A third-generation AirPod.

Apple announced new AirPods at its October 18, 2021 event. Priced at $179, these third-generation AirPods have a new design and bring many features found in the AirPods Pro to Apple’s standard wireless earbuds.

The first thing you’ll notice is the redesigned shape with shorter stems: The new third-generation AirPods look more like Apple’s higher-end AirPods Pro than the second-generation AirPods.

Many features found in the AirPods Pro have been added to third-generation AirPods. You’ll get spatial audio with dynamic head tracking, adaptive EQ, and “force sensor controls,” meaning you can press or long-press a button rather than just tapping your finger on an AirPod. They’re also now sweat and water-resistant, just like the AirPods Pro.

Apple AirPods third-generation features.

The AirPods case has also seen some upgrades. It supports MagSafe for wireless charging and Apple’s Find My network for finding lost AirPods. Battery life is an hour longer with 6 hours of listening time and 4 hours of talk time.

Those are just a few of the larger improvements, but Apple is also promising improved audio quality with FaceTime calls and a new driver for better audio quality.

The third-generation AirPods Pro are available on the Apple Store for preorder starting October 18, 2021, and they’ll be available in stores starting October 26, 2021. We look forward to trying them out!

Apple's full AirPods line with prices.

RELATED: What Is Spatial Audio, and How Does It Work?

Profile Photo for Chris Hoffman Chris Hoffman
Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He's written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times and Reader's Digest, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami's NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read more than one billion times---and that's just here at How-To Geek.
Read Full Bio »