Apple AirPods Gen 3 Gain More Pro Tech
Apple AirPods 3rd Generation (2021) is official, and we have all the details and prices.
Apple has announced its latest generation of AirPods at today's 'Unleashed' event, where features including a new design, spatial audio support and IPX4 sweat resistance were all unveiled.
Landing in 2016, Apple's AirPods were not the first true wireless earphones (Motorola's Verve Ones were already available). However, like most things that the Cupertino giant touches, it brought the tech mainstream thanks to some quirky industrial design backed up by its 'must have' branding.
The second-gen AirPods (2019) boasted improved sound quality three years later, with the Applause Award-winning AirPods Pro upping the ante even further that same year.
So, what has the AirPods 3 (2021) got to offer? Also, and perhaps more importantly, how much do they cost? And, does this mean that the AirPods 2 have been discounted? Read on for answers to those questions and more.
The new design of AirPods is lightweight and contoured with a shorter stem handing the third-generation AirPods a “more subtle appearance”, says Apple.
Spatial Audio with dynamic head tracking finally lands on the Apple AirPods and works with Group FaceTime calls so that voices appear to come from where the people are positioned on the screen. This, says Apple, makes the experience more immersive, making you feel more like you are all in the same room. But, frankly, we think this would be better used with the growing catalogue of Dolby Atmos Music titles appearing on streaming services.
Additionally, the tech giant claims that support for the AAC-ELD codec paired with its custom driver and high dynamic range amplifier enables improved speech quality. Also, the “acoustic mesh” that covers the microphones are said to help reduce wind noise.
The new AirPods also sport Adaptive EQ. This technology tunes the audio in real-time according to inward-facing mics that monitor sound. We're told that the computational audio adjusts low and mid-range frequencies as any variances occur. Adaptive EQ is another example of tech trickling down from the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max, although noise-cancelling is yet to appear on the standard AirPods.
Apple also says the newest AirPods are perfect for workouts thanks to IPX4 sweat and water resistance, while a skin sensor detects when you're wearing the earbuds. Take them out, and they automatically pause.
Audio Sharing allows listeners to share the audio stream between two sets of AirPods, AirPods Pro, or AirPods Max while using iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Apple TV.
Battery life is now apparently up to six hours of listening and 30 hours of total usage when including the charging case; the latter also supports MagSafe charging. Additionally, a new one-touch setup quickly pairs the buds with other Apple products.
The Apple AirPods 3 (2021) are available to order now for £169 and set to ship next week, with availability in-store starting Tuesday 26th October.
The 3rd Generation AirPods sit between the AirPods Pro and 2nd Generation AirPods in Apple's three-strong earbuds line-up, with the second-gen buds receiving a price drop to £119. Also revealed at the Unleashed event was that the AirPods Pro will now ship with a new MagSafe charging case while remaining the same price - £239. The AirPods Max headphones also stay the same price as before, at £549.
StereoNET UK’s Editor, bass player, and resident rock star! Jay’s passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.
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