AirPods are nearly five years old, and while the product line has seen some major additions over the years, things have looked pretty similar for the entry-level product.
Today, Apple debuted the third-generation AirPods, bringing the wireless earbuds closer in line with the capabilities and design of their higher-end AirPods Pro. The new design brings shorter microphone stems to the headphones, while a more contoured design dispenses of hard edges.
The headphones will retail for $179, a bump over the last generation’s $159 price point. Pre-orders start today and they will ship on October 26.
It’s not just an aesthetic upgrade, the new headphones now sport a six-hour battery life alongside their new AirPods Pro-like charging case with MagSafe charging. Acoustically, the AirPods now have a newly designed “low-distortion” driver powering the listening experience. You can also now listen to spatial audio, which was previously only available on the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max.
Other updates include sweat and water resistance (at last!) so that the headphones can thrive as better workout companions. They also are gaining the force-sensor input that the AirPods Pro use so you won’t be tapping to control the new headphones, you’ll be giving the stem of the AirPods a small squeeze.
Apple will continue selling the second-generation AirPods for $129.