Is Airpods 3: Worth $179?
The third generation of Apple’s AirPods earbuds are truly wireless. They have a number of improvements over their forerunners, the AirPods 2, making them a worthy upgrade. If you include the Pro line, they aren’t the newest Apple earbuds anymore. Now, the freshly released AirPods Pro 2 hold that distinction. These are the company’s most recent models of noise-canceling earphones, and they significantly outperform the AirPods Pro in terms of both use and audio quality.
The AirPods 3 we’re examining here are still pricy at $179, but they’re more cheap if you don’t mind giving up noise cancellation and some of the Pro and Pro 2’s high-end features. As you might imagine, both Pro models are more expensive than the ones we’re reviewing here.
The new AirPods have the same overall appearance as the originals but have shorter stems and housings with contours that make them more comfortable to wear. Squeezing the stems of those devices activates touch capacitive force sensors, which you may use to control the playback of music and to answer and finish phone conversations.
Although we appreciate these new design elements, we were most delighted by the enhancements Apple made to the earbuds’ audio quality. A well-balanced sound is provided by new drivers and amplifiers, and Spatial Audio support promises to make your favourite music sound more lifelike than ever.
Even if there is hardly any of a change if you’re using the AirPods 3 with Spatial Audio enabled, the battery life of the AirPods 3 has increased in comparison to the AirPods 2. You may expect up to 30 hours of playback if that specific feature is disabled, which is more than enough to get you through a week of commuting.
The third-generation AirPods provide iOS 15 users additional connectivity features including as hands-free Hey Siri activation, Announce Notifications, Audio Sharing, Group Facetime with Spatial Audio, and integration with Apple’s Find My network.
The AirPods 3 stand out from competing models because to these added features that improve quality of life, which also make it easier to accept the lack of active noise cancellation.
Unfortunately, you miss out on all of these capabilities if you don’t have access to an iOS device. As a result, we wouldn’t advise anyone who isn’t already a fan of Apple’s lineup of smartphones, laptops, tablets, and smartwatches to get the AirPods 3.
The AirPods 3, on the other hand, are a terrific option and a significant improvement over the AirPods 2 if you love everything Apple and desire a pair of the best wireless earbuds that “simply work.”
The result is astounding whether you’re listening to music that have been Dolby Atmos mixed or conventional stereo files that have been upscaled utilising Spatial Audio technology. The pleasure is only improved when you watch movies with the AirPods 3.
The battery life of the AirPods 3 is Enhanced. The new AirPods 3 have a 30-hour maximum battery life, compared to the 2019 AirPods’ total playback time of 24 hours (about five hours from the earphones and a further 19 hours from the charging case).
After four more charges from the case, Apple claims that the earbuds alone offer up to six hours of listening time or up to four hours of speaking time. If you’re in a hurry, a quick five-minute charge will give you around an hour of playback. The AirPods 3 come bundled with a wireless charging case that is compatible with Apple’s MagSafe ecosystem, just like the AirPods Pro.
All of that makes sense, but enabling spatial audio reduces the internal battery life to five hours, which is comparable to the playback time of the first-generation AirPods. The longer battery life of the AirPods 3 doesn’t really help you as Spatial Audio is one of the primary features that set them apart from the AirPods 2 on the market.
The audio quality of the AirPods 3 feels far better than that of their predecessors. According to Apple, the latter are meant to offer “powerful bass with crisp, clear high frequencies.”
The new earphones produce a more robust, warmer sound than the AirPods 2 and are undoubtedly better at transmitting bass frequencies. These in-ear headphones are absolutely adequate for listening to music or podcasts even if they are by no means audiophile models.
The AirPods 3 should be somewhat adapted to your ears thanks to support for Adaptive EQ (originally seen on the AirPods Pro). Based on how the earbuds fit in your ear, this technology adjusts the sound of the headphones in real-time.
The AirPods 3 maintain a similar appearance to earlier AirPod models, with all-white minimalism, projecting stems, and subtly curved contours.
The AirPods 3 have slimmer stems and softerly curved housings than the second-generation AirPods, giving them a more streamlined, sophisticated appearance.
Similar to the AirPods Pro, those stems have touch-capacitive force sensors that let you control the playback of your music by squeezing them. Squeezing the stem will also end or accept calls.
We thought the controls were quite responsive, and we enjoyed the tiny “click” sound that indicates when a touch has been recorded. Similar to the AirPods Pro, some haptic feedback—a little vibration from the earbuds rather than a click—would also be appreciated, although that is by no means a deal-breaker.
It’s unfortunate that there isn’t a means to adjust the audio level directly from the buds, possibly by gliding your finger up and down the stems. You’ll need to either ask Siri for that or take your phone out of your pocket.
When using the AirPods 3, you can hear pretty much everything that is going on around you. There is also some sound leakage, which is something to take into account if you’re using them in a crowded area and don’t want people to overhear your music.
The housings have been sculpted to funnel sound directly into your ears in an effort to reduce the audio loss that occurs with a semi-open design, and it seems to work rather well.
However, we’re unsure of how secure people really feel. While the AirPods didn’t fall out of our ears during our light jog, we wouldn’t bet our lives on them being in place during a more strenuous workout. We advise choosing earbuds with built-in earfins or neckbuds with the added security of a wire if you’re worried about losing an earbud.
Compared to the case that comes with the AirPods 2, the charging case is significantly smaller. With a light, portable design and a flip-top lid that is simple to open with one hand, it more closely mimics the AirPods Pro charging case.
The AirPods 3 are designed specifically for use with Apple products, and a one-touch setup couples the earbuds with your iPhone, iPad, Mac, or MacBook.
You can share the audio stream across two pairs of AirPods, AirPods Pro, or AirPods Max when using your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Apple TV. If you want to listen to music with friends without using their soiled earbuds, this option is really useful. While we did notice a volume drop when sharing music with a friend, overall we found this feature to work without any obvious issues.
A skin-detect sensor has also been added to the AirPods 3 to let you tell if the buds are in your ear or if they’re lying on a surface or in your pocket. So, if they are not in your ears, music playback will stop, potentially saving you significant battery life.
Before making the decision to purchase them, I thought about buying AirPods for months and researched the various generations. They fit well and have excellent sound quality; they are just great. They are comfortable to use while running and don’t cause any unpleasant wire noises or fluttering on my clothing. With them, I’ve run in all types of weather without experiencing any issues. They immediately recharge in the case and maintain their energy excellently for longer runs. Since they have superb connectivity and sound cancellation, I also use them to listen to the radio as I commute. You can check how much power your pods and case have left by holding the case next to your phone and swiping, which is great and oh very helpful.
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