At 1 o’clock in the morning on October 19, 2021(Beijin time). Apple’s second autumn conference was officially held. The opening gave priority to the introduction of Apple audio technology and product applications, the launch of Apple Music’s voice-activated subscription service, three new color schemes for Apple HomePod mini, and Apple AirPods 3 true wireless earbuds, which was late for more than half a year, also officially unveiled.
Compared with AirPods 2, Apple AirPods 3 has been fully upgraded. Apple customized high-amplitude drive unit, high dynamic range amplifier, H1 chip and multi-sensor blessing enable AirPods 3 to support adaptive EQ, spatial audio with dynamic head tracking, pressure-sensitive control, clearer voice calls and voice wake-up And other functions. Equipped with MagSafe charging case, it supports wireless charging and provides longer battery life.
From the overall appearance design and functional configuration, AirPods 3 is more biased towards the AirPods Pro Lite version. The semi-in-ear design provides a more comfortable wearing experience, but at the same time the active noise reduction and transparent mode functions are cancelled. Almost all other aspects inherited AirPods Pro, and have been further improved in terms of battery life.
Apple AirPods 3 true wireless earphones are released. I believe many friends are eager to know what kind of experience this product can bring? Compared with the other two products, how to choose? This article will explain the features of AirPods 3 in detail for everyone.
The main feature highlights include the following aspects:
- Apple customized high amplitude drive unit, customized high dynamic range amplifier, adaptive EQ
- H1 chip, skin recognition sensor, motion acceleration, voice acceleration, force sensor
- Spatial audio with dynamic head tracking
- MagSafe charging case, wireless charging
- Complete ecosystem: pop-up mode, dual device connection, audio sharing
|1. Appearance design: lightweight semi-in-ear design, comfortable to wear
Apple AirPods 3 true wireless earphones use a MagSafe charging box similar to AirPods Pro in appearance design. According to official data, AirPods 3 measures 46.40×54.40×21.38mm (height x width x length) and weighs 37.91g. Both volume and weight have been reduced overall, which further improves portability.
Since the birth of the Apple AirPods series of TWS headphones, the comfortable wearing experience provided by the classic design has become the object of many products to imitate. Apple AirPods 3 earphones have been upgraded again in appearance, adopting a new contour design, the earphone handle is shorter, and the body in the ear curve is round and full, which can better fit the auricle and provide a more comfortable wearing effect.
|2. Product materials: H1 chip, multi-sensor blessing, rich functional applications
In terms of materials, the main control chip of the Apple AirPods 3 true wireless headset still uses the H1 chip independently developed by Apple, and is equipped with a skin recognition sensor, a motion acceleration sensor, a voice acceleration sensor, and a force sensor.
It can be seen that the overall configuration is almost the same as AirPods Pro, the only difference is that the dual optical sensor used for ear detection is replaced with a skin recognition sensor, which is initially judged to be a capacitive sensor. Let’s take the Apple AirPods Pro disassembled by 52audio as an example to introduce the functions of these sensors (the following is a speculative introduction, please look forward to the detailed dismantling report of 52audio AirPods 3 for the actual situation).
Apple H1 chip, using SiP package (System in Package)
H1 is a bluetooth audio master SoC independently developed and designed by Apple, supports bluetooth 5.0, has 10 audio cores, and provides super computing power for various functions of the headset. Among the current four products in the AirPods series, Apple AirPods 1, AirPods 2, and AirPods Max all use the H1 chip-based form. AirPods Pro is equipped with a SiP package (System in Package) H1 chip, which has a higher integration level and energy consumption ratio.
Bosch MHEK NYH7 motion acceleration sensor, integrated in SiP package H1 chip
Motion acceleration sensor is one of the important configurations of Apple AirPods series earphones to realize dynamic head tracking spatial audio. When wearing it, it can sense head motion signals and use spatial audio algorithms to adjust sound positioning in real time to achieve an immersive audio experience.
ST voice acceleration sensor, integrated in SiP package H1 chip
The voice acceleration sensor is also the bone vibration sensor we often say. If it is used on AirPods 3, it will mainly support functions such as call noise reduction, voice wake-up, and voice interaction. By collecting the vibration information of the vocal cords and converting it into audio signals, it is equipped with multi-microphone coordination and noise reduction algorithms to achieve precise voice recognition and clear voice call effects.
