The highly anticipated AirPods 3 are finally here. Apple officially announced the next generation of AirPods at the October "Unleashed" event, and from the brief look we got of the earbuds during the event, the leaks and rumors appear to have hit the nail on the head.
Apple’s current second-generation AirPods arguably remain the best earbuds on the market thanks to their affordable price (by Apple standards) and great battery life when compared to other buds — including the AirPods Pro. The AirPods 3, however, aim to bring the next step in affordable Apple audio experiences.
- AirPods 3 vs. AirPods Pro: Which Apple wireless earbuds are best?
- AirPods 3 review
- Best headphone deals in 2021
Take a look below at everything we know so far and the newly announced AirPods 3, including everything from the release date, price, features and more.
Apple AirPods 3 release date
After the AirPods 3's multiple incorrect rumored release dates, including in May with Apple Music's new hi-fi streaming tier, in March during a now-debunked Apple event, and during the September Apple event where the iPhone 13, iPad mini and Apple Watch Series 7 were announced, the earbuds have finally been announced.
The third-generation AirPods are available to pre-order today, with the AirPods 3 being available from October 26.
Apple AirPods 3 price
The AirPods 3 are priced at $179/£169. This is slightly pricier than the second-generation AirPods (from $159/£159), especially for those in the US. However, those interested will be getting a number of Apple AirPods Pro qualities, a more compact design, spatial audio, and a case with support for wireless charging.
The second-generation AirPods will still be available to purchase, priced from $129. So far, the new AirPods 3 are the middle ground between regular wireless Apple earbuds and the Pro version.
Apple AirPods 3 design
As previous leaks have indicated, the AirPods 3 are have gone through a design overhaul, albeit to a look we’re already used to. We first got an alleged glimpse of the next-gen AirPods by Chinese site 52audio showing an extremely similar design to the AirPods Pro.
Similar to the AirPods Pro, the AirPods 3's stems are shorter, but there are no silicon ear tips. They also appear to sport a more rounded design when compared to the AirPods Pro.
We also have a new charging case, which supports wireless MagSafe charging much like the AirPods Pro's. While shorter than its predecessor, it boasts a more rounded design than the case for the AirPods Pro.
Say goodbye to the "toothbrush" look.
Apple AirPods 3 features
As previously reported, The brand-spankin' new, third-generation AirPods comes with a host of spectacular features, including longer battery life, MagSafe charging and Dolby Atmos-supported spatial audio.
The most exciting feature of the AirPods 3 is its increased battery life. Users of the third-generation AirPods will now enjoy a 6-hour runtime. With the case, you can get 30 hours. If you're in a rush, and don't have time to charge the AirPods 3, no worries. A five-minute charge will get you one hour of use. Apple is also introducing MagSafe charging, first introduced to the iPhone 12, to the AirPods 3.
The Cupertino-based tech giant also boasted about its new spatial audio tech, which brings 3D immersion to your music. Spatial audio brings music to life with sounds that feel as if they're surrounding you from all angles, bringing you a true, multi-dimensional listening experience. This new Dolby Atmos-supported spatial audio tech is now featured on the AirPods 3 as well as the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max.
Other features include sweat-and-water resistance and Adaptive EQ (which was made available since the AirPods Pro). The AirPods 3 will also include a new low-distortion driver, which provides powerful bass and crisp, clean high-frequency sounds. The AirPods 3 supports the well-received one-touch set up, which begins the moment you open the case, so getting started with the new earbuds will be a seamless experience.
Adding to the music-tech party, Apple announced a new subscription plan for its Apple Music app: The Voice Plan. It's only $5 a month, and it allows users to solely rely on Siri to play specific songs or launch curated playlists.
The AirPods 3 roll out on October 26, and we can't wait to check out all the new features and how comfortable the fresh design is.
With a similar design and potentially identical features, Apple AirPods 3 may take over the AirPods Pro, while the rumored AirPods Pro 2 will be a step up from the current models on the market. Whatever the case, check out everything else announced alongside the AirPods 3, including the 14-inch MacBook Pro, 16-inch MacBook Pro, and new M1 Pro and M1 Max chips.