AirPods Gen 3: I have just ONE Word to describe it… (ft. Linora Low)

While many of us are looking for earbuds that plug nicely inside of the ears that have great passive and Active Noise Cancellation, there are apparently some people who absolutely hate earbuds that goes all the way in the ears and they also find that they don’t like noise cancellation too.

Well, here is where this earbud comes in, the 3rd generation AirPods!

And since the 2nd generation AirPods is the highest-selling earbuds in the world since it was released about 5 years ago, is this new 3rd generation AirPods even better? Let’s find out!

 

Unboxing

First, let’s go through the unboxing process of the AirPods.

In a usual Apple fashion, the box comes in white, with the new visuals of the AirPods earbuds in front. Then at the side below the box, you will see the variant that states that it is the 3rd generation AirPods.

Turning the box around, you will find another visual of the AirPods, together with the charging case as well, and you will see that Apple has stated the charging case has the MagSafe charging capabilities. Then you will find two tabs over here on top and at the bottom of the box.

Next, opening the box cover reveals the “Designed by Apple in California” card sleeve, which has the User Guide inside. Then you will find the charging case behind that.

Finally, underneath, there is a USB-C to Lightning cable.

 

Build Quality

Alright, next, let’s look at the build quality and design.

Starting from the case, it has a glossy finish, very similar to the previous Gen 2 and the AirPods Pro, but the design is more on a horizontal arrangement instead of vertical.

Now if you are a long-time subscriber of this channel, you’d know that I’ve always preferred a matte finish since I normally use earbuds mainly during my cardio and workout sessions, so glossier finishes tend to be a little slippery, and speaking of working out, these new AirPods are IPX4 rated, so it is sweat and water resistant as well, both for the case and the earbuds.

So with the earbuds inside, it is extremely light and just the right size to bring it on the go and yes it fits perfectly in that lil’ coin pocket for your jeans.

Next, looking at what’s outside of the case, other than the light indicator in front, you will find the Lightning Port below and you will find the Pairing Button at the back, below the hinge.

2.5 light indicator - 1080p_AirPods Gen 3.mp400010
2.6 lightning port - 1080p_AirPods Gen 3.mp400011
2.7 pairing button - 1080p_AirPods Gen 3.mp400012

In terms of durability, although I did do a review of the AirPods Pro since it was a review unit, I didn’t use it beyond a month, and similar to that, during my several weeks using this new AirPods, I did find it to be very durable as there are no noticeable scuffs or scratches due to its glossier finish.

The hinge also felt very solid, where it did feel premium when opening and closing the earbuds’ case.

As for the earbuds themselves, it is tucked nicely inside the case magnetically of course, and gone are the days of that super long stem design, which I wasn’t a huge fan of, and yet TONS of other companies followed the EXACT design of that. Talk about being creative, as mentioned, almost everyone follows Apple’s design.

And this shorter stem like the AirPods Pro was such a welcoming design for me and I did ask several of my peers and like me, they do prefer this shorter stem design too.

Now, other than the speakers, you will find the proximity sensor, which has a skin detect feature, to ensure that it only works when it detects a skin to resume music, just in case you put it on a surface and don’t want your music to be playing.

Then you will find the mesh-covered microphones to reduce wind noises. Then there is the right or left indicator over there.

So, being a person who has never used a non-silicone ear tip earbuds, when I first put them on, I was like…Is it in?

Because while it did fit in perfectly in my ears, with a great insertion angle, but I felt like it was going to come out, but surprisingly it didn’t, since it’s not a type of earbuds that sealed tight in the ears that had an open design and a contoured soft edge.

 

Pairing

Oh my God, the pairing process, and I am saying oh God, in a very good way, as this is surely one of the main reasons why this AirPods sells like hot cakes man.

All I had to do was open the case of AirPods and within seconds the iPhone detected it, hit connect and it’s done! Yes, it is indeed just a One-Touch setup!