Force sensor structure
Apple officially introduced Apple AirPods 3 this time using pressure-sensitive buttons for the interaction of various functions. Compared with the second-generation touch keys, it can avoid the stethoscope effect during manipulation and improve the user experience. One of the important configurations of the pressure-sensitive button is the force sensor, which realizes the control of various functions by detecting the deformation of the surface where the headphone handle is pressed.
The skin recognition sensor is Apple’s first application on the AirPods series earphones. It is used for the in-ear detection function of AirPods 3, which can realize accurate extraction and automatic pause, and wear and resume playback. Previously AirPods products have adopted optical sensor units.
Beamforming MEMS microphone
Although Apple AirPods 3 does not support active noise reduction this time, it is also equipped with three microphone units. The inward-facing microphone is used for adaptive equalization, and the other two form a dual beamforming array, with a special acoustic grille and AAC-ELD voice codec to provide clearer and more transparent call audio quality.
Apple AirPods 3 true wireless headset H1 chip and multi-sensor blessing provide it with more functional applications and improve user experience. The firmware configuration is also sufficient to provide certain support for subsequent version upgrades.
|3. Audio function: adaptive equalization, spatial audio, audio sharing
In terms of audio experience, Apple AirPods 3 true wireless headphones are equipped with a combination of Apple customized high-amplitude drive unit and high dynamic range amplifier, which can present rich and delicate sound quality, with deeper bass performance, and clear and pure treble effects. It also supports functions such as adaptive equalization, spatial audio and audio sharing, providing a rich wireless audio experience.
The adaptive equalization function can automatically adjust the music effect according to the ear shape to achieve the best music experience when worn by different users. Apple AirPods 3 true wireless earphones are equipped with an inward microphone unit inside the mouthpiece to detect the audio effects of the listening content, and adjust the low and mid frequency ranges to achieve real-time customized sound effects.
Spatial audio is a unique audio function of Apple AirPods series products, which debuted at the WWDC20 Global Developers Conference. The first equipped product is Apple AirPods Pro, and this function is also applied in the follow-up Apple AirPods Max.
At present, Apple Space Audio is divided into two types: Dolby panoramic sound effects and support for dynamic head tracking. The spatial audio blessed by Dolby Atmos technology is created by the creator through mixing to create an audio effect where the musical instrument surrounds the surroundings to achieve a more comfortable listening experience.
Apple AirPods 3 supports dynamic head-tracking spatial audio through the blessing of hardware. When listening to music or watching videos, it can use acceleration sensors and gyroscopes to continuously remap the sound field position to achieve a fixed sound field effect. Immersive audio experience. In layman’s terms, spatial audio that supports dynamic head tracking is equivalent to being in a concert hall. Since the position of the instrument is fixed, no matter how you turn your head, the sound you hear comes from the same direction.
With the development of Apple spatial audio technology, its application scope is also increasing. At present, the FaceTime video communication software of iOS15 also supports the spatial audio function, which can simulate the face-to-face chat effect when multiple people are talking at the same time, so that the sound can be transmitted from the direction of the speaker.
In the future, Apple spatial audio may gradually be applied to all of Apple ecology. When used with Apple iPhone, MacBook, iPad, Apple TV and other terminal products, spatial audio effects can be achieved without additional conditions.
Audio sharing is a very practical and innovative feature in the development of TWS headsets. Two TWS headsets can be connected to one mobile phone at the same time to achieve the effect of listening to the same music and watching the same video at the same time. Apple AirPods 3 true wireless earphones support Apple audio sharing function. In addition to sharing audio, you can also adjust the volume separately for a better experience in common use.
|4. User experience: multi-functional interaction, optimized “Find”
In addition to the above functional applications, Apple AirPods 3 true wireless headsets are also very comfortable and convenient in terms of basic functional experience. Support pop-up mode to quickly connect, view real-time power, support pressure control, voice wake-up, in-ear detection and other multi-functional interactions, and optimize the “find” function.
Based on the Apple ecosystem, Apple AirPods 3 will automatically pop up a pop-up window when it is close to a mobile phone or iPad device. Click “Connect” to pair all devices in the iCloud account with one click. When listening to music through a Mac, incoming phone calls can be answered without switching the connected device. Connect with the paired device again, and the pop-up window will display the remaining battery information of the charging case and headset.
