Friday’s run was my first using the new third generation AirPods. I resisted getting the AirPods Pro, even though I lusted for their water resistance for my soggier runs, because every pair of earbuds I’ve tried that feature rubber or silicone tips has never fit well for me, regardless of the material or the size of the tip (keep your minds out of the gutter, people). I just have weird ears, I guess.
On the other hand, the basic AirPods actually fit in my ears securely enough that I can wear them while running and never worry about one popping out (and indeed, this has never happened). When it was confirmed the new AirPods would have water resistance but otherwise use the same style of fit (no tips), I decided to take a chance on them.
After a couple of days of use, including a run and multiple walks, I give them a provisional thumbs up that I suspect will convert to a plain ol’ thumbs up over time.
- Pairing with my iPhone was seamless, as expected
- Fit seems fine, no looseness or jiggle while running. I’ve not yet been concerned one might pop out.
- Sound is as good as the previous generation. My lab-certified terrible ears can’t really detect anything better about the sound (some people say it has better bass), but maybe I just haven’t listened enough.
- Water resistance should prove handy when it rains, hooray. This has yet to be tested, but I don’t anticipate any issues.
- Works with the Find My app if an AirPod does eventually pop out
- Shorter stems look less silly than previous generation
Not really good but not necessarily bad:
- Those same shorter stems make these AirPods a bit trickier to put on and to remove from or place back into the case. You have less to hold onto, so it feels like they are easier to drop or lose hold of.
- Still overpriced, really
- The touch/squeeze controls seem better-suited to walking than running. I can’t confirm this yet as I haven’t used the controls while running, but I wonder if squeezing the stem to play/pause/skip could lead to accidentally pulling one of the buds out.
I will have further thoughts on these soon, but for now I give them a solid 8 out of 10 boilerplate Tim Cook answers to puffball questions.