Apple’s AirPods are hugely popular in the wireless earbud market, offering a seamless experience that only a company that controls hardware and software can offer – and that run is set to continue with Apple’s third-gen AirPods.
The first big change is the design of the wireless earbuds themselves, sporting a design not dissimilar to that of the AirPods Pro, with a short stem, a more contoured shape and accentuated black mic cut-outs. It also borrows the control system of the Pro-level buds, swapping taps for squeezes via a force sensor in the stem.
There’s also access to Dolby Atmos and Spatial Audio content (complete with head tracking) thanks to Apple’s H1 chip, and you’ll find Adaptive EQ tech to dynamically tune the headphones’ audio to make sure it sounds the way it should.
That’s not to say there isn’t an improvement to sound output though; with a custom low-distortion driver and high dynamic range amplifier, Apple seems confident that the audio quality will be noticeably better for upgrading users.
However, unlike the premium buds, you won’t get swappable eartips, nor will you get access to the more advanced active noise cancellation tech, but at a cheaper price, there’s not much to complain about.
If you’re interested, here’s where you can buy the new AirPods (2021) right now – including some of the top deals for UK and US readers curated by the Tech Advisor team.
If you want to find more about the wireless buds first, we round up all you need to know about the AirPods 3 separately.
How much do the third-generation AirPods cost?
The AirPods 3 are either cheaper or more expensive depending on your point of view.
Let’s explain; the AirPods 3 cost £169/$179, which is £10/$20 more than the £159/$159 second-generation AirPods, which remain on sale at a discounted £119/$129. However, the new AirPods include wireless charging as standard, whereas that was limited to a more expensive £199/$199 model with the second-gun buds.
So, compared to the second-gen AirPods with wireless charging, the new AirPods are a little cheaper.
Where to buy the AirPods 3 – best deals
If you’re on the hunt for a bargain in the UK or US, we’d recommend you keep an eye on the following retailers. They regularly have deals on tech including Apple’s latest AirPods, making it easy to nab yourself a discount year-round, not just during sale seasons.
We’d recommend keeping an eye on Amazon in particular, especially in the run-up to Prime Day in July, as the AirPods are ripe for discount now they’ve been available for over half a year now.
As well as the above list, we’ve also got a live price tracker here, keeping track of the best AirPods 3 prices online right now.
Best AirPods 3 deals right now
As well as our automated price checker, we’re keeping an eye on UK and US storefronts and hand-picking the very best AirPods 3 deals available this June. Take a look below for a true bargain:
Apple iPhone 13 with free AirPods
From: Virgin Media
From £31 per month
Grab the iPhone 13 and bag a free pair of third-gen AirPods while you’re at it! We’re separately looking at where to buy the iPhone 13 and the best offers on contract and SIM-free.