The Air Pods 3 are Apple’s newest version of Air Pods with the second-generation product coming out in early 2019 and the Air Pods 3 coming out in late 2021, making them just over a year old now.
There is a lot that has changed with this new model, firstly, the look. The Air Pods 3 are now much more similar in design to the Air Pods Pro, having the shorter stem design which is meant to improve voice quality on calls. There is also better durability with the new AirPods now being IPX-4 water resistant which covers you for wearing these in the rain but not dropping them in any body of water. The battery life has also been upgraded with the AirPods 3 having 6 hours of listening time on one charge compared to 5 hours on the second generation, and 30 hours charge in the case, compared to 24. Through my use of the product over the last few months, I can say that battery hasn’t been an issue for me. I wear my AirPods all day at work listening to podcasts or music and over the course of an 8-hour shift very rarely do they die and if they do, a quick 5-minute charge in the case will give you another hour of listening time.
Consumers who were familiar with the second generations UI will note that on the AirPods 3 the controls have switched to pinching the stem as opposed to a tap on the top of the AirPod. Personally, I’ve found this to be a great addition to the AirPods product as it makes it much easier to purposefully play/pause music and skip tracks. I found that with the tap design on previous generations I’d often skip tracks or decline/hang up calls when taking an AirPod in and out of my ear. The squeeze design also helps when finding the controls; now there’s no guessing where to tap by feeling for it. You can easily find the stem and get feedback that you’ve successfully input the control by listening for the sound that plays.
The AirPods 3 now has a Magsafe charging kit for a $10 upgrade which works perfectly for users who have an iPhone 12 or newer. The inability of AirPods to charge wirelessly and magnetically on the back of newer iPhones is disappointing for consumers to see. This is something that Apple hopefully will bring to the 4th generation product as I feel like lots of consumers would appreciate this feature. This technology certainly isn’t new and puts Apple behind the curve compared to Samsung Galaxy buds, which I’ve personally owned in the past, that had this feature right out the box back in 2018.
New UI makes skipping tracks, play/pause, hanging up calls etc. much easier by the squeeze input on the stem of the device rather than a tap input.
IPX-4 water resistance means you can wear these in the rain or at the gym and not have to worry about water or sweat damaging them – including the case.
Shorter stem design likened to the AirPods Pro improves voice quality on calls and improve aesthetic.
- Magsafe aspect of the product is limited in functionality and may improve in next generation.
- Only small battery increase from previous generation (1 hour increase) might make users hesitant to upgrade from AirPods 2.
- Works best with other Apple products by fitting into the ecosystem. Android or Windows users will have a slightly limited experience
Our Final Opinion on this Gadget
The AirPods 3 would be a great choice in 2022, these headphones are the most popular on earth for a reason. If you’re an all-round user of headphones and just need a daily device that you can rely on. I wouldn’t look further than these, the only caveat I would have is that being an iPhone/Apple ecosystem user is a huge factor when considering AirPods. I personally own an iPhone XR and a M1 Macbook Air, both of which perfectly integrate with my AirPods. I’ve used AirPods with a windows laptop as well as an android smartphone, AirPods are a great device regardless of the medium you use them with however I would consider other devices if you’re not a heavy Apple ecosystem user.
The AirPods 3 are different from the pros as they don’t feature the silicon ear tips which are more forgiving for different ear shapes. Instead, they’re a universal fit with the hard tip ear buds. I’ve found that if the second generation AirPods fit your ears then most likely these will too. If you purchase them from the Apple store, there is a pair on hand to test if they fit your ears before purchase too.
The AirPods 3 are currently retailing in Australia for $279 (Apple) and you can purchase a $10 upgrade for Magsafe compatibility.
The case featured in this product review is the elago Armor Case, I’d highly it recommend for its design, durability and functionality, supporting wireless charging as well as having a flap protecting the lightning port. The case also sticks to the AirPods well and doesn’t move around.