Apple’s new AirPods 3 Unveiled
By Aryaman Bhatia Science and Tech editor, The Pawprint
Apple’s third-generation AirPods were unveiled during the company’s “Unleashed” event in October, along with a new MacBook Pro range that has additional ports and higher-end M1 Pro and M1 Max CPUs.
The $179 (£169, AU$279) AirPods 3 is positioned between the $129 second-generation AirPods, which will continue to be sold, and the $249 AirPods Pro. It has head tracking, sweat and water resistance, a MagSafe-compatible wireless charging case, and six-hour battery life, which outperforms previous iterations and the AirPods Pro.
While $179 is less than the AirPods Pro, it is more than the $159 base price of the second-generation AirPods. While the latter headset has been reduced to $129 and retains fundamental features such as seamless connection with Apple devices, the $50 difference includes several technical upgrades to the listening experience as well as a magnetic charging case.
When you go outside of Apple’s headphone arena, though, $179 starts to feel like a lot of money for these things. Many of the AirPods Pro’s highlights are included in the $130 Anker Liberty Air 2 Pro, including active noise cancellation, transparent modes, water resistance, and a wireless charging case. The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2, which costs $150, are similar.
When Apple originally released the AirPods in 2017, it ushered in the massive wireless headphone industry, but that market is already flooded with competitors. Apple can keep a number of proprietary software upgrades, such as rapid pairing to Apple products and Spatial Audio head-tracking capabilities.
While Apple’s AirPods work flawlessly with Apple devices, if you’re using your headphones on an iPhone and a non-Apple device like a Windows PC or a Nintendo Switch, you might want to look into other options. Other manufacturers may be able to provide you with more comprehensive support for such products.
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