Apple AirPods 3
What Hi-Fi Sound and Vision|December 2021
AirPods advance closer to the Pro model with a redesign and stand-out spatial audio

Wireless in-ear headphones | 18,500

It’s estimated that around 200 million pairs of Apple’s truly wireless earbuds have been sold in the four years since the Airpods arrival – roughly half the number of Rubik’s Cubes (the best-selling toy ever) that have been sold over four decades, to put it in perspective.

While brand affinity has naturally played a large part in this, there’s no denying the AirPods’ success has also been down to Apple’s flawless ‘it just works’ technology – and the third-generation AirPods are the latest incarnation of that ethos, with a stand-out feature thrown in as a final flourish.

Special, spatial bonus

Spatial audio arrived for movies and TV as part of iOS 14 in 2020 and expanded to music this year through its alliance with Dolby Atmos. Spatial audio uses 3D audio algorithms, applying directional audio filters to adjust subtly the frequencies each ear receives, so that sounds are placed all around the soundstage to create a more immersive effect.

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