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Home / Hot Stuff / Audio / Apple’s third-generation AirPods have a new look and pinch a few Pro features

Apple’s third-generation AirPods have a new look and pinch a few Pro features

Stalk of the town

From morning commuters and Hollywood A-listers, to Olympic skateboarders and quite possibly your otherwise gadget-phobic grandmother, there’s nobody you’d be surprised to see wearing a pair of AirPods. Apple’s bright white buds are so popular that it has been very relaxed about making new ones, with the second generation AirPods first launching over two and half years ago. It’s not surprising, then, that the third generation AirPods (£169) can be considered a pretty significant update. Featuring a new contoured design with a shorter stem, IPX4 sweat and water resistance and the same force sensor controls found in the AirPods Pro, plus a new custom driver, the everyman AirPods have closed the gap on their more premium alternative. They also get the Pro’s Adaptive EQ feature and spatial audio with dynamic head tracking, as well as support for Dolby Atmos with Apple Music. Like before, the AirPods pair with all your Apple devices at once when you first set them up, and battery life is now an improved six hours on a full charge, with a five-minute charge giving you up to an hour of use. The new charging case supports MagSafe charging too. They’re on sale from next week, with the older, cheaper model set to stick around a bit longer too. 

Profile image of Matt Tate Matt Tate Contributor


I'm fascinated by all things tech, but if you were going to leave me on a desert island, I'd probably ask for my Nintendo Switch, a drone, and a pair of noise-cancelling cans to block out the relentless seagull racket. When I'm not on Stuff duty you'll probably find me subscribing to too many podcasts, playing too many video games, or telling anyone who will listen that Spurs are going to win a trophy this season.

Areas of expertise

Video games, VR, smartwatches, headphones, smart speakers, bizarre Kickstarter campaigns

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