The MagSafe rechargeable case for the third generation AirPods headphones is sweat and water resistant, making standard AirPods the first to have a charging case with the IPX4 label.
Apple last week promoted the sweat and water resistance of the third-generation AirPods headphones by announcing the device, but the IPX4 rating applies to both the headphones and the charging case. The AirPods Pro were the first AirPods to offer sweat and water resistance, but this feature only applies to the headphones themselves, with a charging case that doesn’t contain an accredited sweat or water resistance rating.
The IPX4 rating means that AirPods have entry protection to withstand dripping, splashing or splashing water. This also means that AirPods cannot withstand a jet of water (IPX5) or immersion in water (IPX7). The “X” part of the rating explains that AirPods have no form of protection against the ingress of solids or dust.
The AirPods Pro also comes with an updated charging case that adds MagSafe, but unlike the third-generation AirPods, the new case is not officially rated for any entry protection.
The third-generation AirPods headphones feature improved sound quality, a new design with shorter holders, force sensor controls, surround sound with dynamic head tracking, Adaptive EQ, Find My support and more. These features debuted with AirPods Pro, but Apple has now brought standard AirPods headphones to specifications with its Pro brother, with the exception of silicone earbuds and active noise cancellation (ANC).
Sweat and water resistance is now an area where AirPods outperform AirPods Pro, but the charging case labeled IPX4 isn’t the only new feature exclusive to third-generation AirPods; the headphones also have a brand new skin detection sensor.
Instead of skin detection sensors in each headset, AirPods Pro uses dual optical sensors to detect if they are in the user’s ear. Although they effectively perform the same function, optical sensors can easily tell when they are covered, not specifically on the skin. This means that if you put the AirPods Pro in your pocket or on the surface, it may accidentally resume playback.
There have been no rumors to suggest that the new generation AirPods Pro will have a new skin detection sensor and a “MagSafe” sweat and water-resistant charging case, but it seems very likely that Apple will align its mid-range AirPods with the entry-level model.
The third-generation AirPods also began shipping to customers around the world before the device’s official launch tomorrow.
For more detailed information on the third generation AirPods headphones, see our comprehensive review. If you are undecided about buying new headphones, take a look at our customer guides.
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