Apple Airpods (3rd generation)

Apple Airpods (3rd generation)

Apple Airpods (3rd generation)

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BEST RATING
Portability:
5.0
MUSIC: Good7.1/10
CALLS: Good7.6/10
GAMING: Poor5.4/10
TV: Poor5.5/10
PODCASTS & AUDIOBOOKS: Very Good8.6/10
EXERCISE: Good7.2/10
AIR TRAVEL: Very Good8.0/10
NOISE REDUCTION: Poor2.5/10
BUILD QUALITY: Excellent9.0/10
BATTERY: Good7.6/10

Apple AirPods (3rd generation), released in October 2021, are priced in the midrange and have a stemmed earbud design with a closed enclosure. They offer good overall sound quality with dynamic drivers and support AAC codec, which improves performance with Apple devices. Their soundstage and imaging are also rated as good. They're known for their comfort and very good build quality. While the mic quality is good, the built-in controls are only fair. These AirPods perform well for music, calls, meetings, exercising, air travel, and are best for portability but provide poor noise isolation without active noise canceling. They're not optimized for gaming or TV due to latency issues. With adaptive sound and features such as improved spatial audio with Apple devices, these AirPods have a battery life of 6 hours, extended to 30 hours with the case, which supports wireless charging. They're certified sweatproof but not dustproof, weigh 4.3 grams, and come with integrated mics. They don't offer a virtual surround feature or app equalizer but have optimized controls for Apple users, ear/head detection, and a quick charging time. Give Feedback

this description is based on the product variant with some specs. At the time of writing, the variant with some specs cost some dollars.




Evaluation

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Pros
  • Good overall sound quality
  • Comfortable fit
  • Good microphone quality
  • Very good build quality
  • Optimized for Apple devices
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation
  • Limited app customization
  • No active noise cancelling
  • Poor low latency performance

Ratings by Category

Portability:
5.0
The Portability score is based on an overall assessment that includes volume and maximum dimension of the product (and case, if relevant), and its weight. Special features like foldability for headphones are also taken into account.
Podcasts & Audiobooks:
4.6
This score evaluates the product when used solely to listen to podcasts or audiobooks. It takes into account sound quality and sound signature, to be able to keep voices clear and intelligible. It also considers battery life, when available, and comfort.
Air Travel:
4.4
This score evaluates the product for use on airplanes and other similar kinds of travel. It takes into account noise reduction and portability, including case shape, case size, and weight. It also incorporates the battery life of the product, long-haul comfort, noise reduction (both active and passive), and sound quality. We generally consider wireless products to be more suitable for air travel.
Battery Life:
4.3
The Battery Life rating is based on hours of typical, actual usage.
Calls:
4.2
This evaluates the product when used solely to make and receive calls. It takes into account how well the products are able to clearly reproduce the human voice, the quality of the integrated microphones and the battery life, when available, to be able to use them for longer sessions or conferences.
Music:
4.1
The Apple Airpods (3rd generation) are praised for their overall good sound quality and good soundstage, meaning they produce clear audio and can create a sense of space and direction within the sound, enhancing the listening experience for music.
Exercise:
4.1
This score evaluates the product when used for exercise and physical activity. It mainly takes into account comfort, whether or not the products are sweatproof and how secure are the earbuds or headphones while wearing them. We also consider products with wireless capabilities to be more suitable for this particular scenario

Full Specs

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GENERAL

Price
$140
Brand
Apple
Release Date
October 1, 2021
Form Factor
Earbuds
Connectivity
Wireless

SOUND

Music Score
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7.2/10
Phone Calls Score
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7.6/10
Gaming Score
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5.4/10
TV and Video Score
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5.6/10
Exercise Score
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7.2/10

PERFORMANCE

Battery life
6 Hours
Wireless charging
Yes
Charging time
1.5 Hours
Bluetooth version
5
Case Battery Life
30

FEATURES

Active Noise Cancelling
No
Noise Reduction Score
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2.5/10
Virtual Surround
Yes
Android App
No
iOS App
Yes
Mic Quality
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7/10

BUILD AND DESIGN

Build Quality
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9/10
Comfort score
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7/10
Size
Medium
Weight of single earbud
4.3 Grams
Microphone style
Integrated

Shopping

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Apple Airpods (3rd generation)

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Sound Guys

Lily Katz, Christian Thomas | February 2023
"The Apple AirPods improves upon the 2019 model with its more ergonomic, yet unsealed, fit, water-resistant build, MagSafe charging case, and advanced software features. You can enjoy a wholly immersive movie experience with the new AirPods' spatial audio with head tracking, and enjoy HD audio during FaceTime calls. Of course, most of these features are limited to Apple hardware."

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This information was produced and vetted by the PerfectRec earbuds & headphones team. We are a product research and recommendation organization that meticulously reviews and evaluates the latest earbuds or headphones information and makes it digestible for you.

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About the Earbuds or Headphones team

Joe Golden, Ph.D

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Joe is an entrepreneur and lifelong electronics enthusiast with a Ph.D in Economics from the University of Michigan.

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Staff Expert & Software Engineer
Jason is a staff expert and software engineer that has been making laptop recommendations for 7 years and moderates one of the largest laptop subreddits.

Chandradeep Chowdhury

Staff Expert & Software Engineer
Chandradeep is a staff expert and software engineer and expert in televisions and monitors. He’s been making monitor recommendations for ten years.

Luis Torres

Earbuds and Headphones Expert
Luis is a Mexico-based headphones expert. He’s been making headphone recommendations for five years and has close to 100 pairs in his personal collection.

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