New AirPods 3rd Generation (2021)
Oct 28, 2021 at 3:13 PM Post #46 of 84

tinyman392

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Is interesting the experience of every person. I buying the AP1 the day of releasing 5 years ago (when everybody is laughing about the design) and I loving instantly the convenience and comfort (you feeling nothing in your ears only 2 minutes after you wearing this earphones!). I using the AP1 and the AP2 every day since the day of releasing. I saying before that the AP1 is a genius device from Apple. Is funny how very quickly the AP1 selling so much.

Similar like you, for me tapping the earphones is a great feature in AP1/2 because in my case (podcasts & calls 95% of the time and 5% videos and films) tapping for pause/play or answering/ending a call is fantastic (I don't using Siri), and sometimes my hands are wet or sticky or little dirty because I'm eating something or cooking or washing something and the quick tapping with alternative finger is great. So, I understand your comment.

But what is nice now with AP3 is #1 the fact I can now listening to music too and really enjoying the sound. The AP3 really is having a very correct and clean sound for ALL genres. So now for me having more playback controls is great (next and previous track features is now important for me). Now for films too you having spatial audio that is great experience in Netflix and HBO, and then we having more battery life in the earphones and the case. AND the case is working really great with the MagSafe wireless charger (instant positioning of the case because of the magnets...little great things like this...)
I never really understood the hate of the design with the stem. Sure it looks wonky or weird, but it looked not too far different from the original EP. I purchased a set on launch and quickly fell in love with the convenience of the entire thing... No powering on and off, they connect immediately by the time they're in your ears, no cables to connect, everything is just faster to use. Immediate pairing and the fact that they could automatically be known when you get a new phone or device was really awesome to have. They eventually turned to just something I use for meetings, calls, etc. rather than music since they were kind of meh for music. The AP3 are an improvement from the music perspective, though I still prefer to use the APP for that.

Regarding the control, I never really noticed that since the situations where the stem was worse than the tap never really came up for me. I do prefer the stem though since it does provide more control options in general.

____

One thing that I will note is that there are a ton of people on Reddit with fit issues with the AP3 vs the AP1/2 since the housing is larger. I guess the AP3 is falling out of a lot of people's ears? Or maybe it's a strong vocal minority with the issue.
 
Oct 28, 2021 at 5:25 PM Post #47 of 84

rasmushorn

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I'm honestly surprised your AP1 lasted you this long. My AP1 barely made it a year and a half before needing a battery replacement, they would barely last 30 minutes on a call and maybe 60-90 minutes for music (though I kind of abandoned them for music at that point).

___

One thing I will note is that I'm still on Big Sur and the AP3 do auto connect to my laptop and auto switch to it as well.
They will still play for 15-30 minutes before they drop out but yes that is pretty durable. When were they first released? I remember they were on my wishlist for Christmas that year but my wife couldn't get my pair before January because they immediately went in backorder.
Is that 5 years ago now?
... Maybe it shows that I havn't been using them much over the years. As soon as the APP came out I only used the AP1 for that occasional run and most of the time I do not listen to music when exercising.

I also enjoy the much better auto connect in the APP and APM. A big improvement since the AP1 often take several attempts before it will connect to my Apple Watch. APM connects immediately every time.
 
Oct 28, 2021 at 5:35 PM Post #48 of 84

rasmushorn

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I never really understood the hate of the design with the stem. Sure it looks wonky or weird, but it looked not too far different from the original EP. I purchased a set on launch and quickly fell in love with the convenience of the entire thing... No powering on and off, they connect immediately by the time they're in your ears, no cables to connect, everything is just faster to use. Immediate pairing and the fact that they could automatically be known when you get a new phone or device was really awesome to have. They eventually turned to just something I use for meetings, calls, etc. rather than music since they were kind of meh for music. The AP3 are an improvement from the music perspective, though I still prefer to use the APP for that.
HAHA :smile::smile: I remember getting comments when using them in the office in the beginning, because of how they looked. I have to admit that it also took me some time to get used to that stem. Today 80% of my colleagues have either APP or AP1/2. Currently, I am the only one occasionally using the APM and they also get some attention from colleagues. But the convenience of all AirPods won me over from day one. For critical music-listening we go home to our desktop-rigs and full size wired headphones, but that is another story. Spending the day with music and phone calls from AirPods it is still a pleasure to come home to my Grados.
 
