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AirPods 3, Review: Are They Worth It?

by Juan Cienfuegos 7 months ago in product review
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Good improvements in sound quality and in the microphone.

From the moment we take them out of the box until after they have arrived for several hours, these AirPods 3 are truly comfortable. It is much less noticeable than the AirPods Pro on a physical level by not having the docking pads, and also less prone to falling due to their size and design, they fit better to the ear without achieving so much pressure

According to Apple, the design has been studied to reach the maximum possible population with the appropriate coupling, maintaining the acoustic properties of the devices, and directing the sound correctly.

In addition, the stem is shorter, but it is balanced with the main body of the headphones, preventing it from falling easily and helping it to stay fixed on the ear, even doing sports. This for me is vital because I use my AirPods to go for a run every weekend. So I really appreciate this improvement.

The touch commands to use the AirPods 3 are as follows:

* Press once to play, pause or answer a call.

* Press twice to skip to the next song.

* Press three times to go back to the previous song, unless it is Spotify free, in which case there is no going back.

* Hold press to wake up Siri, or just say “Hey Siri” while we are wearing the AirPods.

The resistance against water and sweat has been increased, obtaining the IPX4 standard — which protects against water splashes. This does not mean that we can submerge or shower with them (the protection against water in jets under pressure is IPX5), but that they will withstand perfectly under moderate or even heavy rain, which I have not tested first because it has not rained in Barcelona and second because I don’t want to catch the flu, especially in the fall. By the way, the charging box also has this protection, in case we need to use them in any of these situations.

I have used the AirPods for a week or so …. I must say that the sound gives a pretty good bass, consistent but detailed, with much more profiled high frequencies. I am not a music producer but I must say that the bass is not as spectacular as in the AirPods Pro — where the acoustic isolation helps a lot in the loudness — but definitely these AirPods 3 sound much better than the AirPods 2.

Another important point is the improvement in the microphone. The inner microphone of each earpiece has been covered with an acoustic mesh to minimize this airborne sound during calls.

One thing I really like about the AirPods 3 is the incorporation of the spatial audio, a more immersive listening experience that positions music in the three-dimensional space that surrounds us, something like 8D audio.

We can listen to the music and sounds as if they came from different parts of the room. Not all music has this feature, and in Apple Music, there is a category with songs that have this technology.

By the way, you have to differentiate between “treated” music to achieve this effect (which almost killed me those who know a lot about sound engineering and music when I did not know how to explain this new technology correctly, excuse me for that guys) to current music that it is already recorded with this positioning from the recording studio.

Music or videos with this technology use the sensors of the AirPods 3 and of the source device to follow the movement of the head and position the sound in virtual three-dimensional space as if the sound were indeed next to us, or surrounding us.

There is a quite surprising feature and it really amazes me how technology has evolved because they are things that seem from science fiction but the headphones incorporate this new system to the touch with the skin to prevent the AirPods from activating the reproduction if we carry them loose in the pocket, for instance.

Well, we are finishing this review and one thing I wanted to tell you is that the AirPods 3 are Apple’s wireless headphones with greater autonomy: up to 6 hours of uninterrupted listening (perhaps a little more) or 4 hours of conversation.

Fast charging is even better: for example, 15 minutes of charging with the USB-C cable (I know that I am very heavy with this but I will say it every time I can: Apple, please add USB-C to iPhones ) are enough to gain 1 more hour of battery life. The new charging box is also MagSafe compatible.

Therefore, Apple closes the circle of small wireless headphones with this new model that is available for $179, they keep the AirPods 2 at $129, and for $70 more, you can have the AirPods Pro, the older brothers of the range in sound quality.

These AirPods 3 are a pretty good evolution of their predecessors, and they are an exceptional combination between the regular AirPods and the Pro, reducing the design to the minimum and comfortable expression, and taking the sound quality to the next level. The only downside is the lack of elimination of external noise, for everything else it is an excellent product in all aspects.

(This story was previously published on Medium)

product review

About the author

Juan Cienfuegos

Not your typical Engineer. Founder of Apple Newsweek.

Host of The Outer Spacer Show at Twitter Space.

Read my columns every Friday at: https://juansc.substack.com/welcome

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