AirPods 3 Feature Improved In-Ear Detection, Don't Have Conversation Boost

Apple's third-generation AirPods feature a new skin-detect sensor for improved in-ear detection, according to Apple's tech specs page and Taiwanese research firm TrendForce.

airpods 3 in ear
In a press release earlier this week, Apple confirmed that the third-generation AirPods feature a new skin-detect sensor that accurately discerns if the AirPods are in the ear — versus in a pocket or on a table — and pauses playback when removed. Industry insiders told TrendForce that the new skin-detect sensor may allow the third-generation AirPods to detect water content in the wearer's skin for this purpose.

Meanwhile, Apple's tech specs page indicates that the third-generation AirPods do not support Conversation Boost, a feature designed to help people with mild hearing challenges stay more connected in conversations. Conversation Boost is only available on the AirPods Pro following a firmware update earlier this month.

Conversation Boost uses the AirPods Pro's beam-forming microphones to boost the volume of a person talking in front of you, making it easier to listen to a face-to-face conversation, and there is also an option to reduce ambient noise.

Apple unveiled the third-generation AirPods on Monday with a similar design as the AirPods Pro, but no active noise cancellation or silicone ear tips. Key features include improved sound quality with Adaptive EQ and spatial audio, longer battery life, a MagSafe charging case, IPX4-rated water and sweat resistance, and more. The third-generation AirPods are available to order now for $179 and will launch on Tuesday, October 26.

Related Roundup: AirPods 3
Buyer's Guide: AirPods (Neutral)
Related Forum: AirPods

Top Rated Comments

hcherry Avatar
12 months ago
Bought a pair to replace my 2nd gen AirPods. I'm hoping the slight adjustment in shape doesn't affect how well the 3rd gens stay put. I might be in the minority, but the regular AirPods fit great in my ears. Never once had them fall out while exercising.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ? Avatar
12 months ago
Very nice! I just wish Apple had introduce the AirPods in color black or product red.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
contacos Avatar
12 months ago
Apple needs to come up with a way to filter out tinnitus noise. That would be revolutionary
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
zorinlynx Avatar
12 months ago
My big question is, are the batteries more durable? I don't want to spend $179 on something that will be e-waste in three years.


I'm surprised that they continue with the crappy form factor.
Everyone's ears are different. There are a lot of earbud options out there. Just buy what works for you!
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PsykX Avatar
12 months ago
These look so amazing. If only they had Active Noise Cancelling...
I don't want AirPods Pro. I don't want silicone tips in my ears.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BulkSlash Avatar
12 months ago
But will this fix the AirPods deciding to disconnect from the device I was listening to something on and connecting to another device I wasn’t even using just because I took a bud out of my ear? Will it fix the AirPods completely ignoring that I’ve hit play on a device forcing me to manually connect to them?

Auto-switching/connection has been a total disaster for ages now. It was perfect when iOS14 released but since then it’s just become so unreliable and flaky.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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