AirPods (3rd Gen) Review: Stellar Audio, OK Fit
Apple brings some of its best audio features to a more affordable price point
A couple of years ago I upgraded to Apple’s AirPods Pro and I haven’t looked back. I love the soft-tip-enabled fit, noise cancellation, and audio. As one of AirPods’ earliest fans, I loved how Apple updated the design and technology to create next-level must-have in-ear audio. I’m not a fan of the $249 price, especially when there are now so many other, decent Bluetooth headphone options out there (even if most lack noise cancellation) that cost $150 or less.
That’s why I’m so intrigued by the new Apple AirPods (3rd Generation). Instead of a minor feature update to the original AirPods design (last seen in its 2nd generation), Apple took much of the best of the AirPods Pro design and capabilities and pushed them down to what Apple considers a near-entry-level admission price to the AirPods’ experience.
AirPods (3rd Generation) include spatial audio, IPX4 splash resistance, force sensor control, a wireless charging case (with the added MagSafe charger support), Adaptive EQ, and even better battery life than either AirPods (2nd Gen) or AirPods Pro.
In all, it’s a collection of pro-level features that will appeal to the budget set.
Design and setup
Unlike the tooth floss style case, the new AirPods come in a case that matches the AirPods Pro’s more rectangular design. It is slightly narrower but otherwise identical right down to the lightning charging port on the bottom and pairing button on the back.
I needed only open it next to my iPhone 13 to pair the ear buds with the phone. That’s the extent of the setup. Once I did that, the Pods automatically switched and connected to whichever Apple device I was using.
Inside the case are a pair of AirPods that could best be described as AirPods Pro-like in…