice calls?

On the back of the earbuds, the acoustic mesh covers the outer beamforming microphone. Which is designed to reduce wind noise and make your voice clear. Additionally, AirPods 3 supports the AAC-ELD codec. What Apple calls “Full HD Voice Quality” – whatever it means. When making voice calls using AirPods (3rd generation), recipients stated that their voices could be clearly heard. And they didn’t hear any background noise.

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How long does the battery last?

It promises up to 6 hours of listening time and up to 30 hours of total listening time with a charging case with wireless charging. Five minutes of charging provides about an hour of battery life. Apple says some features require iOS 13 or iPadOS, which is not compatible with iPhone 6 or older models, iPad Air (1st generation), iPad mini 3 and iPad mini 2.

Optimized battery charging mode learns your daily charging routine, so AirPods don’t charge more than 80% unless you need to use it. This will help maintain the lifespan of the airpods, but keep in mind that true wireless earbuds are not designed to last. With each charge cycle, the total capacity of the battery decreases, so you will not get daily use of these earbuds for more than two years.

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What is the connectivity option the Apple AirPods (3rd generation) have?

In terms of connectivity, the Apple AirPods (3rd generation) only have Bluetooth 5.0 connect option. Additionally, the H1 chip syncs earbuds to your iCloud account for a seamless switch from your iPhone to your Macbook or iPad. The headset does not provide Bluetooth Multipoint connectivity. Thus, you can’t connect two devices at same headset simultaneously.

Moreover, the AirPods (3rd generation) only offer SBC and AAC audio codec. . As a result, the AirPods 3 can’t handle hi-res audio streaming. This Airpods lacks the latest Qualcomm aptX codec, which can handle very advanced and high bass audio from your device.

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How is the AirPods (3rd generation) different from the AirPods Pro and previous AirPods?

Following are the difference between All Apple devices.

Apple AirPods (1st generation)Apple AirPods (2nd generation)Apple AirPods (3rd generation)Apple AirPods Pro
Size (earbud)40.5 x 16.5 x 18 mm40.5 x 16.5 x 18 mm30.8 x 18.3 x 19.2 mm30.9 x 21.8 x 24 mm
Size (case)44.3 x 21.3 x 53.5 mm44.3 x 21.3 x 53.5 mm46.4 x 21.4 x 54.4 mm45.2 x 60.6 x 21.7 mm
Weight (earbud)4g4g4.3g5.4g
IP certificationN/AN/AIPX4IPX4
Fit typeOpenOpenOpenSealed (three ear tip sizes)
BluetoothSBC, AACSBC, AAC; Bluetooth 5.0SBC, AAC; Bluetooth 5.0SBC, AAC; Bluetooth 5.0
Active noise cancellationNoNoNoHybrid ANC
Wireless charging available?NoYes, with wireless charging caseYes and MagSafe compatibleYes and MagSafe compatible (2021)
ChipsetW1H1H1H1
Touch controlsYesYesYes, with force sensorYes, with force sensor
ConnectorLightningLightningLightningLightning
Battery life (75dB SPL)3.45 hours4.175 hours6.35 hours5.1125 hours
Original price (USD)(Discontinued)$159, $199 with wireless charging case$179$249

Conclusion

If you have read this much, you probably already know that you are going to buy Apple AirPods (3rd generation). However, if you’re still on the fence: we don’t recommend buying these earphones on the Apple AirPods Pro unless you can’t stand things inside your ears.

The AirPods Pro performs better in almost every category (while carrying most of the same features and eliminates noise), but you can also upgrade your charging case for the AirPods Pro to a later MagSafe version. Sealed earphones have many disadvantages, not limited to sound quality.

It’s definitely a big draw to get the latest and greatest thing out there, but Apple AirPods (3rd generation) may not be for everyone. These earphones are good enough, but if you prefer older earphones and want more with a few improvements then this is the main reason to buy. The fact is that many other (cheaper) true wireless earphones do not suffer the same disadvantages as airpods.

AirPods have a habit of ending discounts during the holidays, so if you can get third-generation AirPods at a lower rate than the running rate for AirPods Pro, that could be the price of a coin.

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FAQ

What are some alternatives to the third-generation AirPods?

If you must stay in the AirPods family, the AirPods Pro is the only pair of earbuds we can recommend in good faith. It has all the same amenities as airpods (3rd generation), and is more comfortable due to the secure fit.
If you want to be adjacent to AirPods, consider Beats Studio Buds instead of sound cancellation. Apple owns Beats, and even without the H1 chip, you still have to say “Hey Siri” when paired with the iPhone. Beats Studio Buds reproduces more bass than AirPods (3rd generation), shares the same IPX4 rating and works on Android as it does on iOS. Sportier listeners want to spring for the Beats Powerbeats Pro instead for its ear hooks and 10-plus-hour battery life.
Say you have an Android and iOS device and you want an OS-agnostic experience. In that case, Boss Sport earbuds may be the best option for you. It works with the Boss Music app, which is available on any platform, and fits securely due to tight ears. Unfortunately, you can’t customize the sound through the app, but the default sound is quite good and a few listeners will be forced to change it.

Is the MagSafe charging case any good?

MagSafe and wireless charging offer new ways to power up the charging case, but that’s another thing to buy – the MagSafe charging mat doesn’t come with third generation airpods. Apple is still not fully committed to USB-C, so you’re stuck with a lightning cable for wired charging. For more than 30 hours of total hearing time, earbuds provide an additional four charges. Fast charging also offers a full battery life of 60 minutes out of just five minutes of charging in case.

How do you connect the Apple AirPods (3rd generation) to your phone?

Connecting AirPods to Apple devices is as easy as ever. Just pop the lid and tap on “Connect” on the pop-up widget and you will be connected via Bluetooth 5.0. The H1 chip syncs earbuds to your iCloud account for a seamless switch from your iPhone to your Macbook or iPad.
If you decide to use AirPods with an Android phone, you will need to manually connect earbuds to your device. Open the case, press the back pairing button, and hold the case closest to your phone until the AirPods appear in your list of available Bluetooth devices.

What is the release date of the Apple AirPods (3rd generation)

October 18, 2021

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