Oct 28, 2021 at 5:48 PM Post #49 of 84

tinyman392

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They will still play for 15-30 minutes before they drop out but yes that is pretty durable. When were they first released? I remember they were on my wishlist for Christmas that year but my wife couldn't get my pair before January because they immediately went in backorder.
Is that 5 years ago now?
... Maybe it shows that I havn't been using them much over the years. As soon as the APP came out I only used the AP1 for that occasional run and most of the time I do not listen to music when exercising.

I also enjoy the much better auto connect in the APP and APM. A big improvement since the AP1 often take several attempts before it will connect to my Apple Watch. APM connects immediately every time.
Oof, I don't remember when they released. But the battery issues for me happened before the APP were released. But I had my AP1 replaced when the battery issues got ridiculous since I needed them for the office :p I've also heard of some people having their AP1 last for ever while others had theirs last barely a year and a half in terms of battery longevity. Manufacturing tolerances could also have something to do with it too. I haven't had the chance to test the auto connect feature with my AP1 since it's been that long since I dusted them off. It does work very well with the APP and APM, sometimes too well.
HAHA :smile::smile: I remember getting comments when using them in the office in the beginning, because of how they looked. I have to admit that it also took me some time to get used to that stem. Today 80% of my colleagues have either APP or AP1/2. Currently, I am the only one occasionally using the APM and they also get some attention from colleagues. But the convenience of all AirPods won me over from day one. For critical music-listening we go home to our desktop-rigs and full size wired headphones, but that is another story. Spending the day with music and phone calls from AirPods it is still a pleasure to come home to my Grados.
No one really commented on the looks when they saw me with them in the office. Everyone asked if I liked them and how they sounded. When I responded positively and how perfectly situated they would be for voice calls, they started exploding in the office. By that same token, I have been caught wearing a pair of iSine 10 in the office, I did get asked about that.

Like you though, the convenience of the AirPods and realizing how convenient they were are what won me over. I immediately said that if Apple could make an IEM that was essentially the ADDIEM + AirPods, I'd buy them in a heartbeat if they were under 250. The APP more or less are that.
 
Oct 29, 2021 at 10:38 AM Post #50 of 84

angelom

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I have a new M1 MacBook Pro (MBP). This new 2021 M1 MBP models are coming with a headphone jack with high impedance for using with good headphones like my hd600 & hd800 with high impedance. This really is making my 2 sennheiser headphones sounding better than before when only using previous MBP's headphone jacks where is always necessary an amp and DAC.

So, for curiosity I quickly comparing my hd600 with the AP3 because I can doing this very quickly. I will only saying what I saying before: the sound of the AP3 is excellent, but I'm surprised how good is sounding comparing with hd600. The AP3 is having little better/more correct and realistic bass performance than hd600, but is great that the bass isn't exaggerated never. I continuing being impressed and very happy with the sound quality (and other aspects) of the AP3.
 
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Oct 29, 2021 at 11:48 AM Post #51 of 84

3Putter

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I have a new M1 MacBook Pro (MBP). This new 2021 M1 MBP models are coming with a headphone jack with high impedance for using with good headphones like my hd600 & hd800 with high impedance. This really is making my 2 sennheiser headphones sounding better than before when only using previous MBP's headphone jacks where is always necessary an amp and DAC.

So, for curiosity I quickly comparing my hd600 with the AP3 because I can doing this very quickly. I will only saying what I saying before: the sound of the AP3 is excellent, but I'm surprised how good is sounding comparing with hd600. The AP3 is having little better/more correct and realistic bass performance than hd600, but is great that the bass isn't exaggerated never. I continuing being impressed and very happy with the sound quality (and other aspects) of the AP3.
That's good news to my ears. I have the APP now and won't buy the AP3 but when the next gen of APP comes around I may be ready for a new set.
 
Oct 29, 2021 at 12:07 PM Post #52 of 84

angelom

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More sound comparison of AP3 and APP here (starting at 5:30).
 
Oct 29, 2021 at 12:49 PM Post #53 of 84

TooFrank

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More sound comparison of AP3 and APP here (starting at 5:30).
Thanks again - Originally, I wasn't tempted by the AP1s mostly because of the apparent not so good SQ. And for that I've got other IEMs like B&O and Sony. However, I was attracted by the easy of use of the AP1s. Initially I thought they wouldn't fit, because all of the other wired Apple EarPods didn't. Somebody told that this was due to the wires/cables and that I should think of the AP1s as a wireless! It was spot on right. So I bought the AP1s and have really enjoyed them particularly for the ease of connecting and phone calls. Now, they don't hold their battery charge that long and I am considering the AP3s - don't think I need the ANC as I have other options for that. It seems as if it is a really good upgrade from the AP1s in every aspect, and I am really tempted......
 
Oct 29, 2021 at 1:02 PM Post #54 of 84

Suraki

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I really like this product. It is seamlessly integrated in the Apple ecosystem with superb comfort features.
About comfort, i hate to use the silicone/foam tips, it is another reason why i love this earbuds.
Sound wise it is ok, but not better than a Sennheiser HD 2.30 (for35USD!).

If you okay to pay the price for this exceptionally high comfort feature set it is a good choice with decent sound.
 
Oct 30, 2021 at 6:37 PM Post #55 of 84

tinyman392

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SoundGuys has their review up, along with measurements if you want to look at it. It turns out that the dip I was hearing in the midrange happens around the 800 Hz range (higher than I would have guessed) and there is indeed a 4-ish dB bump in bass that peaks around 60 Hz before it rolls off completely along with an elevated midrange and treble which is kind of peaky (compared to compensation) starting between 1-2k. This is assuming their measurements are accurate; I will note that the measurements line up well with what I'm hearing.

I also looked back to see how the AP2 measured, SoundGuys has two measurements for the AP2, one called the ideal fit and one called the typical fit. I actually never looked at the measurements for the AP1/AP2, but the ideal fit has a large bass hump that spans the 30-300 hz range centered around 70 Hz peaking out just over 5dB. This is if you can get a very good fit on the AP1/2. However, most people will hear them being very anemic with just a barely noticeable bass bump around 100 Hz and added midrange making them a truly midrange heavy sound. With the way the AP1 fit me, I'm sort of hearing aspects of both curves (upper midrange from the typical and bass from the ideal) which is kind of odd. Earbuds are finicky things though. The way it's written and worded makes it seem like it's unlikely that the AP1/2 will provide users with the ideal sound, I guess I'm lucky 🤷‍♂️

Note that SoundGuys uses their own target curve called the consumer curve. I'm assuming it's based on the early Harman curve since it asks for a 5-6 dB bump in the bass; I want to assume the top portions are your standard DF neutral for their rig. Do also note that plots provided are not compensated and only drawn next to the compensation target. If you wanted to know the compensated plot, you'd need to do some subtraction. I'm more used to a DF neutral plot, so I ignored the bass boost the SoundGuy's target curve has.
 
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Oct 31, 2021 at 5:33 AM Post #56 of 84

angelom

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SoundGuys has their review up, along with measurements if you want to look at it. It turns out that the dip I was hearing in the midrange happens around the 800 Hz range (higher than I would have guessed) and there is indeed a 4-ish dB bump in bass that peaks around 60 Hz before it rolls off completely along with an elevated midrange and treble which is kind of peaky (compared to compensation) starting between 1-2k. This is assuming their measurements are accurate; I will note that the measurements line up well with what I'm hearing.

The dip you mentioning at 800Hz is negligible (2dB) and isn’t really audible or important at all. And the small bump in bass you mentioning is really very gradual from 300Hz down to 60Hz and is almost the same as the Hartman target, so again not important and actually very good. So the AP3 isn’t v-shaped like you saying or having exaggerated mids and highs.

This is from the SoundGuys review: “…For those of you not familiar with frequency response plots, this shows that the Apple AirPods (3rd generation) sticks to our target fairly well outside of the highest highs and the lowest parts of the bass range….”

And this too: “…Apple leaned into the “poor fit” angle and designed less for “earphones” than they did for “small speakers that rest in your ear.” In this way, the frequency response is impressive, even if it’s damned near impossible to get a measurement that looks good. Truth be told, you likely won’t notice a huge change in your music with that dropoff below 50Hz…”

They are giving the AP3 a sound score of 8.9 that is very high comparing to so many headphones and earphones they reviewing in the past. They giving the bass a score of 7.5 only because of rolling off below 50Hz which isn’t really important like they explaining. Then a score of 9.8 for midrange and 9.5 for highs.
 
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Oct 31, 2021 at 4:50 PM Post #57 of 84

tinyman392

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The dip you mentioning at 800Hz is negligible (2dB) and isn’t really audible or important at all. And the small bump in bass you mentioning is really very gradual from 300Hz down to 60Hz and is almost the same as the Hartman target, so again not important and actually very good. So the AP3 isn’t v-shaped like you saying or having exaggerated mids and highs.

This is from the SoundGuys review: “…For those of you not familiar with frequency response plots, this shows that the Apple AirPods (3rd generation) sticks to our target fairly well outside of the highest highs and the lowest parts of the bass range….”

And this too: “…Apple leaned into the “poor fit” angle and designed less for “earphones” than they did for “small speakers that rest in your ear.” In this way, the frequency response is impressive, even if it’s damned near impossible to get a measurement that looks good. Truth be told, you likely won’t notice a huge change in your music with that dropoff below 50Hz…”

They are giving the AP3 a sound score of 8.9 that is very high comparing to so many headphones and earphones they reviewing in the past. They giving the bass a score of 7.5 only because of rolling off below 50Hz which isn’t really important like they explaining. Then a score of 9.8 for midrange and 9.5 for highs.
The AP3 does stick very well to their target, which I admit is very close to what I prefer overall (DF neutral is my preference, but I also don't mind having a modest bass boost, which their target fits almost perfectly; I'd also prefer a small bass boost over a smaller bass reduction from flatline) which I commend Apple for. The treble is a little hotter than I'd like, but not overly so on its own. However, that scoop in the mid-midrange coupled with the push in the upper midrange creates a weird tonality to my ears. Adding in the slightly hot treble kind of amplifies this. I honestly have no issues with the balance of the bass with the AP3, it's perfectly adequate and the small amplification is needed since earbuds roll off quite early; if it were neutral, it would be very anemic. But that doesn't mean it's not amplified in this area and it doesn't mean it won't affect the balance in comparison to the midrange and treble that I hear which is what I do when I am creating an overall general sound signature to a headphone. V-shape does not equal bad. There are many V-shaped headphones that are great and some of the most iconic (TF10, M-100, etc.; these are heavier V's though). The AP3 is another good V-shaped headphone. I would rank it on the same tier as the APP (although not better) which is pretty damn good in terms of technical ability, even against non-earbuds; this says a lot regarding the quality of these 'buds.

Depending on what SoundGuy's scoring is relative to, I'd probably adjust it. If compared to others in its price range/competition, I'd probably lower the midrange to an 8.5 or 9, bring the treble score to about a 9, but also raise the bass to something closer to an 8.5 or 9. If compared to absolute (everything), they've overblown the score completely (something like the H95 would be fair game at that point) and I'd probably still give it the 7.5-8 in the bass a solid 8 in the midrange and treble. I personally feel like they over-represented how good the midrange and treble is technically, but also under-represented how good the bass really is. So the average overall score would be 8.9 from SoundGuys and either 8.7 or 7.8 from me (depending on whether your talking about others in their class or not). Note that the user scores average a 7.5 on SoundGuys. Though I've also been criticized of having a high grading scale (think A = 9+, B = 8+, C = 7+, D = 6+, and F = rest) when I actually wrote full, scored reviews back in the day. My score relative to others in its class isn't too far off from what SoundGuys says. Note that I don't ever score a headphone on tonality purposely, rather I score a headphone on whether it and reproduce certain properties of music (clarity, warmth, splash, texture, presence, etc.) and avoiding going overboard in certain aspects (resonances, harshness, sibilance, muddiness, etc.). This entire talk of V-shape as an entirely tonal portion of the talk which I do everything I possibly can to avoid biasing my scores on.

One major thing that differs between us is whether we think the SoundGuys target is neutral. I personally don't feel like the 5 dB bass bump in their target is neutral, I feel like it's a 5 dB bump. Their target looks very close to the Harman V1 target from Olive and Welti which I definitely don't consider neutral, nor was it ever designed to be a neutral target, rather it was designed to be a target that was preferable over a selection of of a broad range of listeners. It's a good target to try to hit though as it does produce a very nice sound. However, their target above 400 Hz I do consider close to neutral if not actually neutral as it's very likely its based off of a diffuse field.

That small bump in bass is certainly noticeable and something that is nice to have, but not required in my eyes (though I'd rather have a +4 dB bump than a -2 dB drop if that means anything). But that doesn't mean that it has no bass focus as it's still about 4 dB above flatline. Alone, it is enough to create a warm signature if there was no additional dip in the mid-midrange on top of this. The lows and highs aren't exaggerated heavily, but they are bumped with the mid-midrange right around 800 Hz dipped. Alone, a 2-3 dB dip in the midrange isn't too noticeable, you're right, but paired with an additional 4 dB bump in the bass and additional 3-4 dB bump in the midrange (I am using their target for the midrange up as it's likely close to DF neutral), you end up creating something that is 6-7 dB higher in bass (on contrast to the midrange) and 7-9 dB higher in the upper midrange and treble (in comparison to the midrange). You end up with a V-shape here. It's not super strong and super exaggerated, but it is present. In this case you end up with a V that is bigger on the right than the left, which I explained before.

If you believe that 4 dB is neutral, then you're talking about a 2-3 dB difference between bass and mid-midrange and a 7-9 dB bump in the midrange. You still end up with a V that's much bigger on the right than the left. An X dB bump in one area may not make a difference, but if you collectively compare them to the rest of the frequency spectrum they can have differences. A small thing here and a small thing there add up to something larger.

I guess we may want to agree to disagree regarding v-shaped or mid-heavy again, which I've suggested in the past and just move on.
 
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Nov 1, 2021 at 3:42 PM Post #58 of 84

BLacklWf

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I had my APP3 for about 5 days now. Definitely, I like it best of all Airpods except APM. I personally prefer its sound quality more than APP. APP for the outside and AP3 for the working hours. And, Big cans for the evening.
 
Nov 1, 2021 at 4:04 PM Post #59 of 84

rasmushorn

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I had my APP3 for about 5 days now. Definitely, I like it best of all Airpods except APM. I personally prefer its sound quality more than APP. APP for the outside and AP3 for the working hours. And, Big cans for the evening.
I think I feel the same way. I did not expect AP3 to be THAT good. Very pleasent sound all around. And they feel feather-light and sits tight in the ears.
 
Nov 1, 2021 at 4:16 PM Post #60 of 84

TooFrank

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I think I feel the same way. I did not expect AP3 to be THAT good. Very pleasent sound all around. And they feel feather-light and sits tight in the ears.
Thanks - looking forward to try - just placed the order (as you I come from and old gen 1, where battery lift isn't what it used to be)
 

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