AirPods third-gen review: They actually sound good now
AirPods third-gen review: They actually sound good now
8:51

AirPods third-gen review: They actually sound good now

Bluetooth Headsets
Speaker 1: Hey there. These are the AirPods three AirPods, third generation as apple calls them new design, new $179 price tag and new drives that are supposed to make them some more detailed with fuller base. So just how good are they and why would you get them instead of the AirPods pro, which have active noise canceling while these don't? Well, that's what I'm here to tell you. So let's get right into it. Speaker 1: [00:00:30] Okay. So you take a look at this new design. The first thing you probably think is that looks a lot like the air AirPods pro without Eart tips and you wouldn't be wrong. They are shaped like the AirPods pro and they have shorter stems. They also have the pros, same pinch controls with the same poor sensors in those stems. Some people thought that control stream was a little weird when apple first unveiled it, but I much prefer it to the touch controls on the AirPods too. Now the original and second [00:01:00] generation AirPods fit some ears perfectly, but I was among the subset of people who had trouble keeping them in their ears. So I was really curious to see whether this third gen version was gonna work better for my ears. The answer is yes, but I still have to turn the stems up to kind of lock them in place when I'm more active. Speaker 1: It leaves the stem sitting above bit on your face instead of an angle. I'm sure you've seen that AirPods wearing style before. It can kind of feel little dopey at first and by dopey, I don't mean dope, but it doesn't seem to impact sound quality or performance. Unlike with the AirPods too, [00:01:30] I was able to run with these. A lot of people like to run with the AirPods because they're lightweight and have open design. So you can hear what's going on around you for safety reasons. But the first and second generation models weren't sweat or water resistant, or least apple never said they were. These are though like the AirPods pro their IPX four splash proof. Most of your buds, these days are water resistant and many are waterproof. So basically apples added a standard feature that looks like an upgrade, but I'm certainly glad it's here. Speaker 1: I did ask a few avid AirPod users [00:02:00] to try the AirPods three, and they all like the three better than the TOFI. They also thought the sound was significantly better. As I said, apple has equipped these with new custom drivers and the buds themselves are a little bit bigger. Now truth be told I'm personally not a fan of open ear buds. Not only do they allow sound to leak in and compete with what you're listening to, but you tend to end up losing some base with open buds also. So if you play your music even somewhat loud, people near you are gonna hear it, particularly in a quieter room, the AirPods three, still [00:02:30] leaks sound, but apples put a great deal of effort into upping the AirPod sound game. Along with the new drivers. These have the same adaptive EQ found in the AirPods pro that optimizes sound on the fly. Speaker 1: Other companies like Bo also have advanced digital processing features with their head Bo calls, theirs active EQ while Sony has its digital sound enhancement engine or D S E E. So it's not groundbreaking, but again, I'll take it. And I will say the AirPods three now deliver richer, fuller sound with more detail and better base their [00:03:00] sound. Isn't quite up to level of the Sony w F 1000 X mark four and other top noise, isolating earbuds from scen, Heiser, and others that cost more, but they now sound like respectable headphones while you're still run to a bit of trouble in noise, your environments that said the base held up well, even when I was walking on the noisy streets of New York, overall, the AirPods new sound put up a good fight against ambient noise. Not exactly drowning it out, but making you much less aware of it, as you might expect from open earbuds. Speaker 1: These do [00:03:30] sound open with a wide sound stage overall. I think they sound better than the AirPods pro. They offer a little bit cleaner, slightly bigger and more dynamic sound with better defined base. And they do a good job, not distorting at higher bombs, which is what can happen a lot of times when you push cheaper, open earbuds, these have Apple's new spatial audio feature with head tracking this available in the AirPods pro and AirPods. Max. It's a nice bonus feature that allows you to get virtual surround sound. When you're watching movies and TV shows on [00:04:00] various apple devices, it's a need effect with video watching, but a bit more hit and miss with apple music tracks with Adobe Atmos. It also now works with group FaceTime calls, which is kind of cool, like the AirPod pro the AirPods three have ear detection, sensors, and an enhanced find my feature with proximity view that helps locate your AirPods at all those places they like to hide. Speaker 1: And they're equipped with apples H one chip. So you get the other features associated with that, including auto switching