New AirPods 3rd Generation (2021)
Oct 26, 2021 at 12:02 PM Post #16 of 84

rasmushorn

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Yes, open like version 1 and 2, but they go a little more deep in the ear but they are definitely nothing like APP or IEMs in that aspect that I don't like very much. This is one reason I love AP1 and AP2 and now more even AP3 because of improvement in sound and other aspects (battery and playback control specially).
OK, thanks for the response.
For running I need an open design, so I can hear my surroundings and also avoid the bumps in my head for each step.
And my AP1's batteries are worn out and will drop off after 15 minutes in one side, so I guess this new update arrived just at the right time.
 
Oct 26, 2021 at 1:00 PM Post #17 of 84

tinyman392

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The AP1 and AP2 have the same sound. You are the first person I see in many years saying the AP1 (or AP2) are "way too bassy" or even only "bassy" (without "way too". The frequency response graph of the AP1 very, very clearly showing that the AP1 isn't bassy at all, is the contrary actually, and this is one reason why everybody (me too) saying the APP is sounding better than AP1 or AP2.
All I hear with the AP1 is mid bass. In comparison to the EP it's very bassy in contrast while the APP is very close to a DF neutral response. A lot of frequency response charts/setups don't work well if you don't have a seal, so that tends not to provide an accurate response of the headphones in question.

Edit: though this measurement does line up, bass-wise at least, to what my ears perceive. But I still need to stress the variability when no seal can be achieved. https://www.head-fi.org/threads/airpods.819581/page-15#post-13337064
 
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Oct 26, 2021 at 1:02 PM Post #18 of 84

tinyman392

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OK, thanks for the response.
For running I need an open design, so I can hear my surroundings and also avoid the bumps in my head for each step.
And my AP1's batteries are worn out and will drop off after 15 minutes in one side, so I guess this new update arrived just at the right time.
The APP's transparency mode should be able to give you the best of both worlds IMO. The internal ANC during the transparency mode should allow you to hear more of the surrounding around you as if you didn't have any headphones on while also canceling out the internal microphonics that occur (footsteps).

Edit: do note that APP manufactured before Oct 2020 will have issues regarding ANC, microphonics (footsteps especially), and bass response (only while ANC or transparency mode is on). I've had two pairs that have had issues, both replaced under warranty. My current pair seems to have fixed those issues, but only time will tell as it takes time for the problem to progress.

Edit 2: I believe the issue regarding the Oct 2020 thing was due to the internal microphone either coming loose or malfunctioning causing it to try to cancel out noise that didn't exist.
 
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Oct 26, 2021 at 1:47 PM Post #19 of 84

angelom

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All I hear with the AP1 is mid bass. In comparison to the EP it's very bassy in contrast while the APP is very close to a DF neutral response. A lot of frequency response charts/setups don't work well if you don't have a seal, so that tends not to provide an accurate response of the headphones in question.

Edit: though this measurement does line up, bass-wise at least, to what my ears perceive. But I still need to stress the variability when no seal can be achieved. https://www.head-fi.org/threads/airpods.819581/page-15#post-1333706

Forget the measurements (that are important for me, by the way) for now. I have 2 pairs still of the last old EP models (EarPods that coming with wires). This EPs having very, if not, the exactly same sound of AP 1 & 2 and this is the common comment of the many majority of people (practically all!) when the APs are releasing about 4 or 5 years ago. Nobody, nobody saying they are bassy or specially "way too bassy" like you saying before. Diffuse Field or Harman or not, the APP are very clearly having a many more correct balanced sound, with correct and not exaggerated bass that EVERYBODY talking about when APP is realeased, even when you're looking at different fits for people with AP1 or 2. The APP better sound (specially obvious in the bass) is the result of more deep insertion and seal AND the new adaptive EQ by Apple, new with APP and not available in AP1 or 2 before.

The AP1 and AP2 (and EPs) DON'T having mid bass bump, they just don't having bass extension at all, and this is a different thing, no low/sub bass at all, or even mid bass bump, the curve in low freqs is going down very, very quickly. They have sufficient bass for helping the mids sounding little more full/correct, this is all and making the music sounding just good/ok.
 
