It was in 2016 when Apple entered the wireless headphone industry. And it did so with the same force that it does in other sectors, creating a product that from then on was copied, imitated and / or served as inspiration. The AirPods were a reality in 2016. And five years later, in 2021 we already have the third generation that Apple has just presented at its event today, October 18.
Let’s take an in-depth look at it, to see what the new Apple helmets bring:
AirPods 3rd Generation Re-design: Shorter
The new AirPods design is lightweight and contoured, and sits at just the right angle for comfort and to direct audio into the ear. For a more subtle look, Apple has decided to shorten the length seen in the previous generation, while maintaining the same intuitive force sensor as the AirPods Pro for playback control. The new AirPods are sweat and water resistant, with an IPX4 rating for both the headphones and the charging case.
Codecs and Computational Audio
AirPods (3rd generation) build on the great sound quality AirPods are known for, starting with a custom driver and high dynamic range amplifier that together produce powerful bass with crisp, clean highs. The microphone is covered by an acoustic mesh that helps reduce the sound of the wind, so that the user’s voice is heard clearly in calls.
AirPods also feature AAC-ELD, a superior speech codec offering Full HD voice quality, providing clear and natural communication for FaceTime calls. And just like we see in the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max, computational audio brings technologies like adaptive EQ and spatial audio with dynamic head tracking to the new AirPods.
Sound around the user
The new AirPods feature Adaptive EQ that adjusts the sound in real time based on how the AirPods fit the wearer’s ear. An inward-facing microphone monitors the sound, and then the adaptive EQ, driven by computational audio, adjusts the low and mid frequencies to account for what may be lost due to variations in setting.
Spatial audio creates a three-dimensional movie-like experience, placing the sound practically anywhere in space, and also the headphones are compatible with Dolby Atmos. Users can also enjoy this multi-level experience with dynamic head tracking, making music, video, and even group FaceTime calls feel more immersive than ever. Thanks to advanced spatial audio algorithms and the application of directional audio filters to subtly adjust the frequencies that each ear receives, the new AirPods can position the sound around the user.
Skin detection sensor
With one-touch setup you can automatically pair AirPods with other Apple devices, and share the audio stream between two sets of AirPods, AirPods Pro, or AirPods Max while using your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Apple TV.
a new skin detection sensor enables the device to accurately discern whether it is in the ear – rather than in a pocket or on a table – and pauses playback when user removes them. To aid sound clarity, beamforming microphones block out ambient noise and focus on the user’s voice, while users can also enjoy a hands-free experience by simply saying “Hey Siri“for requests.
a higher battery time
AirPods (3rd generation) offer an hour more battery life than previous generations, with up to six hours of listening and up to four hours of talk time. Just 5 minutes of charging achieves one hour of battery life, and with four additional charges in the case, users can get up to 30 hours of total listening time. AirPods are now also part of the MagSafe ecosystem for convenient wireless charging.
AirPods with iOS and iPadOS
Along with iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, AirPods 3rd Gen can enjoy the following features:
- With spatial audio and dynamic head tracking, lVoices on a Group FaceTime call sound like they’re coming from the address in which the person is positioned on the screen, making it appear that everyone is in the same room.
- Announce Notifications allows Siri to read important notifications based on time, including Messages, Reminders, Calendar and Call alerts, as well as any third-party applications that adopt the API.
- AirPods are already part of the network Find My of hundreds of millions of iPhones, iPads and Macs worldwide, and they offer la proximity view in the Find My app and the Mlost earas well as separation alerts and sounds.
Pricing and availability
AirPods (3rd generation) will be available for $ 179 (US price) and can be pre-order on apple.com/store and the Apple Store app in the US and more than 26 countries and regions starting today, with release date and in-store availability from Tuesday, October 26.
AirPods require Apple devices updated to:
- iOS 15.1
- iPad 15.1
- watchOS 8.1
- tvOS 15.1
- macOS Monterey