Third Generation Of Apple’s AirPods Launched Today

Pamela Connellan
on 19 October 2021

The third generation of Apple’s AirPods were launched today, featuring spatial audio and other features including a new contoured design, the H1 chip, an Apple-designed acoustic system and computational audio to deliver breakthrough sound with Adaptive EQ – all available by Tuesday 26th October.

Users can enjoy the spatial audio sound with Dolby Atmos in Apple Music, movies and TV shows, along with dynamic head tracking, across Apple devices. The new AirPods are resistant to sweat and water, and feature a force sensor for the control of music and phone calls. The extended battery life enables up to six hours of listening time and up to 30 hours of total listening time with the charging case.

Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing says: “AirPods forever changed wireless headphones with their groundbreaking design, incredible sound and magical experience.”

“We are excited to introduce the next generation of AirPods, featuring unrivalled sound through Adaptive EQ and spatial audio with dynamic head tracking, along with seamless interaction between Apple devices — making the world’s best-selling headphones even better,” he added.

New contoured design
The new design of AirPods is lightweight and contoured, sitting at an angle to direct audio into the ear. For a more subtle appearance, the stem is shorter than the previous generation and features the same intuitive force sensor as AirPods Pro for media control. The new AirPods are resistant to both sweat and water, with an IPX4 rating for both the earbuds and the charging case.2

Breakthrough audio features
AirPods 3 build on the sound quality of previous AirPods but this time they have a custom driver and a high-dynamic-range amplifier that together produce powerful bass with clean high frequencies. The microphone is covered by an acoustic mesh to help reduce the sound of wind, so the speaker’s voice comes across distinctly on calls. AirPods also feature AAC-ELD, a superior speech codec which offers full HD voice quality, providing clear communication for FaceTime calls.

The new AirPods feature Adaptive EQ which tunes sound in real time based on how AirPods fit in the user’s ear. An inward-facing microphone monitors for sound, and then Adaptive EQ, powered by computational audio, tunes the low and mid frequencies to account for what may be lost due to variances in fit.

Spatial audio creates a three-dimensional cinema-like experience, placing sound virtually anywhere in space, and with Dolby Atmos as well, these AirPods can produce a good sound. Users can also enjoy this multilevel experience with dynamic head tracking, so music, video and even Group FaceTime calls feel more immersive. Using advanced spatial audio algorithms, and by applying directional audio filters to adjust the frequencies each ear receives, the new AirPods can place sound all around the user.

Apple Air Pods

Magical Experience
The AirPods have a one-touch setup which automatically pairs them with other Apple devices. Audio Sharing allows listeners to share the audio stream between two sets of AirPods, AirPods Pro or AirPods Max, while using iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Apple TV.

A new skin-detect sensor accurately discerns if AirPods are in the ear — versus in a pocket or on a table — and pauses playback when removed. To help with sound clarity, beamforming microphones block out ambient noise and focus on the user’s voice, while users can also have a hands-free experience by simply saying “Hey Siri” for requests.

Longer battery life
AirPods 3 offer an extra hour of battery life over the previous generations, with up to six hours of listening time and up to four hours of talk time. Five minutes of charging provides about an 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 wireless charging.

AirPods with iOS and iPadOS
With iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, you can use the following features:

1) With spatial audio and dynamic head tracking, voices in a Group FaceTime call sound like they’re coming from the direction in which the person is positioned on the screen, making it seem as if everyone is in the same room.

2) Announce Notifications allows Siri to read important time-sensitive notifications, including alerts from Messages, Reminders, Calendar and calls, as well as any third-party apps that adopt the API.

3) AirPods are now part of the Find My network of hundreds of millions of iPhone, iPad and Mac computers around the world, offering proximity view in the Find My app and Lost Mode, as well as separation alerts and sounds.

Apple and the Environment: AirPods are designed with materials and features to reduce their environmental impact, including the 100 per cent recycled rare earth elements used in the magnets. The case also uses 100 per cent recycled tin in the solder of the main logic board and 100 per cent recycled aluminium in the hinge. AirPods are free of potentially harmful substances such as mercury, BFRs, PVC and beryllium. In the packaging, 100 per cent of the virgin wood fibre comes from responsibly managed forests.

Today, Apple is carbon-neutral for global corporate operations, and by 2030, plans to have net-zero climate impact across the entire business, which includes manufacturing supply chains and all product life cycles. This means that every Apple device sold, from component manufacturing, assembly, transport, customer use, charging, all the way through recycling and material recovery, will be 100 per cent carbon-neutral.

Extra facts:

  1. AirPods 3 Pro now come with MagSafe Charging Case for the same price.
  2. New subscribers to the Apple Music Voice Plan can get six months of Apple Music with the purchase of any AirPods, AirPods Pro or AirPods Max.
  3. You can add your own personal engraving with emoji, text and numbers to cases for AirPods Pro, AirPods 3 and AirPods 2 for free on and in the Apple Store app.

About Apple: Apple changed personal technology with the introduction of the Macintosh in 1984. Today, Apple sells the iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch and Apple TV. Apple’s five software platforms — iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS — provide a seamless experiences across all Apple devices along with services including the App Store, Apple Music, Apple Pay and iCloud. Apple is concerned about sustainability and its more than 100,000 employees are dedicated to leaving the world better than we found it.

Apple Music Brings Sound To The Next Level With Spatial Audio


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