AirPods 3 Teardown Reveals New Skin Sensor, Little Similarities to AirPods Pro

BY Chandraveer Mathur

Published 4 Nov 2021

airpods 3 new design

After its launch last month, the AirPods 3 is finally available in retail stores and on Apple’s website. This generation of Apple’s true wireless earphones bears some semblance to the AirPods Pro but is available at an affordable price of $179. A detailed teardown from 52audio reveals how the AirPods 3 differs from its pricier counterpart.

The AirPods 3 packs features such as Spatial Audio, Adaptive EQ, and new speaker drivers optimized for low distortion. It lacks active noise cancelation and silicon ear tips seen on the AirPods Pro. Predictably, the disassembly isn’t easy since the contraption has been glued shut and must be pried open for repairs. This is detrimental to the repairability of the AirPods 3.

Each earpiece of the AirPods 3 contains a new skin detection sensor that isn’t easily fooled by other surfaces — a first for the AirPods family. An FPC cable is used to connect all the components to a small battery located between the speaker housing and the microphone. This battery has a rated capacity of 133mWh, a step up from the AirPods 2’s 93mWh capacity.

As for the charging case, a new set of magnets used to attach the case to the MagSafe charger were found in it. No other AirPods have had this feature yet. The case contains the Lightning port, logic board, and a 345mAh battery that’s smaller than the AirPods 2’s 398mAh battery. It also has a graphite thermal pad to distribute and dissipate heat that would be generated during charging. Interestingly, the AirPods 3 charging case has one large battery instead of two separate, smaller batteries seen in the AirPods Pro charging case.

If you want to watch what would spill out when your pet dog chews up the AirPods 3, check out the teardown video below