October 18, 2021
Introducing the next generation of AirPods: The world’s most popular wireless headphones just got even better
The new AirPods offer spatial sound and cutting-edge sound, longer battery life and an all-new design
CUPERTINO, CALIFORNIA Apple today announced the third generation of AirPods with Spatial Audio, delivering advanced features and a magical experience in a streamlined new design. By combining the power of the H1 chip with an Apple-designed acoustic system, the new AirPods use computer audio to deliver breakthrough sound with Adaptive EQ. Users can enjoy spatial sound with Dolby Atmos in Apple Music, movies and TV shows, as well as dynamic head tracking, on all Apple devices. The new AirPods are sweat and water resistant and feature a force sensor for easy and intuitive control of music and phone calls. Extended battery life provides up to six hours of playtime1 and up to 30 hours of total listening time with the convenient charging case. AirPods (3rd Generation) join the world’s most popular headphone family and are available to order starting today and in stores starting Tuesday, October 26.
“AirPods have changed wireless headphones forever with their revolutionary design, incredible sound and magical experience,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing. “We’re excited to introduce the next generation of AirPods, delivering unparalleled sound with Adaptive EQ and Spatial Audio with Dynamic Head Tracking, plus seamless interaction between Apple devices, making the world’s best-selling headphones just got better.”
All new design
The new AirPods design is lightweight and streamlined, sitting at just the right angle for comfort and to direct sound into the ear. For a more subtle appearance, the stem is shorter than the previous generation and features the same intuitive force sensor as the AirPods Pro for media control. The new AirPods are both sweat and water resistant, with an IPX4 rating for the headphones and charging case.2
Revolutionary Audio Features
AirPods (3rd Gen) build on the excellent sound quality AirPods are known for, starting with a custom driver and high dynamic range amplifier that together produce powerful bass with crisp, clean highs. The microphone is covered with an acoustic mesh to help reduce wind noise, so the speaker’s voice is distinct during calls. AirPods also feature AAC-ELD, a superior voice codec that delivers Full HD voice quality, delivering clear and natural communication for FaceTime calls.
The new AirPods use computer audio to bring even more people the groundbreaking experiences customers love on AirPods Pro and AirPods Max, like adaptive equalizer and spatial audio with dynamic head tracking.
For an optimal listening experience with rich detail, the new AirPods feature an adaptive equalizer that adjusts the sound in real time based on how the AirPods adapt to the user’s ear. An inward-facing microphone monitors the sound, then Adaptive EQ, powered by computer audio, adjusts the low and mid frequencies to account for what may be lost due to tuning deviations.
Spatial audio creates a three-dimensional theater-like experience, placing sound virtually anywhere in space, and with Dolby Atmos, AirPods have never sounded better. Users can also take advantage of this multi-layered experience with dynamic head tracking, so music, video, and even group FaceTime calls feel more immersive than ever. By using advanced spatial audio algorithms and applying directional audio filters to subtly adjust the frequencies each ear receives, the new AirPods can place sound all around the user.
With one-touch setup that automatically pairs AirPods with other Apple devices, users can enjoy music effortlessly throughout the day. Audio Sharing lets listeners share the audio stream between two sets of AirPods, AirPods Pro, or AirPods Max, while using an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Apple TV.
A new skin detection sensor accurately discerns whether AirPods are in the ear – versus a pocket or on a table – and pauses playback when removed. To help with sound clarity, beamforming microphones block out ambient noise and focus on the user’s voice, while users can also enjoy a hands-free experience by simply saying “Hey Siri” to the requests.
Longer battery life
AirPods (3rd generation) offer an additional hour of battery life over previous generations, with up to six hours of listening time and up to four hours of talk time. Just five minutes of charging provides approximately one hour of battery life, and with four additional charges in the case, users can get up to 30 hours of total listening time.3 AirPods are now also part of the MagSafe ecosystem for convenient wireless charging.
AirPods with iOS and iPadOS
AirPods offer exceptional convenience and sound quality, and with iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, users can enjoy the following features:
- With spatial audio and dynamic head tracking, voices in a Group FaceTime call sound as if they’re coming from the direction the person is positioned on the screen, making everyone seem like is in the same room.4
- Announcement notifications allow Siri to read important time-sensitive notifications, including message, reminder, calendar, and call alerts, as well as any third-party apps that adopt the API.
- AirPods are now part of the Find My network of hundreds of millions of iPhone, iPad and Mac computers around the world, providing proximity view in the Find My app and Lost Mode, plus alerts and sounds from separation.
Apple and the environment
AirPods are designed with many materials and features to reduce their impact on the environment, including 100% recycled rare-earth elements used in all magnets. The case also uses 100% recycled tin in the main motherboard solder and 100% recycled aluminum in the hinge. AirPods are also free of potentially harmful substances such as mercury, BFRs, PVC and beryllium. For power efficiency, AirPods meet the US Department of Energy’s requirements for battery charger systems. Apple’s Zero Waste program helps suppliers eliminate waste sent to landfill, and all supplier final assembly sites are switching to 100% renewable energy for Apple production. In the packaging, 100% of the virgin wood fiber comes from responsibly managed forests.
Today, Apple is carbon neutral for the company’s global operations and, by 2030, plans to have net zero climate impact across the entire company, including supply chains. manufacturing and all product life cycles. This means that every Apple device sold, from component manufacturing, assembly, transportation, customer use, charging, to material recycling and recovery, will be 100% carbon neutral.
Price and availability
- AirPods (3rd generation) will be available for $179 (US) and can be ordered from apple.com/store and the Apple Store app in the US and more than 26 other countries and regions starting today, with in-store availability from Tuesday, October 26.
- AirPods (2nd generation) will be available at the new price of $129 (WE).
- AirPods Pro now come with a MagSafe charging case for the same price of $249 (WE).
- With the Apple Music Voice plan, users can enjoy millions of songs, playlists and stations from the Apple Music catalog via Siri. The Apple Music Voice plan will be available later this fall in select countries and regions for $4.99 (United States) per month.
- New subscribers can get Apple Music free for six months with the purchase of any AirPods, AirPods Pro, or AirPods Max.5
- AirPods require Apple devices running iOS 15.1, iPadOS 15.1, watchOS 8.1, tvOS 15.1 or macOS Monterey, all available as free software updates next week.
- Customers can add personal engraving with emoji, text and numbers to cases for AirPods Pro, AirPods (3rd Generation) and AirPods (2nd Generation) for free at apple.com/store and in the Apple Store app.
Apple revolutionized personal technology with the introduction of the Macintosh in 1984. Today, Apple leads the world in innovation with the iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch and Apple TV. Apple’s five software platforms – iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS – deliver seamless experiences across all Apple devices and provide users with groundbreaking services including the App Store, Apple Music, Apple Pay and iCloud . Apple’s more than 100,000 employees are dedicated to making the best products on earth and leaving the world a better place than we found it.
- Five hours of listening time with Spatial Audio enabled.
- The third generation AirPods have been tested under controlled laboratory conditions and have an IPX4 rating.
- Battery life varies by use. See apple.com/batteries for details.
- Available on iPhone and iPad with A12 Bionic and later, and Mac models (2018 or later).
- New subscribers only. $9.99 per month after trial. The plan renews automatically until cancelled. Restrictions and other conditions apply. For details, visit apple.com/promo.
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