And what’s sweet is that as long as you have all of your other Apple devices signed under your same Apple iCloud ID, you can switch between devices seamlessly as well, which is something once again, you will never understand how convenient it is until you really experience it.

Then there is also Audio Sharing since iOS 13, which is a feature very unique to AirPods and also Beats Headphones, where you can pair up to two sets of AirPods to enjoy listening to the same music or movies as well.

 

App Adjustments

Via Control Center

As for the App controls, once connected, there are two ways to adjust the AirPods, one is through the Control Center, where you will find the controls just next to the brightness adjustments. And here is where you can adjust the overall volume.

And here is what I found very interesting, so even though you are listening to a Stereo audio mix, you can still toggle Head Tracking, which follows the direction of your head, similar to both the AirPods Pro and the AirPods Max of course.

In here, you can also set the adjusts to turn it off, keep it fixed and head-tracked as mentioned earlier, and it works extremely well both on a Stereo mix and Dolby Atmos as well.

 

Via Bluetooth Settings

Then the second way to get some App controls is also through the Bluetooth settings, where firstly in there you will find the name of the AirPods, which you can always change the name accordingly.

You can toggle the Automatic Ear Detection which works flawlessly on the AirPods as well since there is a proximity sensor on the earbuds.

Next, there is the Automatic connection toggle to your particular iPhone

Then there is the Microphone selection to automatically switch to be always on, or to either on the left or right.

Below that, there is the optimized battery charging to reduce battery aging.

Then there is the toggle for Find My Network to locate the AirPods, very similar to an AirTags experience but not as powerful as AirTags of course, with the Precision Finding type of feature, where you can play a sound to find the AirPods, and since the sound is played through the earbuds instead of the charging case, it will sound louder if the earbuds or out of the charging case compared to when it is in.

Then finally, there is an option to Disconnect or Forget The Device.

 

Playback Controls

As for the playback controls, it is all done by similar pinch controls using the force sensors, similar to the AirPods Pro:

  • a single pinch plays or pauses the media, or picks up or ends a call
  • a double pinch goes to the next track or rejects a call
  • a triple pinch goes to the previous track

And if you pinch and hold, call out Siri, and speaking of Siri, you can get Siri to also read your incoming messages as well, which also works not only for iMessage but for apps like Instagram as well via Direct Messages.

Now, there is no volume control, so you can either call Siri and ask to turn up or turn down the volume or just manually control that on the phone, which didn’t matter to me, since even with earbuds that had a volume control, I hardly even used them as I also prefer to set the earbuds volume to be at about 80 to even 90% all the time.

Yeap, I am living on the edge baby!

 

Sound Quality

So how does this new generation 3 AirPods sound then?

Firstly, The earbuds come with the H1 Chip, and this is what drives the AirPods not only for the overall pairing but also when it comes to the audio quality through the Adaptive EQ as well.

Starting off my music listening, I played a stereo mix with Daughtry’s heavy rock song “Evil”.

And even at volume two steps down, it was very loud, and this is coming from a person who loves to listen to music really loud without any distortion.

The vocal projection was really great, the bass was great but not overpowering, high frequencies can sometimes sound like it was near peak but it did maintain very well below the peak area

Then I switched over to Billie Eilish’s “Billie Bossa Nova” and here is where I could crank up the volume to the max since it was being played through Dolby Atmos and Spatial Audio and like the AirPods Pro it was such a great experience from every corner of the mix.

Then I tested Lisa’s “Lalisa” and while the vocals and the mid frequencies sounded really nice and balanced but here is where I feel that the Achilles heel was the bass, it sounded great but probably not enough for a typical bass lover, so keep that in mind.

As for movie watching, I had absolutely no complaints about it here, whether or not it is just watching a YouTube video or movies on Netflix since there is Head tracking on every movie that you watch.