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Oct 26, 2021 at 1:56 PM Post #20 of 84

tinyman392

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Forget the measurements (that are important for me, by the way) for now. I have 2 pairs still of the last old EP models (EarPods that coming with wires). This EPs having very, if not, the exactly same sound of AP 1 & 2 and this is the common comment of the many majority of people (practically all!) when the APs are releasing about 4 or 5 years ago. Nobody, nobody saying they are bassy or specially "way too bassy" like you saying before. Diffuse Field or Harman or not, the APP are very clearly having a many more correct balanced sound, with correct and not exaggerated bass that EVERYBODY talking about when APP is realeased, even when you're looking at different fits for people with AP1 or 2. The APP better sound (specially obvious in the bass) is the result of more deep insertion and seal AND the new adaptive EQ by Apple, new with APP and not available in AP1 or 2 before.

The AP1 and AP2 (and EPs) DON'T having mid bass bump, they just don't having bass extension at all, and this is a different thing, no low/sub bass at all, or even mid bass bump, the curve in low freqs is going down very, very quickly. They have sufficient bass for helping the mids sounding little more full/correct, this is all and making the music sounding just good/ok.
I definitely hear a mid bass bump with both the EP and AP1, the APP is a lot more linear down the line; they're quite bass light to my ears and tuned within 2-3 dB of DF neutral which was surprising to see. Like I said before, measurements of the AP and EP aren't going to be the most accurate due to the fact that they are an open system that doesn't seal at all. The larger mid-bass focus on the AP1 was a bit too much, but I didn't get that with the EP (Lightning or 3.5mm) as that did decay a lot faster than the AP1 did to my ears. I really didn't rejoin Head-Fi until well after the AP1 released, did a short stint after I got my iSine 10. That being said, the overall sound quality of the AP1 and EP are about equal, but they definitely have a different overall signature to them; I found the EP to definitely have an overall cleaner sound overall though.

Note that mid bass bump doesn't require any bass extension, actually, if you remove bass extension you can create an artificial mid-bass focus on the bass, which is actually what most earbuds do since they don't seal and thus have issues getting deep bass. To my ears, the AP1 and EP both definitely have a mid-bass focus when it comes to bass, the EP does decay pretty well in this regard while the AP1 doesn't which is the major issue I had with them.

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree here.

https://www.head-fi.org/threads/airpods.819581/page-15#post-13337064
 
Oct 26, 2021 at 2:47 PM Post #21 of 84

angelom

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I am probably wrong (because I don't have the APP for comparing and audio memory isn't very good) but I think the AP3 is sounding a little better than APP, the sound is more clean, with less 'compression sound'. Maybe is the silicone tips in the APP with little mesh, or the AP3 driver is little different... or both...or is only my imagination and not very good memory! The important thing is that sound of the AP3 is really excellent.

Here is one person that having both earphones (AP3 & APP) that thinking the same like me, that AP3 is sounding little better. Maybe my memory isn't so bad...
 
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Oct 26, 2021 at 5:04 PM Post #22 of 84

tinyman392

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My AP3 have been handed to me by the UPS man. Went on about an hour long walk with them and learned a lot while trying to play with the AdaptiveEQ. AdaptiveEQ is not perfect, but it's very much as close to it as I could imagine. I could hear it shifting the sound signature for a split second while I shifted my headphones around. Surprisingly it works very well, better than I expected. It's not completely perfect, though I wouldn't expect that either. The sound signature is a lot more linear and less bassy than I remember the AP1 being... Though as I've recently remembered, earbuds are a tricky thing in general. I'll have a lot more to say later as I gather my words up.

@angelom I've also learned how to turn the AP1 from an absolute bass monster to something that is much more linear during my experiments with the AP3.
 
Oct 26, 2021 at 5:56 PM Post #23 of 84

SparkOnShore

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My AP3 have been handed to me by the UPS man. Went on about an hour long walk with them and learned a lot while trying to play with the AdaptiveEQ. AdaptiveEQ is not perfect, but it's very much as close to it as I could imagine. I could hear it shifting the sound signature for a split second while I shifted my headphones around. Surprisingly it works very well, better than I expected. It's not completely perfect, though I wouldn't expect that either. The sound signature is a lot more linear and less bassy than I remember the AP1 being... Though as I've recently remembered, earbuds are a tricky thing in general. I'll have a lot more to say later as I gather my words up.

@angelom I've also learned how to turn the AP1 from an absolute bass monster to something that is much more linear during my experiments with the AP3.
How is the sound compared to the APP? Was street noise coming in a lot, interfering with or masking your music?
 