between all your apple devices on your iCloud account [00:04:30] and always on series. So you can just say, Hey Siri, to ask what the weather is, raise and lower volume, make calls to people in your contact list and a host of other voice commands that apples voice is in a response to you. Sorry if Siri just popped up on your device, but feel free to tell me about how irritating that was in the comment section below to be clear, the AirPods three will pair with most other Bluetooth audio devices, but you lose all the extra features like spatial audio and always on, Hey Siri, sorry. Did it again. But the bottom line [00:05:00] is that if you're an apple user, there isn't much reason to get these I both apple and Android devices. Speaker 1: So I did pair these with an Android phone and the adaptive EQ is built into the buzz themselves. So they sound basically the same with an Android device. And they're also really good for making calls with any phone you use. They have beam forming microphones covered with wind dampening, acoustic mesh and voice detecting Excel kilometers. In my test, they did an excellent job reducing background noise while keeping my voice sounding clear. Caller said the noise reduction was slightly better [00:05:30] than what they heard when I was using the AirPods pro. And then my voice also sounded a touch clearer. So Speaker 2: Where are you at now? I'm in, I'm in the streets and there's a lot of traffic, a lot of noise. So Speaker 3: Nice for the most. This part, I can't really hear the traffic, but your voice is coming in really clear. Speaker 2: Um, yeah, so there's like even a, someone Speaker 1: Sawing away somewhere. The airports too are also very good for voice calling and their longer stems are slightly closer to your mouth. So I'm not sure you're gonna notice a major upgrade with these for voice calling, but their fuller sound allowed [00:06:00] me to hear callers are better. And apple says these have full HG audio for FaceTime calls, thanks to support for the AAC, C E L D speech Kodak. I also thought the wind noise reduction feature worked as advertised battery life has been improved from five hours to six on a single charge with an extra four chargers in the charging case, that case, which is a little smaller than the AirPod pros case, but bigger than the AirPods two case as wireless charging and now adds mag safe compatibility. That just means [00:06:30] it sticks to Apple's magnetic, mag, safe chargers, as well as other magnetic wireless chargers, including wireless battery chargers, and also charge it with any Gable charging pad or plug a lightning cable into it. Speaker 1: Using a MagSafe charger, doesn't charge the buds any faster, but the buds do stick nicely to the charging puck going forward. The AirPods pro will also have MagSafe, but the AirPods too, which stay in the line now only come in a version with a lightning charging for a lower list, price of $129. Personally, I don't think wireless charging is a killer [00:07:00] feature for earbuds, but again, I'll take it particularly at this high price point and really it's the AirPods pricing them. It creates some dilemmas for potential buyers, the AirPods pro list for $250, but they typically sell for less than $200 and have dipped to as low as $108, which is what the AirPods three E cost. While the AirPods third generation are superior to the AirPods pro in some ways, as I said, I do think they sound slightly better in non noisy environments and arguably offer a bit better noise reduction during calls the [00:07:30] AirPods pros, noise Ising design and active noise. Speaker 1: Canceling has obvious benefits. For instance, you'd want to use the AirPods pro on a plane out the AirPods three, also the pro's excellent transparency mode mitigates some of the occlusion issues people have with noise, isolating earbuds. I find the AirPods pro comfortable to wear. They fit my ears very securely, especially after I got a pair of foam tips for them. But a lot of people just don't like having ear tips jammed in their ears and are fond and the lightweight EarPods two, and they're full non [00:08:00] occluded fit despite their shortcomings. That's where the AirPods three come in. They're basically premium open earbuds, which there just aren't a whole lot of, if that's what you're looking for, look no further. I even liked them. And as I said, I'm not a fan of open earbuds. However, I ultimately think they're gonna have to come down and price probably to around a hundred dollars or $150 to separate themselves from the AirPods pro, which seem to fit more people's ears. Well, and have the feature that everyone seems to want these days, noise canceling, [00:08:30] but let me know what you guys think about all this sound off in the comment section. And if you're interested in any of the products mentioned, check out the description below for links on where to find them, and you can get more details of my text review on CNET. Lastly, if you found this video informative at all, hit the like button and subscribe. If you haven't already I'm David Conner for CNET. Thanks for watching.

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