Are AirPods 3 worth it in 2024? A Comprehensive Review

By ANAS KHAN 16 Min Read

Is buying AirPods 3 in 2024 still worthwhile when there are so many other wireless earbud options? Investigating this matter necessitates a thorough evaluation that goes beyond basic requirements. A detailed assessment of performance, longevity, and innovation lies beneath the smooth design and seamless connectivity. With their dependable performance, clear sound, and user-friendly features, the AirPods 3 remains a guiding light in this age where audio quality and convenience meet. But the scene is always changing because rivals are always stepping up their game.

Whether one values the ease of familiar features, the pursuit of cutting-edge technology, or the integration of the Apple ecosystem more highly is the determining factor. Here, the value of AirPods 3 is relative to how well they suit individual tastes and requirements rather than static features.

Apple’s Third-Generation AirPods

Apple's Third-Generation AirPods


  • Superior sound compared to the original AirPods
  • Is compatible with wireless charging
  • Stays dry even when wet.


  • Easily detached from some ears

Our experts recommend these new open-ear AirPods, which are priced between the AirPods 2 and the AirPods Pro 2, for their superior sound quality compared to the previous model. While the open design won’t block out all noise like over-ear headphones or AirPods Pro, it will allow you to still hear some ambient noise, which can help you stay alert. Their lack of active noise cancellation should be noted.

According to our experts, the sound quality when streaming music is excellent, with deep, punchy bass. “In my opinion, the sound quality of Apple’s earbuds is unmatched,” mentions Greenwald. With good reason, they are among the most beloved earphones. They sound great because of their exceptionally flat frequency response. The casing and the ease of setup are other great features.

However, if you already have the second generation of AirPods, our experts don’t think it’s a good idea to upgrade to the third generation unless you’re really into features like wireless charging, longer battery life (up from 5 to 6 hours of listening plus an additional 6 hours with the charging case), or spatial audio, which creates an immersive 3D effect.

Their IPX4 rating makes them resistant to water and sweat, making them a better option for the gym than the AirPods 2. However, some reviewers have complained that they fall out of the ear more easily than previous AirPods. “My biggest gripe is the new shape,” Greenwald says. “The newer model is shaped differently than the previous one; as a result, they don’t fit my ear snugly and are much more likely to fall out when I’m wearing them.” Spend a little more on the AirPods Pro 2nd Gen if you want the most secure fit. They have silicone tips and active noise cancellation.

Battery life6 hours (30 with charging case)
Water resistantYes, IPX4



Apple debuted a new look for the wireless earbuds with the AirPods 3, their first update since their 2016 launch. Similar to the AirPods Pro, these AirPods feature a shorter stem and an updated, curved earpiece.

Apple boasts that their AirPods are ultra-light and ergonomically positioned for optimal comfort and sound quality when worn in the ear. Like the original AirPods, these do not have silicone tips like the AirPods Pro.

The AirPods, like the AirPods Pro, have a shorter stem, making them appear less bulky when worn in the ear. A mesh-covered cutout and the earpiece work together to allow air to circulate.

White plastic with a touch of silver at the bottom and L and R labels characterize the latest AirPods, which are identical to their predecessors.

The new AirPods are 1.21 inches tall, 0.72 inches wide, and 0.76 inches deep, while the previous generation was 1.59 inches tall, 0.65 inches wide, and 0.71 inches deep. Compared to the AirPods Pro, they are somewhat narrower but roughly the same length.

Best for casual users: AirPods (3rd generation)

  • Stylish and comfortable: earphones, not adjustable
  • Max. 6 hours on battery, 30 hours when used in conjunction with the charging case
  • Is it water-resistant?
  • Some of the features include pressure sensor controls, automatic playing and pausing, automatic switching, easy connection, and customizable spatial audio using Siri.
  • Originally priced at $169

Pros: water resistance, excellent sound quality, premium audio features, stylish design reminiscent of AirPods Pro

Limitations: inconvenient sizing, average battery life, and absence of active noise cancellation.

Unless you’re strapped for cash, you should spring for Apple’s third-generation AirPods instead of the cheaper second-generation models. 

Adaptive equalization and customized spatial audio, two of the AirPods Pro’s premium audio features, are integrated into these headphones, creating the illusion that the music is emanating from all directions (in stereo) instead of just your ears.

It is for the best that individualized spatial audio only offers one option since not everyone enjoys the surround sound feature. The improved sound quality of the third-generation AirPods is undeniable, thanks to their superior drivers and amplifiers compared to the second-generation AirPods. 

Similar to the AirPods Pro, the third-generation AirPods feature a curved shape and shorter stems. Unfortunately, they do not come with noise cancellation, so if you desire that function, you will still need to upgrade to the more costly AirPods Pro. 

Unlike the AirPods Pro, which feature an in-ear tip design, the third-generation AirPods fit similarly to the second-generation AirPods when worn. The third generation of AirPods will not solve the problem of their not remaining in your ears. On the other hand, if you’re not concerned about the fit, these are the top AirPods to choose if you value sound quality above active noise cancellation.

Internal Hardware

A high dynamic range amplifier and a specially designed high-excursion driver allow the AirPods to reproduce deep, punchy bass with crystal-clear highs. Additionally, Apple incorporates these technologies into the AirPods Pro.

Due to the support for AAC-ELD, FaceTime calls can have full HD voice quality, and the two microphones—one with beamforming technology and the other with a mesh cover—reduce background noise and wind noise so that your voice is audible.