 

Microphone Quality

As for the microphone quality, firstly from a listener’s perspective, it sounded clear, and overall it sounded very clean and nice, where you can change the microphone to either be on the left or right or automatically in the app as seen earlier.

The microphones are covered in a special acoustic mesh that helps to minimize wind noises so you won’t have that weird digitization sound for your voice during phone calls, which most earbuds tend to do.

Now with this super-light form factor, I do see this as a regular handsfree calling earbuds or even video calls because that’s exactly what I have been doing since I got myself these earbuds. Do check out my quick microphone test during several situations in my YouTube video!

 

Daily Experience

Alright, since I use the AirPods for two situations when I use it daily, let me go through how I used it for the past several weeks.

Casual

So right after shooting the unboxing of the AirPods, instead of typically using it to workout first, I decided to use it for a casual situation – listening to the AirPods in a shopping mall environment, since I was hosting an all-day event.

Walking around in the mall with Dolby Audio music played, with my phone in my pocket was a very interesting and a great experience, and here is where you will hear the dynamic head tracking in a very interesting way.

And I always had that sort of comfortable feeling just walking around the mall and because it feels so light in the ears as though it’s not there.

And since it doesn’t stick out like the 2nd generation, it overall has a very low profile look, so you won’t be “making a statement” by showing the world that you are listening to music, it was a very humbling experience.

And the more I went towards different areas in the mall or just sitting down in a particular place, I noticed the Adaptive EQ worked extremely well too where it really tuned the music, based on what was going in my ears.

 

Workout

Then I obviously used it for working out and here is where I was pleasantly surprised because once again, I had this sort of feeling that the earbuds might come out while I was running and to my great surprise, it didn’t.

And with a gym environment situation the audio when it comes to listening to a podcast or watching YouTube on the treadmill was very audible, which was great to know.

Now, speaking of working out on a treadmill, there is one HUGE benefit that I found is when I was watching videos on my iPad Mini placed in front of the treadmill and connected to the AirPods. In case  I get a phone call, it will immediately switch to my iPhone and that for me came in an extremely clutch. 

Then I proceeded to do weight training, and the initial feeling of wondering that it will come out felt the same and I was super glad that during a 45 minutes weight training session, there was never a point of time it came out.

So I understand that some people tend to wear earbuds when doing some circuit training and since I don’t usually do circuit training I have decided to get a close friend Linora Low, who is a professional fitness instructor to give us her experience. Check out my YouTube video to find out what she thinks!

 

Battery

As for the battery, during the keynote presentation, Apple has mentioned that this new AirPods gives a total of 6 hours of listening time and during my continuous listening, it got an average of 6 hours and sometimes even more depending on the volume of the music listening.

And you can get a total of 30 hours of listening together with the case.

As for the charging options, other than through the Lightning Port, you can also charge through the traditional Qi Wireless charging or through MagSafe as well, where around 5 to 6 minutes of charge can give you about an hour of listening time, and that is something that I really appreciated.

.

Conclusion

So in conclusion, should you get the AirPods Generation 3 or who is this earbuds for?

Well, based on my usage and as clearly mentioned in this review, I personally think that the AirPods is a really perfect everyday earbuds, besides doing such an amazing job with the whole Apple Ecosystem, they still do everything that you would want to do well in every other aspect.

Would I recommend these AirPods? Absolutely! 

As this would be a perfect choice if you are looking for an open style earbuds without having absolutely no ear fatigue, and if noise cancellation is not a real must for you.

For me, it is an earbuds where the more I use it, the more I am accustomed to how really reliable it is, making it something that I would surely carry wherever I go, alongside my iPhone as well.

And if you are planning to get yourself one I will leave a link below as there is a 6 months free Apple Music when you make a purchase as well.

So if I had just ONE word to describe these AirPods, and that word is….Easy

Get the Apple AirPods Gen 3 at the link below:-

https://www.apple.com/my/airpods-3rd-generation/

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