The long-rumored third generation of AirPods finally received their much-awaited release at the Cupertino-based OEM’s Unleashed Event on October 18th. They launch alongside the brand new MacBook Pro lineup and introduce some massive changes to AirPods, which have remained pretty much the same since their introduction in 2016.
Yes, there was a refresh in 2019, which brought an improved processor enhancing its function as a pair of smart wireless earphones and a wireless charging compatible case. An upgrade we can call iterative. The 2nd generation AirPods will still be available on sale for $129.
With that, let us focus on what is new with this generation and answer some of the questions you may have, specifically those surrounding its availability and compatibility with older devices.
Pricing and Availability
The third-generation AirPods will be available for pre-order from 18th October, with deliveries and availability starting next week. The earbuds will retail for $179 and come bundled with an all-new MagSafe compatible case.
The $249 AirPods Pro have also been updated to ship with the new MagSafe Case.
As has been customary for AirPods, the earbuds are only available in the traditional white. With Apple making more and more of their products available in a plethora of colorways, we would’ve liked to see more variety, but for interested buyers, white it is.
According to Apple, the third generation features an all-new design on the inside and outside. It uses a stem shape similar to AirPods Pro and has shifted to the same embedded force sensors for media control, while the head of the earbuds remains similar to previous generations with a hard plastic casing, without any silicone tips.
The charging case has also seen a minor redesign to fit the new earbuds and features a familiar look. It also comes with MagSafe-capable hardware.
For those who often exercise with earphones, AirPods are IPX4 rated, meaning the sweat you work up, or light rainfall should not pose an issue.
Audio and Microphone
Coming to the audio experience on these new earbuds, Apple spoke about a new low distortion driver which will provide powerful bass and crisp audio at higher frequencies. This is further supported by Adaptive EQ, which will actively customize the audio profile to help you hear a song, how it’s meant to be heard by trying to combat inconsistencies due to fit.
Spatial Audio with Dynamic Head Tracking will also make its debut on the normal AirPods with this generation, meaning you will be able to make the most of Dolby Atmos soundtracks.
And focussing on microphones, Apple is once again using its dual beamforming units, which have proven themselves to be the best on the market over the last few years. Bundle this with iOS 15’s Voice Isolation feature, and others should never have an issue hearing you well on a call.
Battery Life and Charging
With the third generation, AirPods Apple provides the best endurance they ever have with the in-ear form factor. These earbuds will now last for six hours of listening on a single charge, with the case packing an additional 24 hours, making for a total of 30.
If you’re someone who takes an awful lot of calls, in that situation, the AirPods will function for 4 hours on a single charge, with the case providing an additional 16.
The earbuds charge via the case, which in turn can use the included Lightning to USB-C cable or wireless charging via the Qi or MagSafe standard.
Apple claims a quick five-minute charge will provide users with an hour of listening time or talk time.
The third-generation AirPods are compatible with a wide variety of Apple devices, which are listed below. Keep in mind to use these, you will need to have the devices on the latest version of their respective operating systems.
Note: It is also compatible with the 7th generation iPod Touch.
What is in the Apple AirPods 3 box?
What are the new features on the AirPods 3?
Are the new AirPods 3 waterproof?
Do the AirPods 3 support Lossless Audio?
Do the AirPods 3 support Spatial Audio?
Do the AirPods 3 have Passive Noise Isolation?
Do the AirPods 3 come with a Transparency Mode?
Do the AirPods 3 support wireless charging?
What port does the AirPods 3 use for charging? Lightning or USB C?
What Bluetooth version do the AirPods 3 support?
What audio codecs do the AirPods 3 support?
What is the audio latency on the AirPods 3? Can I use it for gaming?
Can I use the AirPods 3 with Android?
Can I use the AirPods 3 with multiple devices?
Can I use the AirPods 3 for phone calls and video calls?
Can I use silicone or memory foam tips with the AirPods 3?
How to reset AirPods 3?
How to check if AirPods 3 are genuine or fake?