The jump from the first to second-generation AirPods was huge, because it included a fancy H1 chip and hands-free access to Siri. We anticipate the Apple AirPods 3 debut to be less flashy and instead focus on improving the basics like battery life, call quality, and durability.
Hereâ€™s everything we expect to see from the Apple AirPods 3.
Better battery life
One improved feature we can call from miles away is improved battery life: we saw a 21% improvement from the original AirPods to the AirPods (2019), and expect something similar with the third-generation AirPods. After all, if the noise-cancelling AirPods Pro can last over five hours on a single charge, a pair of similarly sized non-noise canceling earbuds should be able to at least match that metric.
Improved call quality
AirPods are everywhere, be it the first or second-generation models, and listeners use them as more than just a playback device: they use them increasingly for conference calls, especially with the impromptu rise of remote work. Apple uses one of the most advanced microphone systems weâ€™ve seen in the true wireless sphere, the company is always tweaking software improvements for clear vocal transmission.
Apple AirPods (2019) microphone demo:
Apple AirPods Pro microphone demo:
Thereâ€™s a perceptible difference in call quality between the AirPods (2019) and AirPods Pro, and we hope to see the AirPods 3 microphone catch up to the Pro model.
The AirPods 3 will likely boast some form of water resistance, as weâ€™ve seen other nozzle-less earbuds like the Mobvoi TicPods 2 Pro include. Sure, the third-generation AirPods may not merit the standard IPX4 rating, but they should be at least IPX2-rated like the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus and Galaxy Buds, two of the AirPodsâ€™ main competitors. This would make AirPods 3 a more versatile headset for listeners who occasionally want to exercise with their earbuds or who live in rainy regions.
What weâ€™d like to see, but likely wonâ€™t, from the Apple AirPods 3
It would be great to see a budget AirPods 3 option accompany the economical Apple iPhone SE, but releasing two forms of the same headset is a lot of effort for little reward. If anything, perhaps Apple will refrain from increasing the price and hover around that $150-mark to remain competitive with the likes of Samsung and Jabra.
It would be great if a Qi wireless charging case cam as a default inclusion with the AirPods 3, but itâ€™s also highly unlikely despite Samsung including such hardware since early 2019. There is a silver lining to separating bundles, though, as it provides listeners with tighter budgets a less expensive option if they want to remain in the Apple ecosystem.
Sure, the Apple AirPods 3 perhaps wonâ€™t be groundbreaking but they should perform consistently well with other iOS devices. These earbuds are sure to be a hit among iPhone owners who just want their earbuds to work. Maybe the AirPods 3 will appear boring and predictable, but in a time when everything is in flux, maybe thatâ€™s not such a bad thing.