Following the first reviews of the new MacBook Pros earlier this morning, the embargo has now lifted on AirPods 3. The early reviews are here to go in-depth on the new design, spatial audio support, and much more. Head below for the full details on everything you need to know…
AirPods 3 reviews
The biggest change for AirPods 3 is the new design, which heavily resembles AirPods Pro, but without the replaceable ear tips. The Verge writes that even if AirPods 1 or AirPods 2 didn’t fit your ears, AirPods 3 might:
Apple says it conducted a ton of user research when designing the third-generation AirPods, involving thousands of ear scans, heat maps, and so on. And at least in my case, something about the new shape definitely works better. They’re staying put so well that I no longer feel the same anxiety about them tumbling onto the ground and down a sewer grate. That worry was always present with the older AirPods. The healthy dose of ambient sound remains, and I’m just someone who prefers earbuds that offer some quiet from the outside world. But I can finally say that Apple’s regular AirPods fit me, and that was never true previously. If you had issues with the original design, it’s worth giving these a try.
TechCrunch describes AirPods 3 as “unquestionably” more comfortable than their predecessors:
The more contoured third-generation buds are unquestionably more comfortable than their predecessors, but the gulf between them and the Pros feels like night and day. That’s likely to be even more the case for people with smaller ears — having different-sized, removable tips is a lifesaver for some. The seal those tips provide also create passive noise canceling through a physical seal that effectively keeps in more audio frequencies and blocks out ambient noise.
The Wall Street Journal notes that for many people, AirPods Pro are still the right choice — especially if you can find them on sale:
Rubbery eartips aren’t for everyone, but I still believe the Pros are the best earbuds iPhone users can buy. They’re just $70 more, so they pose a confusing decision for upgraders. (Plus, we’ve seen sales at Target and Staples where the premium earbuds are marked down to $199.) This past week, I really missed the Pros’ active noise cancellation. Walking down the street I had to crank up the AirPods’ volume to hear a podcast. And later, while working from home, I couldn’t tune out my neighbor’s leaf blower. The Pros’ noise cancellation isn’t as good as what you get in over-ear headphones, but it’s better than the in-ear competition.
Engadget has high praise for the sound quality of AirPods 3:
I don’t want to mince words here: the new AirPods sound so much better than the previous two versions. Like almost night and day better. Apple didn’t make any significant changes to sound quality from the first model to the 2019 version. But for gen three, Apple paired a custom driver with a high-dynamic-range amplifier to improve the audio chops. The company says that the duo work together to produce “rich consistent bass” and “crisp, clean” highs. From the moment I fired up the first song, this was all immediately evident. I don’t think I’ve ever audibly said “woah” with the first note from a guitar on any review unit, but given how average older AirPods sound, it was involuntary this time.
Gizmodo on the new MagSafe Charging Case:
It turns out, while you can’t attach a tiny card wallet to the back of the AirPods charging case, it will do the same thing the iPhone 12 and 13 models do when dropped onto a MagSafe-compatible wireless charging pad. The case will perfectly align itself with the charging coil, and magnetically secure itself to the pad, so it’s almost impossible to accidentally knock it off during a charge. It works great, and is especially useful given how small the wireless receiver on the AirPods charging case is. Apple also added the feature to the AirPods Pro’s charging case last week, which makes sense. As far as I’m concerned, magnets should be added to the Qi standard and be included with every wireless charging product.
Read more AirPods 3 reviews: