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Are third generation earbuds worth the upgrade?

Remember five years ago when Apple touted its “courage” in killing the headphone jack on future iPhones?

From that death springs new life, which in Apple’s case were AirPods, its wireless earbuds launched in 2016 that have since dominated the market. Sorry, wired earbuds.

With the launch of its third-generation AirPods on Oct. 26, consumers have a bit more variety, both in price and function, when it comes to choosing AirPods that work best for their lifestyle.

I’ve been using Apple’s new AirPods for a week now, and while they might lack some key features of the pricier AirPods Pro, they are a notable upgrade from the second-generation counterparts released in 2019.

The case is practically the same size as last generation (shorter and wider instead of the longer, taller AirPods 2 case), but it’s much lighter. It also supports MagSafe which means you can charge them wirelessly.

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Pairing AirPods to your iPhone is super simple. Just tap connect after opening the case and you're set.

The third-generation AirPods have been redesigned with a shorter stem and a force sensor to use touch controls. If you’re used to tapping the AirPods to change songs or pause, you’ll have to recalibrate a bit. To skip songs, you gently grab the stem with your index finger on the force sensor, then press down. You’ll feel a button press to signal your inputs.