Why I Plan to Upgrade to the Rumored AirPods 3

Better sound, more juice

Key Takeaways

  • Rumors abound that Apple will soon release the AirPods 3 with better sound quality and longer battery life. 
  • I’m hoping to upgrade to the new AirPods so I can be on long phone calls without worrying my earbuds will die. 
  • While the AirPods 3 reportedly won’t have active noise cancellation, that omission doesn’t bother me.
Someone using Apple AirPods with an iPhone.


My Apple AirPods 2 earbuds still serve me well, but I’m looking forward to the next-generation model that’s rumored to be launching soon. 

The AirPods 3 will resemble the AirPods Pro, but without the ear tips, according to recent reports. But the new AirPods may lack some of the higher-end model’s features like active noise canceling. 

I’m most excited about the possibility of improved battery life and better sound. Apple is expected to tinker with the software and internals of the AirPods 3 to eke out more time per charge. The upcoming buds are rumored to pair well with Dolby Atmos with Spatial Audio for improved audio quality. 

I would be willing to upgrade even if there’s a modest improvement in audio since I love the compatibility the AirPods offer with my Apple devices.

Making Good AirPods Better

There’s nothing wrong with the AirPods 2 that I currently own, and in fact, they are among the most comfortable in-ear buds that I’ve ever tried. The fact that they have a special W1 chip inside means they pair easily with iOS devices, and the Bluetooth connection is rock solid. 

But it’s been several years since the AirPods 2 were released, and since then, the state of the art in wireless earbuds has moved on. At $159.00, the AirPods 2 have a similar price to many earbuds, which offer more features like active noise canceling (ANC). For example, the recently announced Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 cost $149.99 and deliver ANC and a choice of four different colors. 

I haven’t tried the Buds 2 yet, but early reviews indicate that they may offer better sound quality than the AirPods 2. The sound of my AirPods 2 is pleasing but often leaves me wanting more. They are a decent option for making phone calls and casual music listening sessions, but the audio quality sounds flat and has a limited soundstage.

The upcoming AirPods 3 are unlikely to match or exceed the sound quality of the AirPods Pro simply because Apple won’t want to cannibalize potential buyers of the more expensive model. But I would be willing to upgrade even if there’s a modest improvement in audio since I love the compatibility the AirPods offer with my Apple devices. 

I’m OK with the idea that the AirPods 3 won’t have active noise canceling. In most situations, I’m one of those people who doesn't like ANC. The sound waves that ANC uses to cancel out external noise tend to make me nauseous. I find myself primarily using this feature when I’m on airplanes or can’t hear someone well when I’m on a phone call. 

Please, Let There Be Better Battery Life

One key feature of the AirPods 3 that’s guaranteed to make me upgrade is better battery life. The short amount of time that my AirPods 2 last on a single charge is one of my pet peeves about this model. 

I realize that there’s only so much battery that Apple can stuff into a small case, but I’m tired of my AirPods running out of energy during a long walk or conference calls that drag on. My AirPods have also been getting less and less time on a charge since I bought them more than a year ago. The loss of battery life over time is a known problem with all gadgets that have built-in batteries since they only last a limited number of charging cycles. 

Apple AirPods next to an iPhone that displays the dialog for setting up Siri.


DigiTimes reported recently that the AirPods 3 are likely to launch alongside iPhone 13 in September. The new buds are expected to cost about the same as the current AirPods 2, putting them in the under-$200 range. 

While I’m sure you’ll be able to get wireless earbuds that have more features than the AirPods 3 at a lower cost, the value that Apple brings is worth it to me. Despite their minor shortcomings, my AirPods 2 have been reliable companions, and I can’t wait to upgrade to Apple’s next model.

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