A new change of AirPods 3 is equipped with a skin recognition sensor for in-ear detection. The ear can be distinguished from other surfaces. The audio will only play when the headset is worn, and it will automatically pause when it is taken off and placed in a pocket or placed in other places.
Apple AirPods 3 also uses the pressure-sensitive button scheme on AirPods Pro, which supports single-click, double-click, triple-click, and long-press control methods. By pressing the control area on the earphone handle, various controls such as pause/play, music control, and wake-up of the voice assistant can be realized. It also supports voice wake-up function. By waking up the voice assistant through “Hei, Siri”, you can operate multiple functions by voice.
The small body of the TWS headset is easy to lose, which is a problem for users. Apple AirPods 3 has been upgraded to optimize the “Find” function. You can locate your headset at all times through the Find APP. When it is lost, you can quickly find it using a close-up view and playing sound. It also supports separation sensing, and automatically reminds when it exceeds the bluetooth range. It is not known from the official announcement whether the UWB chip is used, and we still need to wait for the dismantling report to share with you.
|5. Battery life: long battery life, new wireless charging
Apple AirPods 3 true wireless headphones have been further improved in terms of battery life. It adopts MagSafe charging case, supports wireless charging function, and supports fast charging of headphones.
Official data shows that when the AirPods 3 is fully charged, the earphones can listen for 6 hours at a time, and the overall battery life with the MagSafe charging case has reached 30 hours. When the headset is out of power, it can be charged for 5 minutes in the charging case, which can provide about 1 hour of battery life.
|6. Which of the four products in the AirPods series is better?
Among the four AirPods products currently on sale on Apple official website, except for the AirPods Max head-mounted headset, the newly released AirPods 3 has undergone a comprehensive upgrade compared to the AirPods 2 generation, which not only makes up for the lack of sound quality, but also carries a full Functional spatial audio. Compared with AirPods Pro, which chooses the former between comfortable wearing and active noise reduction, the rest of the configuration is almost similar, and the battery life has been improved.
The three TWS headsets present a step-by-step ladder in price. From a priority point of view, AirPods 2 has been excluded from the selection after the release of AirPods 3. You can choose between AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro according to personal preferences and common scenarios.
|7. The new Apple Music voice-activated subscription plan, voice command operation
In addition to the upgraded Apple AirPods 3 products at this conference, Apple Music also ushered in an upgrade again. Apple has added a new voice-activated subscription plan for Apple Music, with the “Siri” smart voice assistant. After subscribing, users can operate all Siri-enabled devices such as HomePod mini, AirPods, iPhone, etc., or CarPlay to play music in the car.
The Apple Music voice control solution is fully optimized for voice control, which can provide users with a more convenient and personalized music experience. It can support personalized voice commands such as “play dinner party playlist”, “play some decompression songs”, “play something similar”, and control commands such as unlimited skipping of songs.
Almost two years after the release of AirPods Pro, after a year of revelations, Apple AirPods 3 true wireless headphones have finally officially stood in front of consumers. In terms of its functional configuration and Apple ecology, it still has a very strong competitiveness in the current TWS headset market. But from the Apple brand and the leading nature of Apple products, AirPods 3 did not bring us more surprises.
AirPods 3 is more like the AirPods Pro Lite version, used for Apple layout in the TWS headset market. The entry-level product AirPods 2. AirPods 3, which focuses on comfortable wearing and rich audio experience, and AirPods Pro, which focuses on active noise reduction, together with AirPods Max head-mounted headset form a very complete wireless headset product line.
From the current wireless bluetooth headset market, with the rapid popularity of TWS headsets, users’ requirements for sound quality continue to increase, and AirPods 2 can no longer meet the needs of users. The in-ear wearing style of AirPods Pro has hindered the purchase needs of some users. Therefore, AirPods 3 can be regarded as a supplementary product to meet this part of users who have high requirements for sound quality and wearing comfort.
As an upgrade of AirPods 1 and AirPods 2, the release of Apple AirPods 3 true wireless earbuds may have placed orders very quickly for some users who are in demand. For users who have more expectations for the new features of the AirPods series products, they need to wait for the AirPods Pro upgrade to arrive! I don’t know what your friends think of this product?