New Apple AirPods 3 and Pro 2: Price, Release Date, Specs, and News

New AirPods are here. Here's everything you need to know

Apple's always got a few more tricks up its sleeve, and its wildly popular AirPods are no exception. The third-gen AirPods have already been confirmed, but the Pro 2 rumors are just conjecture at this point.

When Will AirPods 3 or AirPods Pro 2 Be Released?

Apple announced the AirPods 3 on October 18, 2021, along with the new MacBook Pros. They are available for pre-ordering on Apple.com (see below), with availability starting October 26.

As for the AirPods Pro 2, everything's still in the rumor stage, but the industry is circling in on 2022. Other rumors placed the Pro 2 release in April of this year, but that event came and went without an announcement.

AirPods 3 Price

The AirPods (3rd gen) are $179. Apple lets consumers purchase the new AirPods with an interest-free payment plan via its Apple Card credit card, like you could with the previous AirPods lineup.

AirPods 3
AirPods 3.

Apple

Pre-Order Information

Pre-orders for the AirPods 3 started the same day as the official announcement, on October 18, 2021. You can pre-order the AirPods 3 from Apple.com from the US and more than 26 other countries and regions.

We won't know when AirPods Pro 2 pre-orders will start until they're announced. Keep an eye out for the next Apple event. The usual approach is to announce the new product, then make it quickly available for pre-order, and actually get the product out on the market not long after.

New AirPods Features

Why introduce a new product if it's just like the old one? Apple's no slouch at the marketing game.

Apple AirPods 3 Features

The AirPods 3 feature a new contoured design with a shorter stem than v2. It also has the same force sensor as the AirPods Pro. There's also spatial audio (i.e., 3D-like listening experience) and longer battery life. They come with the H1 chip, so computational audio, according to Apple, helps the new model deliver "breakthrough sound" with Adaptive EQ.

AirPods 3 in ear

Apple

Here are some other notable features:

  • Sweat and water resistance (IPX4 rating).
  • Up to six hours of listening time, and 30 hours of total listening time with the charging case. That's an extra hour over the previous generations. Five minutes of charge time provides an hour of battery life.
  • Dynamic head tracking and spatial audio with Dolby Atmos; this applies to Apple Music, movies, and TV shows.
  • Audio Sharing lets you share audio between two sets of AirPods, AirPods Pro, or AirPods Max, while using an iOS device or Apple TV.

Apple AirPods Pro 2 Rumored Features

If you're going to drop several hundred dollars on a pair on tiny earbuds, they'd better be worth every penny. From what we hear, AirPods Pro 2 are going to deliver the following:

  • No stems at all and a more rounded design.
  • Improved battery life.
  • Gyroscopes and accelerometers to measure body orientation and movement. (This tracks with the advent of Apple Fitness+.)
  • Interchangeable ear tips.

AirPods 3 Specs and Hardware

The internal workings of the new AirPods are improved, too:

  • An acoustic mesh covered mic helps reduce wind sounds, which means audio comes across crisper.
  • The AAC-ELD codec offers full HD voice quality to assist in delivering clear and natural communication for calls. Similarly, beamforming mics block out ambient noise and focus on your voice to help with sound clarity.
  • A new skin-detect sensor recognizes if your earbuds are being used, and will pause playback when removed.
AirPods 3 Tech Specs
Audio Tech: Spatial audio with dynamic head tracking / Adaptive EQ / Custom high-excursion Apple driver / Custom high dynamic range amplifier
Sensors: Dual beamforming microphones / Inward-facing microphone / Skin-detect sensor / Motion-detecting accelerometer / Speech-detecting accelerometer / Force sensor
Chip: H1 headphone chip
Controls: Press once to play, pause, or answer a phone call / Press twice to skip forward / Press three times to skip back / Press and hold for Siri / Say “Hey Siri” to do things like play a song, make a call, or get directions
Resistance: Sweat and water resistant (IPX4)
Size and Weight: 1.21 inches tall / 0.72 inches wide / 0.76 inches deep / 0.15 oz
Charging Case: Works with MagSafe charger, Qi-certified chargers, or the Lightning connector
Battery: Airpods: Up to 6 hrs listening time with single charge (up to 5 hours with spatial audio enabled) / up to 4 hrs talk time with single charge

With Charging Case: Up to 30 hrs listening time / up to 20 hrs talk time / 5 min in case provides 1 hr listening time or 1 hr talk time
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0
Accessibility: Live Listen audio / headphone levels / headphone accommodations

The Latest News About Apple AirPods

You can get more Smart & Connected Life news from Lifewire on all kinds of topics; here are some other stories and rumors about Apple's update to its AirPods product line.

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