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Apple AirPods (3rd Gen) review: Spatial greatness

Apple AirPods (3rd Gen) review: Spatial greatness

Apple AirPods 3

The new Apple AirPods (3rd Gen) is even better than before with a new design, Spatial Audio, and better battery life. The sound is great, and is clear even in noisy spots. I like the addition of Spatial Audio, which really expands the soundstage of any audio source, making it feel more immersive. If you haven't yet tried out Apple's AirPods, the new version is a great way to start.

Quick specs

  • Sweat and water resistant (IPX4)
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • 6 hours battery life, with another 30 hours from the case
  • Custom high-excursion Apple driver

The new AirPods resemble the AirPods Pro line, but without the in-ear tips. It features a shorter stem that you can press to start or stop music. Unlike the older AirPods, which rest on your ear, the angled design helps to keep it in place — if you have the right ear shape for it. For me, this means only on my right ear. It sits nicely in place, even more than the original AirPods. On my left though, it is loose and always feels like falling off. But the good news is though, it doesn't, even when walking around. Running though, will make the left AirPod fall, while the right stays in.

Apple AirPods 3
The design of the third-gen Apple AirPods (middle) blends the AirPods Pro (top) and the older second-gen Apple AirPods together.
Credit: Aloysius Low/Can Buy or Not

When it stays on, you'll enjoy the pretty good audio quality for “open” ear earphones. Because they don't seal up your ears like the AirPods Pro or say the Jabra Elite 7 Pro, you can still hear ambient noise. The audio though, comes through clearer compared to the AirPods 2, which tends to get overwhelmed by background noise. Mids and high are clear, and the bass doesn't feel tiny nor too loud — it packs just the right punch. I suspect that's because of the adaptive EQ at work that tunes the audio based on your ear shape. Turning Spatial Audio on makes it even better. There's a sense of space, which I liked. It feels similar to the SXFI tech on the Creative SXFI Air Gamer. You can also use tracked spatial Audio, but I felt this was a bit gimmicky.

Apple AirPods 3
Credit: Aloysius Low/Can Buy or Not

These features are only available when used with Apple devices, of course. Other cool things include seamlessly switching from AirPods to your Apple CarPlay audio when you turn on your car. The AirPods can also switch between your Apple devices for audio playback. Spatial Audio is also available on the Apple TV 4K, which really makes shows come alive. It also supports Dolby Atmos. Battery life is pretty good. We got about five hours with Spatial Audio on and volume set at 70%. You'll probably be able to get more with a lower volume, up to the rated six hours. A five-minute charge in the case will get you up to 30% from 0%. The case itself adds another 30 hours of battery life. Oh, and this time, the case features wireless charging, and can be powered by any Qi compatible charger.

The Apple AirPods (3rd Gen) easily gets my stamp of approval. The audio is better, the design feels a lot more comfortable, and its features, such as Spatial Audio, make listening to music or podcasts an enjoyable experience. Retailing at S$269, you can get the third-generation AirPods on Lazada, Shopee, Amazon SG, or the Apple online store.

See Also
Oppo Watch X

Note: Review unit provided by Apple.

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Great audio, great follow-up to the Apple AirPods series.

Buy it from Amazon.sg
Shop it at Shopee
Buy it at Lazada

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