AirPods 3 Are Better Than AirPods Pro in One Way

Apple recently introduced its third-generation AirPods, featuring a new design, spatial audio, Adaptive EQ, MagSafe charging, sweat and water resistance, longer battery life, and more. The standard AirPods are now more similar to the AirPods Pro than ever before, with the new earbuds actually surpassing the higher-end in-ear option with one improved feature.

airpods 3 and case
Apple's third-generation AirPods have almost all of the same features as the ‌AirPods Pro‌, with the new AirPods only missing out on silicone in-ear tips, Active Noise Cancellation, and Conversation Boost. Briefly outlined in the press release for the new AirPods, Apple explained that there is an all-new skin-detect sensor:

A new skin-detect sensor accurately discerns if AirPods are in the ear — versus in a pocket or on a table — and pauses playback when removed.

Instead of skin-detect sensors in each earbud, the ‌AirPods Pro‌ use dual optical sensors to detect if they are in a user's ear. While they effectively perform the same function, the optical sensors can simply tell when they are against a surface or covered up, rather than specifically against skin. This means that if you put an ‌AirPods Pro‌ earbud in a pocket or on a surface, it could accidentally resume playback.

According to industry insiders speaking to the Taiwanese research firm TrendForce, the new skin-detect sensor works by detect water content in the wearer's skin, which ensures that it does not mistake pockets, tables, or other surfaces for skin.

It seems highly likely that the next generation of AirPods Pro will also adopt this skin-detect sensor, but for now, the third-generation AirPods retain just one improvement over their high-end siblings.

The third-generation AirPods are available to order now for $179 and are set to launch on Tuesday, October 26.

Popular Stories

iOS 18 CarPlay Feature

iOS 18 Adds These 5 New Features to CarPlay

Thursday June 13, 2024 7:44 am PDT by
Apple did not mention CarPlay during its WWDC keynote this week, but iOS 18 includes a handful of new features for the in-car software. Overall, there is not a whole lot new for CarPlay on iOS 18, with changes seemingly limited to the Messages and Settings apps so far. Below, we recap everything new for CarPlay on iOS 18. New for CarPlay on iOS 18 1. Contact Photos in Messages App...
iOS 18 Wallet Feature

Here's What's New in Apple Wallet on iOS 18 for Event Tickets and More

Friday June 14, 2024 7:32 am PDT by
iOS 18 includes a handful of enhancements to the Wallet app on the iPhone, with new features for Apple Pay, Apple Cash, event tickets, and more. Below, we outline everything new for the Wallet app on iOS 18, based on information from Apple's press release and a WWDC 2024 coding session. Redesigned Event Tickets Event tickets have an all-new design in the Wallet app on iOS 18, complete...
maxresdefault

First Look at Messages via Satellite in iOS 18

Thursday June 13, 2024 11:29 am PDT by
Apple has been gradually expanding its suite of satellite connectivity features for iPhone, and iOS 18 brings a significant new one in the form of Messages via satellite. The feature allows users to send and receive iMessages and SMS texts, including emoji and Tapbacks, while out of range of cellular and Wi-Fi networks. CNET met up with Apple's senior director of platform product marketing,...
iOS 18 Siri Integrated Feature

You Can Give Siri a New Name With iOS 18's Vocal Shortcuts

Friday June 14, 2024 4:33 pm PDT by
Apple in iOS 18 added a Vocal Shortcuts accessibility feature, and now that iOS 18 is available in a beta capacity, users have figured out that this option can be used to give Siri a new wake word. With Vocal Shortcuts, you can assign a custom phrase that Siri can understand to launch shortcuts and complete "complex tasks," and one of the shortcuts you can set up is an alternative for "Hey...