UPDATE: Apple’s website shows an updated release date of 29 October in India for AirPods 3. Dates have been changed accordingly.
It’s safe to say that Apple’s AirPods 3 was perhaps one of the most anticipated releases for Applesutra readers. All through the days leading up to the September Apple event to just yesterday before the October event, we had received tons of messages from the Applesutra community asking whether the AirPods 3 would be making an appearance. And, well, as we’d assured you of a strong possibility, we’re pretty glad we were right!
Yes, the AirPods 3 is here, and we’re here to answer all your burning questions about it — from availability to specs to should you actually buy. So, read on!
Everything You Need to Know About AirPods 3
Well, the first thing I should probably mention is the design. Yes, the new third-generation AirPods feature the much-anticipated short-stem AirPods Pro-like design, and it’s about what we expected.
The only thing that’s different is that the silicone ear tips many expected would ship with the new AirPods, introduced in the AirPods Pro to help them fit different types of ear shapes better, were absent. It’s a win for some (like me) and a major loss for many. Yes, I’m not exactly a fan of the silicone ear tips, personally, as the close fit always seems to give me a headache despite Apple’s vent system that they claim equalises the pressure. And since the old AirPods fit me pretty well, I’ve got to say I’m hoping these will too. Still, this is probably bad news for those who need the ear tips to wear AirPods comfortably.
Moving on, something that I’m really happy Apple brought to the regular AirPods is spatial audio, with dynamic head tracking for a richer and fuller experience of music, movies, and any kind of audio. I love what spatial audio brings to my music listening experience, and I’m glad that we finally have it on the regular AirPods.
Apple’s AirPods 3 also have: Adaptive EQ, which helps tailor your music experience according to how they’re positioned in your ear; force sensors that allow for a much wider range of controls directly from the stem of the AirPods; and an inward-facing microphone that reduces the amount of ambient noise when you’re speaking. What’s more, Apple’s introduced a skin-detect sensor with the AirPods 3, so we can finally say goodbye to those instances when the AirPods automatically start playing when you place them somewhere because they thought it was your ear. A win!
Besides this, the AirPods come with IPX4 sweat and water resistance, a MagSafe charging case, and a much stronger battery (even if it’s still somewhat lesser than many other options in the market). So, no complaints from us anywhere!
Apple’s AirPods 3 vs. AirPods 2
Okay, let’s get down to the crux of it now. You want to know if switching from your AirPods 2 is worth it and the short answer? Kind of. You might remember that we weren’t too eager in recommending an upgrade back when the AirPods Pro first came out. Our stance has since changed a bit, since Apple’s added a few key updates that we think are worth the upgrade, but I still maintain that the average user would probably be fine with the AirPods 2.
It’s clear as day that the AirPods 3 are now a pretty big upgrade over the AirPods 2. And the biggest difference that makes the switch worth it is spatial audio. Yes, I know I go on about it a lot, but you should expect it from someone who loves music so much, okay? It’s just so much better when you have that Dolby Atmos audio experience, and I’ve been sorely missing that on my AirPods 2. Besides this, the AirPods 3 is also iPX4 sweat and water-resistant and comes with a MagSafe charging case, a force sensor, and a stronger battery that allows 6 hours more of listening time with the charging case and one hour more on a single charge.
Unfortunately, the new third-generation AirPods don’t support older Apple devices like iPhone 6, 6 Plus, and 5s, the first-generation iPad Air and mini models earlier than the fourth generation, and the sixth-generation iPod touch. If you own those… you’ll unfortunately have to stick with AirPods 2. In which case, hurray for your wallet!
So, yes, I’d say AirPods 3 are pretty worth it compared to AirPods 2. But wait, before you make your decision, check out the comparison between AirPods Pro and 3 below!
Apple’s AirPods 3 vs. AirPods Pro
The new AirPods definitely got the Pro treatment this year, with a few key elements missing that kept the position of the higher-end Pro safe still. I’m not going to go on about the inclusions with the third-generation AirPods (I’ve rambled enough above already), so let’s just talk about the differences between the two.
Where AirPods Pro Beats AirPods 3
Do I even have to say it? The Pro version of Apple’s wireless earbuds come with Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency Mode, and AirPods 3 decidedly do not. I say decidedly because, well, I’m sure that was a deliberate decision on Apple’s part and one we all expected. How else will the Pro remain the Pro, after all? So, yes, for people who value the wonders of ANC and Transparency Mode, that’s definitely a huge point in favour of the Pro.
And as I mentioned at the beginning of this article, AirPods Pro also comes with 3 sizes of silicone ear tips, which many expected would also come with the AirPods 3 and were disappointed.
Where AirPods 3 Bests AirPods Pro
The rest, honestly, is pretty similar and why I’d say the decision between getting the third-generation AirPods and the Pro might be difficult. But there’s actually a couple of areas where the AirPods 3 beat the AirPods Pro: Battery life and skin-detecting sensors.
The first isn’t that surprising; the battery on the AirPods Pro already lacked in comparison to the AirPods 2, with a half-hour less listening time on one charge. The new AirPods 3 offer 6 hours of battery life on a single charge, which is an hour more than its predecessor, and 30 hours with the charging case, which is a huge upgrade from the 24 hours on the AirPods Pro.
As for the skin-detect sensors, they’re still something we need to test before we can confidently speak on them. However, Apple says the new AirPods come with enhanced sensors that detect if they’re actually in contact with skin before resuming playback, which is presumably better compared to the dual optical sensors on previous models.
Well, it’s a bit of a quandary. It honestly depends on your preferences and what you’re looking for in your AirPods. What I can say is this:
- If you need better battery life: Go with AirPods 3.
- If you need ANC and/or ear tips: Go with AirPods Pro.
Not to mention the AirPods Pro are on sale on Amazon for ₹17,990, which is cheaper than the AirPods 3 if you buy them right now. It honestly might be the better option as things stand currently.
And if you already have the AirPods Pro? I really see no point in switching to the AirPods 3. That’s just downgrading!
AirPods 3 India Pricing and Availability
Sooo, if your mind’s all made-up and you’ve decided you’ve got to have the new AirPods, we’ve got all the deets for you. Apple’s AirPods 3 are already available for purchase on the company’s online store for ₹18,500, with the option for a free engraving. The new AirPods will officially become available starting 29 October*. At the time of writing this article, Apple’s website showed a delivery time between 6 to 10 November* (which may vary depending on where you are). I know I’m pretty tempted to get my hands on this one. What about you?
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