Apple AirPods 3 vs. AirPods 2 vs. AirPods Pro: Which Model Should You Buy?

By Novak Bozovic / October 20, 2021

Apple’s long-awaited 3rd-generation AirPods are finally here. They promise high-end audio features, but they also come at a much higher price when compared to the AirPods 2, still on offer. With that said, if you want to do an AirPods 3 vs. AirPods 2 vs. AirPods Pro comparison, know that you’ve come to the right place. Let’s talk about which model you should buy. 

AirPods 3 vs. AirPods 2 vs. AirPods Pro – Let’s Compare All the Specs & Features! 

Design Comparison of AirPods 3, AirPods 2, and AirPods Pro

Without any further delay, let’s compare the specs and features of the AirPods 3rd-generation, AirPods 2nd-generation, and AirPods Pro. Check out the following table. 

  AirPods 3 AirPods 2 AirPods Pro
Noise Cancellation NO NO YES
Adaptive EQ YES NO YES
Spatial Audio YES NO YES
Apple’s H1 Chip YES YES YES
Water Resistance YES NO YES
Automatic Switching YES YES YES
Pressure Equalization NO NO YES
Force Sensor YES NO YES
Charging Case Wireless Wired Wireless
Listening Time 6 hours 5 hours 4.5 hours
Total Listening Time 30 hours 24 hours 24 hours
Available Colors White White White
Price $179 $129 $249

What’s the Difference Between the AirPods 3 & AirPods 2? 

The most significant difference between the 3rd- and 2nd-generation AirPods is in their audio quality. More precisely, the AirPods 3 come with spatial audio support, with dynamic head tracking built-in. You won’t find that feature in the AirPods 2. 

Aside from that, the AirPods 3 intelligently adapt to your environment to produce the best sound possible in any situation, thanks to 'Adaptive EQ.' You also get sweat & water resistance, which means the AirPods 3 is suitable for fitness activities. 

With that said, the AirPods 2 is still a good option, nonetheless. They are among the better-sounding earbuds in their price range, even though they lack Apple’s spatial audio. 

What’s the Difference Between the AirPods 3 & AirPods Pro? 

The greatest difference between the third-generation AirPods and the AirPods Pro regards active noise cancellation technologies, which are built into the 'Pro' model. However, that affects their battery life, which is limited to 4.5 hours on a single charge (while the AirPods 3 offer up to 6 hours on a single charge). 

It’s also worth mentioning that even though they bring a similar design, the AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro don’t look identical. For fitness-related activities, the AirPods Pro are more suitable as their design minimizes any potential discomfort, especially while you running or jumping. 

As you can see, if you don’t care about noise cancellation or if you don’t need the best possible fitness-focused earbuds, the AirPods 3 should meet all your needs. 

Which Apple AirPods Should You Buy?  

We think it’s quite simple to decide which AirPods to buy. That’s because Apple has created three very distinct "tiers" to choose from, so here’s our view of the current AirPods lineup. 

If you want Apple’s wireless earbuds that connect to any Apple-made device effortlessly, and if you don’t care about spatial sound, the 2nd-generation AirPods ($129) will meet your needs. Next, if you want spatial audio but don’t need noise cancellation, the third-generation AirPods ($179) are for you. And lastly, if you desire highly comfortable earbuds that offer spatial audio and noise cancellation, go for the AirPods "Pro" model ($249). 

What do you think about the current AirPods lineup? Which model has captured your attention? Let us know in the comments section below. And lastly, thanks for reading!

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