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Apple AirPods 3 Review Rundown

ApplePublished on 25 Oct 2021Last Edited on 14 Nov 2021Written by Dr Jiulin Teng w/ Neosummarizer*
Rundown of external reviews is now integrated to the product page in the External Reviews section.
We will no longer publish Rundowns separately.
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Neoscore* 80%
  • Fantastic sound quality
  • Spatial Audio support
  • Great battery life
  • Nothing in particular


Apple AirPods 3 still have some problems with how they fit, but new internal sensors and mics help drive some of the best bass we've heard from this type of design. The new model has a redesigned driver and even a skin-detect sensor to determine if they are currently in your ear.
This rundown provides our analysis on 8 third-party reviews. The sentiment scores, summaries, and key takeaways that we select are based on these reviews and may differ from the original publication.



Sentiment Score[*] 78%
Reviewers from ndtv have found the following[***]:
The Apple AirPods (3rd Gen) make for an engaging listening experience, and is able to tailor itself to the genre and track in play. Dolby Atmos and Spatial Audio performance is as good as on the AirPod Pro, with the earphones able to simulate a surround sound experience despite the obvious limitations of two-channel audio. There is also support for a new AAC-ELD codec, which is said to improve voice performance on FaceTime calls. However, the lack of active noise cancellation does hold the experience back a bit.
Find the original article here.
  • Good sound quality
  • Adaptive EQ and noise isolation
  • Good battery life
  • No active noise cancellation or noise isolation


Sentiment Score[*] 80%
Reviewers from pcmag have found the following[***]:
The third-generation AirPods are a notable improvement over the previous two models. Seamless integration with iOS devices, the inclusion of a MagSafe-compatible charging case, and a water-resistant build earn them the highest rating we've ever given to in-ears that don't seal off the ear canal. Despite some neat tricks, we aren't wild about their open earbud design. And the lack of true, user-adjustable EQ is disappointing at this price.
Find the original article here.
  • Sleek design
  • Excellent audio quality
  • Water-resistant build
  • No true, user-adjustable EQ
  • In-ear fit is a bit sculpted


Sentiment Score[*] 80%
Reviewers from techradar have found the following[***]:
The AirPods 3 are optimized for use with Apple devices, with a one-touch setup that automatically pairs the buds with your iPhone, iPad, Mac, or MacBook. Audio Sharing means you can also share the audio stream between two sets of airbuds. The buds also support the AAC-ELD codec, which Apple says will deliver "Full HD voice quality" – whatever that means. We found the microphones were adept at picking up our voice.
Find the original article here.
  • Sleek design
  • Spatial Audio works well
  • Great sound quality
  • Lacks hi-res audio streaming
  • Limited codec support


Sentiment Score[*] 88%
Reviewers from theverge have found the following[***]:
The new AirPods are the first big redesign of Apple’s massively popular true wireless earbuds. Apple makes it easy to switch back and forth between spatial audio and regular sound in Control Center. iOS 15 actually lets you “spatialize” sound from apps like Spotify that don’t otherwise offer the feature.
Find the original article here.
  • Better battery life than the first-gen AirPods
  • Better sound quality than the previous generation
  • New Find My features
  • No wireless charging
  • More expensive than the competition


Sentiment Score[*] 78%
Reviewers from whathifi have found the following[***]:
AirPods 3 ditch the ludicrously long, earring-like stems in favour of the shorter stems of their noise-cancelling sibling. The buds are very slightly and imperceptibly smaller in every dimension and a single gram lighter too. With the neater stems come the same touch controls, courtesy of force sensors on the stems that can be gently squeezed to control music playback and calls. We're fans of their neutrality and clarity, and the AirPods sound better than the cheaper crop of ANC-less competition.
Find the original article here.
  • Better sound than the AirPods 2
  • Better battery life
  • On-bud volume adjustment still on the wishlist
  • No interchangeable silicone ear tips


1. ^ Apple AirPods (3rd Gen) Review: New Design, Familiar Experience. ndtv. 2021-11-15 Retrieved 2021-11-19.
2. ^ Apple AirPods (3rd Generation) Review. pcmag. 2021-10-25 Retrieved 2021-10-25.
3. ^ Apple AirPods 3 review. techradar. 2021-10-25 Retrieved 2021-10-25.
4. ^ Apple AirPods (third-gen) review: new design, same appeal. theverge. 2021-10-27 Retrieved 2021-12-02.
5. ^ Apple AirPods 3 review. whathifi. 2021-10-25 Retrieved 2021-10-25.
*. Neoscore is our sentiment analyzer based on natural language processing (NLP). Scaled in the range of 0 to 100, Neoscore eliminates scoring biases from each publisher; it likely differs from the publisher\'s own rating, if available, as a result.
**. Neoanalyzer is our summarizer based on NLP. It identifies key takeaways from each third-party review. The takeaways that it produces likely differ from the publisher\'s own bullets points, if available, as a result.
***. Neosummarizer is based on NLP. It extracts summaries from third-party reviews. It likely that these summaries differ from the publisher\'s own, if available.
****. This page contains affiliate links to third-party merchants such as Amazon, eBay, and Rakuten. When you make a purchase using the supplied links, we will receive a commission.

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