The Apple AirPods 3 are a nice pair of true wireless earbuds and a big improvement over the AirPods 2 we saw in 2019. However, they’re not perfect and could use a bit of tweaking.
While we haven’t heard much about the AirPods 4 yet which are probably at least two years away, given that all versions of AirPods have been spaced this far apart, we can start talking about what we would potentially like to see. ‘them in terms of design and functionality.
This is not to disparage the current model – the AirPods 3 have some of the best features and functionality for iOS users – but to say they are the best true wireless headphones would be misleading.
Apple, if you’re listening, here are the four major improvements you need to make on AirPods 4 to raise them to the top of the pack.
Improvement # 1: No more hard plastic shells
Topping the list is the uncomfortable hard plastic shell design which really needs to go away ASAP. Look, it worked for the early iterations of AirPods. This gave them a distinct style and a space age aesthetic. But for audiophiles it was still a huge headache.
Not only do they not fit every outer ear, but the lack of a proper seal means there is substantial sound leakage and a lack of bass response. These are two HUGE problems that other headphones solve by using silicone or foam tips.
The odd thing is that Apple knows this is a problem – hence the reason the AirPods Pro use suitable ear tips – but the solution was not implemented in the entry model. of range despite their extravagant price.
Improvement # 2: It’s time to get a new Apple wireless codec that’s better than AAC
Apple understands that audio enthusiasts want high resolution sound. The company has made significant investments in Apple Music by adding spatial and lossless audio support, but remains tied to an older wireless audio codec, AAC, developed in the ’90s.
Codecs, for those who haven’t even heard the term before, are basically the bridges we use to encode and decode audio data as it is transmitted over a Bluetooth connection. The smaller this bridge, the less information can be transmitted, which equates to worse sound.
Apple must take inspiration from Sony’s book to create a new LDAC-style codec, which will bring us ever closer to the goal of high-resolution audio via Bluetooth. It’s easier said than done, obviously, but it’s something that would absolutely have a big impact on the end-user experience.
Improvement # 3: It’s time for noise cancellation to come to AirPods
From a marketing standpoint, it made sense for Apple to keep the noise canceling feature exclusive to AirPods Pro. The company needed a very obvious way to distinguish AirPods from AirPods Pro, and the solution was noise cancellation.
But it doesn’t have to be like that.
Other manufacturers offer noise cancellation at several price points and varying degrees of power. Sony offers a basic version of noise cancellation with its Sony WF-SP800N and a better version of it with its flagship Sony WF-1000XM4.
Apple doesn’t need to offer its best cutting-edge noise cancellation in its base AirPods model, but it does need something a little better than Adaptive EQ to keep outside noise from wreaking havoc on the market. your music.
Improvement # 4: It’s time for USB-C to replace Lightning ports
The days of Apple making proprietary ports are coming to an end. The European Commission has already announced plans to require all electronics manufacturers to implement USB-C ports on their rechargeable devices in a bid to reduce electronic waste, which could come into effect in two years – the first potential release date for the AirPods 4.
Apple has already opposed the proposal, saying it “would stifle innovation rather than encourage it,” but if it is to put users – and the world – first, it’s the right move.
It’s unclear whether Apple will easily abandon its proprietary port – as its existence allows Apple to choose accessories that are compatible with its devices – but a true universal charging port is a user-friendly decision that could really benefit AirPods 4.