H1 Chip

Similar to earlier versions of the AirPods, the H1 chip is used in the AirPods 3. The H1 chip makes it easy to link and switch between Apple devices quickly and easily. It also lets you connect two sets of AirPods to the same iOS device, such as an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Apple TV, and share audio.

Any devices sharing an iCloud account can take advantage of the functionality of rapid device switching. With automatic device switching turned on, the user may effortlessly move between their iOS devices—iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch—while using the AirPods. You won’t need to visit Bluetooth controls to swap devices anymore, thanks to this smooth switching process.

By increasing its range, Apple’s H1 chip improves Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity. While AirPods may have some features that are specific to Apple products, they are otherwise fully Bluetooth-compatible and can be easily connected to any device.

Skin-Detect Sensor

With the new and better skin-detect sensor, the newest AirPods can sense where the device is, whether in your ear, a pocket, or even on a table, and will immediately cease music when you remove them.

MagSafe Charging Case

Apple has now made a MagSafe Charging Case available for use with the AirPods 3. This case allows for a magnetic connection with MagSafe chargers. Since the Prior AirPods 2 wireless charging case uses the Qi protocol, which is common among chargers, it is compatible with MagSafe chargers. On the other hand, including magnetic alignment introduces a new benefit.

In addition to being compatible with any MagSafe or Qi charger, the MagSafe Charging Case also supports charging via a Lightning connection.

The MagSafe Charging Case is wider and longer than the AirPods 2 case before it; however, it isn’t quite as big as the AirPods Pro case. With a weight of 1.34 ounces, the object’s measurements are 1.83 inches tall, 2.14 inches wide, and 0.84 inches deep. This product is water-resistant up to an IPX4 level.

A front-mounted LED shows the charging state, and both AirPods fit snugly into the case. The gadget is fully charged while the green light is on, and it is currently charging when the orange light is on.

With the magnetic lid closed, the case firmly encases the AirPods, guaranteeing their stability even when placed in a pocket or bag. The AirPods can be paired with an Apple device, or you can start the pairing process just by opening their cover.

What’s Next for the AirPods

Two separate versions, with different price points, of the fourth-generation AirPods are expected to be introduced by Apple in the latter half of 2024. Both versions will undergo a redesign that includes the same shorter stems as the AirPods Pro. Better fit and audio quality are also part of the package.

Many are hoping that the premium version will have Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), which would be a first for Apple customers looking for ANC at a more reasonable pricing point. It is believed that the premium AirPods 4 will be less expensive than the AirPods Pro. The fourth-generation AirPods will have a USB-C charging connector instead of a Lightning one, a redesigned housing with integrated speakers to aid with Find My Alerts and other improvements.

Rumor has it that the AirPods 4 will be unveiled in September or October, so we should expect to see them in the fall.

Further in the future

In the future, Apple may include several health sensors in AirPods, which would make the watch much more useful. The Wall Street Journal reports that possible future features of AirPods include the ability to detect and measure body temperature as well as posture. Speculation has it that Apple is currently conducting tests on AirPod devices with built-in temperature-sensing capabilities. We may see AirPods with built-in posture monitors and slouch alerts shortly.

The possibility of offering artificial intelligence capabilities that assist individuals in their regular activities has prompted Apple engineers to consider integrating low-resolution image sensors within the AirPods. Given Apple’s history of developing and patenting ideas that never come to fruition, the future of AirPods with cameras is anyone’s guess.

With the Vision Pro headgear, Apple plans to create state-of-the-art AR spectacles in the future. Unfortunately, we do not yet have access to the hardware technology required to make this product. Similar to Amazon’s Echo Frames and Meta’s Ray-Ban Smart Glasses, Apple has considered creating its line of smart eyewear.

The glasses could serve as an alternative to AirPods due to their built-in speakers, cameras, health sensors, and AI features. Although Apple is currently working on the idea, it is quite doubtful that it will be introduced anytime soon.


The AirPods 3 is a reliable wireless earbud that offers improved audio quality, supports wireless charging, and is water and sweat-resistant. It falls between the AirPods Pro 2 and the AirPods 2, price-wise. The AirPods 3 feature a new design with shorter stems and a contoured earpiece, providing a more subtle look in the ears. They also have an IPX4 rating, making them sweat- and water-resistant. However, some testers found that the new shape may not fit all ears perfectly, making them more prone to falling out of the ear.

For the most secure fit, the AirPods Pro 2nd Gen, which features silicone tips and active noise cancellation, is recommended. The AirPods 3 are worth the extra money over the second-generation AirPods, as they include premium audio features like adaptive EQ and personalized spatial audio.


What AirPods should I get in 2024?

Our top picks for AirPods in 2024
The brand new AirPods Pro 2 from Apple.
You won’t find better in-ear AirPods on the market than these.
Yes, those are the Apple AirPods Max.
The astronomical pricing of Apple’s most expensive AirPods is reasonable.
With their redesign and new spatial audio features, the Apple AirPods 3 are now more similar to the Pro version. Introducing the 2019 Apple AirPods Series

Are the new AirPods Gen 3 worth it?

Apple AirPods 3
The design and sound quality have substantially changed since the AirPods 2nd Generation. The former should make them more comfortable to use for most ears, while the latter will only be able to accommodate extremely small ears. Its quality has been much improved. The AirPods 3 have better battery life and have been certified water-resistant.

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