Tech tober has been and gone and there has been a number of new products announced and released. One of which is the brand new Apple AirPods 3, which we’re looking at today. 

So these are the third generation of AirPods, excluding the pro’s and they’ve come a long way. With these new AirPods comes a new design, inspired by the pro’s which is pretty evident. They now come with a slightly large bud, shorter stem, and very much look like the pros, but without that rubber tip. They come in the same white finish, with the same iconic silver tips. As the stems are now shorter, so is the case. Instead of square in shape, it’s now more rectangular. There are a number of additional or improved features, spatial audio, battery life, etc but this video isn’t a pure comparison between old and new, I just thought I’d highlight a few things.

So what else is new, Spatial audio is the big new feature Apple is pushing with these. I’ve tried spatial audio before but for those unaware, Sound is placed all around you to create an immersive, three-dimensional listening experience. I have to say, it works exceptionally well with the AirPods and I’m loving it. I’m loving it with movies, tv shows, or trailers. I think in those instances, it adds a lot to the content, it makes it more immersive, and that’s what I’ve also experienced in the past with other branded headphones or earbuds. Music-wise, I’m surprised at how different it is. Switching between fixed and off, the sound is more punchy, more powerful but the head tracking for music, I’m not too keen on, it’s just not needed in my opinion. So Two options with spatial audio, fixed or head tracking. Fixed means you can move your head and you won’t notice a difference, whereas with tracking if you move your head left, the audio shifts to the right bud and vise versa. 


For those of you unaware, you can turn the spatial audio on and off via the volume control on your iPhone. So when you’re on the home screen, go to the battery and slide down, click on the volume and a button will appear for spatial audio, either fixed position or head-tracked. 

Audio performance is very good, I cannot deny that Apple has delivered on performance with these. Fantastic soundstage, beautiful mix of mids and highs, plenty of bass but it’s not overpowering. Thumping bass drums, crisp cymbals, I’m thoroughly enjoying using them with a lot of different genres, rock, pop-punk, country, chart stuff, It’s great. As mentioned before, I’m actually enjoying listening to music more with fixed spatial audio rather than having it off, which I did not expect. Like the AirPods 2 and the Pro’s, these include the same H1 chip.

As for comfort, I’ve seen others mention that the fit isn’t for everyone and I can see what they mean, by the shape and size of the buds. I actually have to agree with them, the fit isn’t all that snug and feels a little loose, and they almost feel too big for my ears. It’s a personal thing though, we all have different shape and sized ears and they may fit fine for you. I know a lot of people use AirPods while exercising and if it’s light exercise, they might be fine but if you’re going on a decent jog or doing a spin class, I wouldn’t recommend them based on my experience with them. These are water-resistant, or sweat resistance at IPX4, so I wouldn’t wear them in the shower but if you’re exercising and sweating, not a problem. 

Controls, these come with a force sensors built-in, like the Pro’s, which allows you to perform a number of tasks by touching one of the pods. Single, double, or triple taps, or a long hold which allows you to control your content or say Hey Siri and use voice commands. The button is on the stem, you can see a flattened area if you look closely enough. It’s a matter of holding the stem with thumb and index finger and pushing down. These are not touch sensitive, it’s a button that you need to press. There is no volume control via the pods, so this still needs to be done via your iPhone. 

Battery life, Apple is stating it’s circa 30 hours from the case, with the pods holding 6 hours of charge but this will be reduced if you have the spatial audio feature enabled. I’ve racked up well over 15 hours of use over the last week and I’ve not yet had to charge the case. These do come with MagSafe built-in, so wireless charging is available, you just need to get a dock. 

Would I recommend these, yes and no, they are a good quality pair of earbuds, they look nice and they sound very good but I’m not all that convinced they’re worth the price tag of £170. It’s Apple, so you’re already paying that premium but I’ve tried a lot of earbuds from £100 to £250 and I just think these are overpriced and if you’re not fussed about the image or street cred, you can get better. Also, these still do not come with active noise cancellation or transparency mode, with those features still only available with the Pros. I get that they need some difference between these and the pros but competitors are offering active noise cancellation in their buds that cost a fair bit less. Also, if you don’t have an iPhone and you’re not into the apple infrastructure, do not get these, you’re doing yourself a disservice as you cant benefit from all the features via Android. Oh, the case as well, it so easy to scratch just like the previous models, I wish they coated it with something to help reduce scratches. 

So there we have it, they were the Apple AirPods 3. I’m keeping these, I’ll be doing some comparisons against other earbuds we get through as I know they are very popular and you guys always want comparisons.

For more info, head over to the official Apple website.