We’re well into Apple’s annual new product and software drop season with the tech giant releasing updated versions of its iPhone, Apple Watch and iPad, as well as a slew of new software available to download and use on existing hardware.
And this week, in a live event on Monday, October 19, Apple topped up its new product list, announcing the release of new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros, three new colours of the HomePod mini and a freshened-up version of its AirPods, AirPods 3.
“AirPods forever changed wireless headphones with their groundbreaking design, incredible sound and magical experience,” says Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.
“We are excited to introduce the next generation of AirPods, featuring unrivalled sound through Adaptive EQ and spatial audio with dynamic head tracking, along with seamless interaction between Apple devices — making the world’s best-selling headphones even better.”
So, what’s different about the third-generation AirPods?
The new AirPods look similar to the AirPods Pro, but have shorter stems and don’t have silicone earbud tips. Like the Pros, they’re sweat and water-resistant for non-water sports and exercise.
Better Sound Experience
Unlike the AirPods Pro, AirPods 3 support Dolby Atmos and spatial audio so you’ll be able to get a sense of the direction of voices and instruments and a three-dimensional cinema-like experience when you listen. Music, video and even group FaceTime calls will feel more immersive, with the sound placed all around you.
More Intuitive Control of Audio
A new skin-detect sensor in the AirPods 3 will be able to better make out if the earbuds are in your ear — versus in your pocket or on a table — and will then know whether it should pause or re-start audio.
Better Battery Life
One charge on the AirPods 3 will give you six hours of listening (five with spatial audio enabled) and four hours of talk time, which is an hour more than previous versions. Just five minutes of charging provides about an hour of battery life.
AirPods 3 will be available in-store and online from Tuesday, October 26 and will set you back $279. The AirPods Pro will still be available for $219.