Apple AirPods 3 Are Finally Here

Apple AirPods 3 Are Finally Here
Image: Apple

Good news AirPod fans, Apple has finally announced its third-generation series, which aside from looking like they sound pretty bad ass, also boast spatial audio to deliver a 3D-like audio experience. But, we still don’t have noise cancelling. Ugh.

This article has been updated with further information since it was first published.

The AirPods 3 were unveiled early Tuesday morning as part of Apple Unleashed. There’s a lot to unpack, but new AirPods are a pretty big deal – this is the first major design change we’ve seen since the original AirPods were released in 2016.

Design

These third-gen AirPods look very much like the AirPods Pro.

Image: Apple

The new third-gen AirPods are finally embracing a curvier aesthetic than just looking like you’ve ripped the cables from the wired pair. They’ve got a shorter stem design but still feature a tipless design.

Like the original AirPods, the new earbuds are designed to sit inside your ears instead of fitting snugly inside the ear canal with a squishy silicone plug.

While this makes the AirPods 3 look sleek, users who’ve had trouble keeping AirPods in their ears might still struggle. This also means they don’t have active noise cancellation. It seems that’s a feature Apple is going to keep exclusive to the AirPods Pro and the AirPods Max.

Apple says the new design of AirPods is ‘lightweight and contoured’ and that they sit at just the right angle for comfort and to direct audio into the ear. They also feature the same intuitive force sensor as AirPods Pro for media control.

The new AirPods are resistant to both sweat and water, with an IPX4 rating for both the earbuds and the charging case.

AirPods 3 Features

We weren’t expecting too much to change with sound quality, but it seems we were wrong. We were told on Tuesday the new AirPods deliver the best sound yet.

Beyond traditional stereo sound, these are meant to “bring audio to life” with “truly three-dimensional sound”.

The microphone is covered by an acoustic mesh to help reduce the sound of wind, so the speaker’s voice comes across distinctly on calls. AirPods also feature AAC-ELD, which Apple explains is a superior speech codec that offers full HD voice quality, providing clear, natural communication for FaceTime calls.

The AirPods 3 also use ‘computational audio’ to make that whole Adaptive EQ and spatial audio with dynamic head tracking thing work.

Apple is really focusing on this spatial audio thing as creating a three-dimensional cinema-like experience, “placing sound virtually anywhere in space”. CEO Tim Cook says that with Dolby Atmos, AirPods have never sounded better. I guess we have to believe him.

AirPods 3
Image: Apple

One-Touch Setup

Now boasting one-touch setup also means the AirPods 3 automatically pair to all of your devices. 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.

apple
Image: Apple

Battery

They boast up to six hours of listening time and up to four hours of talk time. This is an extra hour of battery life over the previous generations.

And with five minutes on charge, they’re expected to last one hour.

The charge case (now featuring Mag Safe and wireless charging) gives an additional four hours of charge time. That equals 30 hours full listening time.

Pricing And Availability

  • AirPods (3rd generation) will be available for RRP $279 and are available to pre-order from Apple, with availability in stores beginning Tuesday, 26 October.
  • AirPods (2nd generation) also have a price drop, they’re now available for RRP $219.
  • AirPods Pro now come with MagSafe Charging Case for the same price of RRP $399.

Unlike the previous generation AirPods, just one option is being made available with wireless charging now a standard feature.

New subscribers can get six months of Apple Music for free with the purchase of any AirPods, AirPods Pro or AirPods Max. You can also add personal engraving with emoji, text and numbers to cases for AirPods Pro, AirPods (3rd generation) and AirPods (2nd generation) for free via apple.com/au/store and in the Apple Store app.