Apple’s ‘mainstream’ AirPods are finally getting a major upgrade. The third-generation AirPods, announced by Apple at its Unleashed October event last night, have a new design and pack features inspired from the more premium-tier pro AirPods including Adaptive EQ, spatial audio and sweat and water resistance. In many ways, the AirPods 3 are like AirPods Pro minus the in-ear styling and active noise cancellation.
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Apple is also launching HomePod Mini in new colours and Apple Music Voice subscription plan alongside the AirPods 3.
AirPods 3 India price and availability
Apple has launched the AirPods 3 in India at a price of Rs 18,500 and they’re available to order starting today with general availability in stores beginning October 26. The second-generation AirPods are getting a price revision and will now sell for Rs 12,900. Apple is also updating the AirPods Pro with a MagSafe Charging Case without any change in pricing.
AirPods 3 spec-check
The AirPods are getting their first major design refresh since 2016 in this generation. The AirPods 3 are contoured and have shorter stems—these have force sensors built into them same as the AirPods Pro for media control. They’re also rated IPX4 now—again, like the AirPods Pro—which makes them sweat and water resistant.
The third-generation AirPods have a redesigned custom driver and Adaptive EQ—also seen in the pro AirPods—that can automatically tune music to the shape of your ear. Apple is bringing spatial audio with dynamic head tracking “to even more people” with the AirPods 3. Voice call quality is also getting an upgrade with the introduction of “AAC-ELD, a superior speech codec that offers full HD voice quality, providing clear, natural communication for FaceTime calls.”
As for battery life, Apple says the AirPods 3 can last an hour extra over the previous generations with up to six hours of listening time and up to a total of 30 hours with the case. They support fast charging and are also compatible with MagSafe wireless charging system.
HomePod Mini now in new colours
The HomePod Mini, Apple’s orb-shaped Siri smart speaker now comes in three ‘bold’ new colours including yellow, orange, and blue along with existing white and space grey. The colour refresh is happening down to the minutest detail including “the tinted touch surface, mesh fabric, volume icons, and woven power cable.”
They will be available starting November at a price of Rs 9,900.
Apple Music Voice Plan
This is a new subscription tier for Apple Music that’s centred around voice which invariably means, Siri. At Rs 49 per month, this will be the most affordable Apple Music plan and sit below the individual tier. Apple says it would help make Apple Music accessible to even more people around the world.
The premise is simple. The plan will work with voice— Hey Siri—and work across all Siri-enabled devices, including HomePod Mini, AirPods, iPhone, or any other Apple device, and when using CarPlay. Those looking to subscribe can do so also through Siri by “Hey Siri, start my Apple Music Voice trial.” This will be available through the Apple Music app as well.
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