Oct 26, 2021 at 6:28 PM Post #24 of 84

tinyman392

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How is the sound compared to the APP? Was street noise coming in a lot, interfering with or masking your music?
It's closer to the APP than it is to how I remember the AP1. It sounds like the APP with a slight mid-bass focus (a little more punch/boom), but I haven't listened to my APP analytically in a while, so do take what I say with a grain of salt. It's also less warm and smooth than the APP as well. I still get a V-shaped signature to it, but not nearly as strong as I remember the AP1 while the APP has always sounded warm over neutral to my ears.

As for outside noise getting in, it does like it would with any earbud-style design. I didn't find it interfering with my music as much, though there were certain frequencies that liked to echo a bit, but that can also be adjusted with fitment. To explain better, I'm going to have to define a new term, let's call it angle of attack which would be defined as the angle in which the opening of the AP3 points towards the ear canal. You can angle it inward/forward by rotating the AP3 such that they point more towards the center of your head (I'll refer to this as a higher/greater angle of attack) or angle them outward/back (I'll refer to this as a lower angle of attack). Please see my crude figure depicting this. Note that as you go to a low angle of attack, you'll end up with the AP moving physically further from the ear canal as well with an air gap between the canal and the AP. With a high angle of attack, the earbud is more or less shoved into my ear canal. For whatever reason, I found a high angle of attack to be much more secure in my ears. As we'll see in a bit, a low angle of attack is likely how Apple intended the headphones to be worn.

AngleOfAttack.png


With a higher angle of attack, higher frequencies tend to "echo" or be amplified just a few decibels louder than they should be. This also includes your breathing as well. However, outside this frequency range, the earbuds do "isolate" better. The higher frequency portion of my steps can also be heard. With a lower angle of attack, this "echo" effect is gone so you that amplification effect is gone, as is the breathing sounds (I forgot to listen for my steps unfortunately so I can't comment there). However, this lower angle of attack also does let more background noise in, though I'll admit it's pretty minor.

Note that I naturally preferred to wear my headphones with a higher angle of attack, AP1 included. With the AP3, this puts the stem at a weird angle where I have to rotate my wrist a little more to grab it. If I use a lower angle of attack, the stem is a lot more natural to grab, which leads me to believe that the AP in general are designed to be worn with a lower angle of attack.

While I'm on the subject of angle of attack, let's quickly go over the weirdness of the AP1. With a high angle of attack, the SQ gets a very bassy and quite ugly, with a low angle of attack the bass body and presence is almost completely lost.

Edit: note that with the AP3, the effect from angle of attack is more or less gone due to the AdaptiveEQ. The system works quite well.

Edit 2: These types of fitment effects are expected and can vary the way a headphone sounds. Even with over-ear headphones, the location of the headphone on the measurement dummy (or the listening person) can alter it's frequency response. With IEMs, the distance in which the IEM is inserted into the ear canal can have measurable differences in sound. With earbuds, how the earbud is placed on the head can have effects on the SQ. This is one area where there is variation in EQ. However, I do feel like earbuds do serve a bigger hurdle with measurement since they can be altered quite a bit by doing this, moreso than IEMs (assuming a seal is present) or headphones. This is likely why there are some measurements of the AP1/2 where there is a strong mid-bass bump (like the one I had linked to earlier) while others show none.
 
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Oct 26, 2021 at 6:33 PM Post #25 of 84

tinyman392

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Other notes regarding the size of the cases. I took out my calipers, and if I get the following measurements (assuming I wasn't a klutz and angled my caliper perpendicular):
  • AirPods 1: 53.5 x 44.0 x 21.3mm
  • AirPods 3: 54.5 x 46.3 x 21.4mm
  • AirPods P: 60.5 x 45.3 x 21.7mm
So the AirPods 3 case is very close in size to the AirPods 1 case, but just slightly larger. The AirPods Pro case is "much" larger than the AirPods 3 case. All are still quite small.
 
Oct 26, 2021 at 8:24 PM Post #27 of 84

tinyman392

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They're very basic sounding :/

Oh well!


They don't really wow you, but they aren't bad enough where I wouldn't want to listen to them. If I wanted an earbud to grab and go they would work out. Also the form factor (earbud) is a disadvantage in general.
 
Oct 26, 2021 at 9:13 PM Post #28 of 84

SparkOnShore

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They don't really wow you, but they aren't bad enough where I wouldn't want to listen to them. If I wanted an earbud to grab and go they would work out. Also the form factor (earbud) is a disadvantage in general.
I guess it goes without saying that the APM sounds much better than the AP3, taking ANC out of the equation, doesn't it?
 
