The new AirPods 3 from Apple are wireless earbuds that can connect to your Mac, iPhone, or iPad without a cable. They can also be recharged wirelessly via Magsafe or Lightning cable. One of their most prominent characteristics is that they inherited the unified, highly integrated design that Apple applies to all of their products.
This means that you don’t have to go through the Bluetooth pairing process you’d have to go through if using non-Apple earbuds or other non-Apple devices. Your iPhone will detect them automatically and set them up with no effort on the user’s part.
They also have ear detection, which will pause what’s playing if you take one of the AirPods out of your ear and resume it automatically if you put it back in.
The AirPods 3 will also seamlessly switch to whichever Apple device you pick up, without having to select them or tap anything. This means that you can put down your iPhone, pick up your iPad, and your AirPods will automatically switch over to your iPad.
Some other Bluetooth devices have to be manually unpaired from existing devices manually before you can pair them with another.
Aside from that, the AirPods (except the Pro model) do have a disadvantage — a lack of interchangeable silicone pads. This means you’ll have to put the plastic AirPods directly in your ears and that won’t sit well with everyone. However, they were fairly comfortable in my case.
They can hold onto your ears fairly well without having to be forced in like other brands. This rounded, simple design with few crevices also makes them easy to clean. The fact that there are no pads to remove helps with that as well.
I couldn’t restore my silicone pads from another brand of earbuds to their original colour, sadly. The texture and hard-to-reach crevices made them difficult to clean.
The sound quality of the AirPods 3 is decent for their price ($180). However, this is comparing them to other wireless earbuds. Certain midrange and treble frequencies on the AirPods sounded harsh when playing some songs. The quality of the bass is reasonable, but the treble could be clearer.
It is important to note that wired headphones and wired earbuds offer significantly better sound quality for the same price due to the lack of the extra parts required to facilitate wireless operation. Wireless earbuds offer convenience of not having to roll up a cord — but it comes at a high price.
The build quality of the AirPods 3 and their included carrying case is nothing short of premium and highly satisfactory. They are both solid and they feel premium as well.
If you want high overall quality, excellent battery life, and seamless operation across all your Apple devices — the AirPods 3 with Magsafe are a great choice and are unmatched (at least, their integration is). If you want impressive sound quality for the price, consider wired headphones or wired earbuds instead.