First things first, that is the design. In line with the heavy rumors, the AirPods 3 looks like a baby AirPods Pro sans the silicone ear tips to be fair enough. Our first impressions are that the AirPods 3 is more like an evolution of the previous AirPods but in the absolute right direction. The stem has been shortened and overall it bears a resemblance to the AirPods Pro.
Having said that, the Force Touch sensors have been carried over from the Pro sibling which is nice. For clumsy folks, the IPX4 water resistance certification is here. We expected an IP55 rating at least but it’s still better than nothing. To make the deal even sweeter, the charging case is also IPX4 certified.
This year, the AirPods focuses on delivering amazing sound quality based on ear fitment for the best possible audio experience. This is done by the Adaptive EQ feature that tunes the sound in real-time with regard to different types of ears. The low and mid frequencies are tuned intelligently to make up for the variances of fit among different users.
And then there’s Spatial Audio bringing an immersive sound that tracks the user’s head movement complete with Dolby Atmos.
A new skin detection sensor detects if the AirPods 3 are in the ear or not to pause or play media accordingly. Beam-forming microphones cancel out background noise and keep the user’s voice crisp and clear.
Battery, charging, and price
As for the battery, the AirPods 3 gets a larger battery with up to 6 hours of listening time and 30 hours combined with the charging case. Speaking of which, MagSafe now makes its way to the AirPods case along with conventional wireless charging as usual. With that said, the earbuds on an hour of charge can provide up to 1 hour of listening time.
The AirPods 3 is up for order at the Apple Store for $179 with sales set to begin next week. As for the lineup, the AirPods 2 stays as the entry-level offering with the AirPods Pro being the top-of-the-line TWS until a sequel drops sometime next year.