Model: Airpods (3rd Generation)
Key Features: Spatial Audio | Dynamic Head Tracking | IPX4 Sweat & Water Resistant | Smaller More Minimalist Design | Speech Detection & Motion Accelerometer Sensors | Apple H1 System | Force Sensor Controls | Message Announcements | 30 Hour Life Battery | 5 Minutes Charging Equal To 1 Hour | Redesigned MagSafe Wireless Charging Case | Bluetooth 5.0 Connection |
Best For: Everyday Listening & On The Go
Release Date: Available Now
If you’ll take a moment to remember our review of the Airpod Pros back in January, you’ll remember how blown away we were with the quality in both design and function of these little white earbuds. Well, now we’ve had the chance to test out the latest version of the original Apple Airpods in their 3rd generation redesign. For the AirPods Apple have featured spatial audio, which delivers advanced features and a quite frankly magical experience in every way. By combining the power of the H1 chip with an Apple-designed acoustic system, the new AirPods use computational audio to deliver breakthrough sound with Adaptive EQ and users can enjoy spatial audio featuring Dolby Atmos in streaming, movies, and tv shows, along with dynamic head tracking, across Apple devices. Other handy upgrades include resistance to sweat and water and, like their Pros, feature a force sensor for easy and intuitive control of music and phone calls. A new extended battery life enables up to six hours of listening time and up to 30 hours of total listening time with the convenient charging case, somewhat of a step up from the original Airpods which you got a measly 20hrs of listening time. Overall since we’ve been using them, the Airpods have become an easy daily reach when leaving the house, notably thanks to the redesign and reduction in charging case size, which makes them even easier to slip into your pocket with your keys. The new design of AirPods is lightweight and contoured, sitting at just the right angle for comfort and to direct audio into the ear. Apple has chosen a more subtle appearance this time around too, and like the Pros the stem is shorter than the previous generation and features the same intuitive force sensor as Pros for media control. Thankfully, the new AirPods are also resistant to both sweat and water (we’ve tried and test this a few times) and it makes sense as pretty much all gym-goers now don the white earbuds for every workout, something which both earbuds and charging case handle with ease thanks to their IPX4 rating. Something that we really love though is the Spatial audio addition. This creates a three-dimensional theatre-like experience every time you listen to something using this piece of kit, placing sound virtually anywhere in space. As a user, you’ll also enjoy this multi-level experience with dynamic head tracking, so music, video, and even Group FaceTime calls feel more immersive than ever before, with you literally feeling as if you’re there sat in the middle of a conversation or show. It’s something that’s hard to describe to some poor soul who has never experienced this kind of immersion before, but it’s changed the game for us with podcasts. Never again will we be able to listen to Jessie Ware on Table Manners without feeling as if we’re in the room with her, her mum and Stanely Tucci. And might we just add closing your eyes makes it seem even more real. But how have they achieved this? Well without going too in-depth Apple is using advanced spatial audio algorithms, and by applying directional audio filters to subtly adjust the frequencies that each ear receives, the new AirPods can place sound all around the user. Obviously, it’s a lot more technical than that, but like drinking that perfect cocktail don’t wonder how it came to be, just adore it. One note we might make about these, however, and it’s something we notice on the original Airpods, but when eating the earbud tends to shift from its position and you may need to reset it every so often if you have them in whilst eating. But apart from that, it’s very hard to pick out any flaws at all. But this could be easily fixed with adjustable earbuds.
Apple then has once again set (yet another) new standard in the audio and headphone market. With a one-two punch of the Airpods and Airpod Pros, the brand is dominating the competition. Yes, some may remark that you can’t truly experience the purity of sound on a little white stick in your ear, but whilst that might be true to a point, Apple continues to push the boundaries of what is achievable in such a small product and has reset the standards for earbud technology and audio enhancement. At £169.00 are they worth the money? Absolutely. If you want something that packs more of a punch than the 2nd gen Airpods, but don’t want to pay the price for the Airpod Pros these are the earbuds for you and you can rest assured in the fact that its money well spent. The bottom line is with better battery life, a completely new design, new features like Spatial Audio, and an IPX4 rating, the AirPods 3 are better than ever before. Plus, they sound better than the previous models and other than ANC, have pretty much all the same features as the AirPods Pro. These are fantastic AirPods for anyone looking to upgrade or buy their first pair.