AirPods (third technology) within the check: Apple made a troublesome alternative for you

Apple’s entry-level AirPods haven’t been updated in over two years, but that is changing with the introduction of some brand new wireless in-ear music makers. The 3rd generation of AirPods not only gets a completely redesigned design, but also offers improved audio, a longer battery life of 6 hours and faster charging. This may all sound impressive, but are they really good and do they justify the new £ 169 price tag? Express.co.uk hid the 3rd generation AirPods in our ears and here is our full review.

Test of the Apple AirPods (3rd generation)

The first thing you notice right out of the box is the new design, as these latest AirPods look a lot more like the higher quality AirPods Pro than the original Apple Buds. That means you get a more compact charging case and earphone with a shorter stem that protrudes from your ears.

They look really chic and the design is definitely an improvement over Apple’s 1st and 2nd generation models.

Of course, if you own an iPhone, setup is ridiculously easy, as 3rd generation AirPods connect seamlessly without digging into endless settings. The entire setup takes seconds and really shows how well Apple products work within their own ecosystem.

Once you’ve got it all up and running you’ll find that these new buds offer a really good audio experience, with Apple now offering compatibility with its clever Spatial Audio technology along with Dolby Atmos.

For those who have never heard of this feature, Spatial Audio and Dolby Atmos offer artists the ability to bring their fans an immersive audio experience with true multi-dimensional sound and clarity. It basically lets the sound hit your ears from all directions, making things sound a lot more lifelike and engaging.

Listening to standard tracks sounds pretty much the same as the original Buds, but you can find some Spatial Audio tracks on Apple Music and things really get picked up.

Music sounds like it’s all around you and there is no question that this technology is giving these buds a huge boost.

It’s worth noting that not only does this technology work on music with spatial audio, but it also gives quite a spectacular sound to movies and compatible TV shows.

To further help things out, there is also an Apple-designed driver and custom high dynamic range amplifier hidden inside these new AirPods, and Apple also incorporated another feature called Adaptive EQ.

This helps tailor the music to each individual’s ear geometry and fit. Speaking of fit: In contrast to the AirPods Pro, the new 3rd generation buds do not have interchangeable tips.

This means they won’t stick into your ear canal as precisely, and you won’t get the same noise-dampening gasket found on earphones with an attached silicone tip.

Those who want full active noise cancellation (ANC) should also look elsewhere, as this technology isn’t in the new AirPods, which means background noise can get through while you’re listening to your music.

These are little things that might put you off buying the 3rd Generation AirPods, but there are plenty of other features that might just as easily convince you to buy a pair.

You get a water-repellent design and a new skin detection sensor that detects exactly whether AirPods are in the ear – instead of in a bag or on a table – and pauses playback when removed. It works really well and should help reduce unnecessary battery life.

In terms of performance, the battery impresses with around six hours of runtime on a single charge – around an hour more than its predecessor could muster. As soon as the 3rd generation AirPods

The new case has been made more compact and is even smaller than the AirPods Pro. Another benefit of this case is that it is compatible with the new MagSafe disk, which clicks into place perfectly for more efficient refills.

With the AirPods refilled and back in your ears, you’ll find music controls on the stick with subtle tap and press that allow you to pause, skip, and summon Siri. Unfortunately, there is still no way to turn up the volume via the buds, which is a shame as some competitors offer this feature.

Apple has also amplified voice calls through a special acoustic network and a built-in microphone in each earbud to minimize wind noise.

One last thing we have to mention is the price. The 3rd generation was £ 169, which sounds pretty reasonable compared to the £ 239 AirPods Pro.

However, the 2nd generation AirPods have now been dropped to just £ 119 – that’s a little steal.

You really need to think carefully about what to really expect from these earbuds as the original AirPods are great value for money, even if they don’t have all of the features that are now coming into the 3rd generation.

AirPods (3rd generation) in the test: final verdict

  • ADVANTAGES: Great sound • Improved battery life • Compact design • MagSafe compatibility
  • DISADVANTAGE: No ANC • No changeable tips • £ 119 AirPods are now a bargain

Apple’s new AirPods definitely sound impressive. The improved audio, longer battery life, and smaller charging case are all big upgrades and certainly make these new buds very attractive. Put on some Spatial Audio compatible tunes and you’ll be blown away by what is booming in your ears, and there is a much easier way to refill the case via MagSafe. It is a shame that there is no ANC and that some ears may not fit perfectly due to the lack of interchangeable tips.

That being said, the 3rd generation AirPods are really hard to fault.

The biggest nightmare for consumers now is deciding which AirPods to buy.

The entry-level headphones are incredible value for money, and there’s no question that the ANC-packed AirPods Pro are pretty exceptional. Making the right choice is quite difficult, but one thing is certain. Whichever model you choose, you will not be disappointed.

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