Oct 26, 2021 at 9:43 PM Post #29 of 84

tinyman392

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I guess it goes without saying that the APM sounds much better than the AP3, taking ANC out of the equation, doesn't it?
I haven't listened to them back to back, so do take this with a grain of salt. From a technical standpoint, I would definitely agree and this would have me grabbing the APM more than I would the AP3. From a tonality standpoint, I like the additional brightness the AP3 gives you in the midrange and treble; though it does completely lack warmth (while the APM is kind of giving you all the warmth). As a rough setup right now, this is how I feel about the entire AirPods lineup:
  • Technical: APM > APP > AP3 > AP1
  • Tonal: APP > APM >= AP3 > AP1
I will admit that I tend to grab headphones with better technical aspects rather than tonal. And although the APM is kind of awkward tonally, there is something special about its tonal presentation being very laid back, warm, and inviting. It's something that's very easy to listen to and more or less non-fatiguing once everything is broken in.

Edit: take that back, as I listen to them more, the tonality of the AP3 rolls down below the APM.
 
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Oct 27, 2021 at 4:03 AM Post #30 of 84

SparkOnShore

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It's closer to the APP than it is to how I remember the AP1. It sounds like the APP with a slight mid-bass focus (a little more punch/boom), but I haven't listened to my APP analytically in a while, so do take what I say with a grain of salt. It's also less warm and smooth than the APP as well. I still get a V-shaped signature to it, but not nearly as strong as I remember the AP1 while the APP has always sounded warm over neutral to my ears.

As for outside noise getting in, it does like it would with any earbud-style design. I didn't find it interfering with my music as much, though there were certain frequencies that liked to echo a bit, but that can also be adjusted with fitment. To explain better, I'm going to have to define a new term, let's call it angle of attack which would be defined as the angle in which the opening of the AP3 points towards the ear canal. You can angle it inward/forward by rotating the AP3 such that they point more towards the center of your head (I'll refer to this as a higher/greater angle of attack) or angle them outward/back (I'll refer to this as a lower angle of attack). Please see my crude figure depicting this. Note that as you go to a low angle of attack, you'll end up with the AP moving physically further from the ear canal as well with an air gap between the canal and the AP. With a high angle of attack, the earbud is more or less shoved into my ear canal. For whatever reason, I found a high angle of attack to be much more secure in my ears. As we'll see in a bit, a low angle of attack is likely how Apple intended the headphones to be worn.

AngleOfAttack.png

With a higher angle of attack, higher frequencies tend to "echo" or be amplified just a few decibels louder than they should be. This also includes your breathing as well. However, outside this frequency range, the earbuds do "isolate" better. The higher frequency portion of my steps can also be heard. With a lower angle of attack, this "echo" effect is gone so you that amplification effect is gone, as is the breathing sounds (I forgot to listen for my steps unfortunately so I can't comment there). However, this lower angle of attack also does let more background noise in, though I'll admit it's pretty minor.

Note that I naturally preferred to wear my headphones with a higher angle of attack, AP1 included. With the AP3, this puts the stem at a weird angle where I have to rotate my wrist a little more to grab it. If I use a lower angle of attack, the stem is a lot more natural to grab, which leads me to believe that the AP in general are designed to be worn with a lower angle of attack.

While I'm on the subject of angle of attack, let's quickly go over the weirdness of the AP1. With a high angle of attack, the SQ gets a very bassy and quite ugly, with a low angle of attack the bass body and presence is almost completely lost.

Edit: note that with the AP3, the effect from angle of attack is more or less gone due to the AdaptiveEQ. The system works quite well.

Edit 2: These types of fitment effects are expected and can vary the way a headphone sounds. Even with over-ear headphones, the location of the headphone on the measurement dummy (or the listening person) can alter it's frequency response. With IEMs, the distance in which the IEM is inserted into the ear canal can have measurable differences in sound. With earbuds, how the earbud is placed on the head can have effects on the SQ. This is one area where there is variation in EQ. However, I do feel like earbuds do serve a bigger hurdle with measurement since they can be altered quite a bit by doing this, moreso than IEMs (assuming a seal is present) or headphones. This is likely why there are some measurements of the AP1/2 where there is a strong mid-bass bump (like the one I had linked to earlier) while others show none.
Apple was saying for the APP that they should be worn in a way so that the stem's bottom edge microphone is pointing the edge of one's mouth/lips. I guess same goes for the AP3 and this approach is what you call high angle of attack, because by rotating the stem upwards, driver's opening gets also closer to the ear canal.
 

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