Apple AirPods Pro 2 vs. AirPods 3: the biggest differences (2023)

When trying to decide between Apple productsAirPods 3and yourAirPods Pro 2, there are two important questions to ask yourself: How much do you want from active noise cancellation, and are you willing to pay more for it?

Apple has gradually closed the gap between Pro and RegularAirPodsBrings a more compact design and water resistance to the latest version of your standard headphones. But there are still certain perks that you can only get with the $249 AirPods Pro, such as: B. an improved active noise cancellation and a transparency mode. Multiple eartip sizes, the ability to slide music volume up and down, and ultra-wideband support are also exclusive to the Pro model, but noise-cancellation will likely have the biggest impact on everyday use and is the most important factor to consider .

AirPods Pro 2 are better than AirPods 3

AirPods Pro 2 AirPods 3
Price (US Dollars) 249 $ $169 (Blitzbox)
Price (GB) 249 € £179 (Blitzbox)
Price (AU) 399 Australian dollars 279 AU$ (Lightning Box)
Weight (headphones) 0.19 ounces 0.15 ounces
audio resources Active noise cancellation, adaptive transparency, spatial audio with dynamic head tracking Spatial audio with dynamic head tracking
Audiotechnik Adaptive EQ, custom high-excursion Apple driver, custom high-dynamic-range amplifier, pressure-compensating ventilation system Adaptive EQ, custom high excursion Apple driver, custom high dynamic range amplifier
durability IPX4 waterproof and sweatproof IPX4 waterproof and sweatproof
Laden MagSafe or Flash MagSafe or Lightning ($10 extra per MagSafe case)
Multiple earplugs Sim NO
Switch H2-Chip, U1-Chip im Ladekoffer H1 microprocessor
Battery life (headphones) 6 hours listening time 6 hours listening time
Battery life (case) 30 hours of listening 30 hours of listening
microphones Dual beamforming microphones; Microphone directed inward Dual beamforming microphones; Microphone directed inward
sensors Skin detection sensor, motion detection accelerometer, voice recognition accelerometer, touch control Skin detection sensor, motion detection accelerometer, voice detection accelerometer, force sensor
controls Hey Siri, touch the controls Hey Siri, force sensor

AirPods Pro 2 vs. AirPods 3: design and case

Apple AirPods Pro 2 vs. AirPods 3: the biggest differences (1)

The biggest difference in terms of design is that the $169 AirPods don't have interchangeable silicone tips like the AirPods Pro 2, which has four sizes to choose from. The AirPods 3 are also lighter than the AirPods Pro 2 at 0.15 oz versus 0.19 oz.

The AirPods 3 and the new AirPods Pro share some similarities in terms of design, although it's easy enough to tell them apart. The straps of the AirPods Pro 2, for example, are significantly shorter than those of the AirPods 3. But both models are sweat and water resistant, which could make them more appealing than the average $129 AirPods for those who want to wear them during exercise .

Apple AirPods Pro 2 vs. AirPods 3: the biggest differences (2)

The AirPods 3 case looks like a cross between the standard AirPods case and the AirPods Pro case. It's much shorter and wider than the basic AirPods case, but not as wide as the AirPods Pro case. You can also charge your AirPods 3 or AirPods Pro in your Case via Apple's MagSafe Wireless Charger or by connecting it with a Lightning cable. But you have to pay an extra $10 to get the MagSafe wireless charging case that comes bundled with the AirPods 3. The MagSafe compatible case for AirPods Pro 2 also has a lanyard unlike the AirPods 3 case.

The second-gen AirPods Pro case has one more feature: ultra-wideband support. Basically, this means the case has an AirTag built into it for easy location tracking.

Apple AirPods Pro 2 vs. AirPods 3: the biggest differences (3)

Play Now: Look at that: AirPods Pro 2 review: Hard to beat for Apple users

(Video) AirPods Pro 2 vs AirPods 3: Real-World Review after 1 Week!


AirPods Pro 2 vs. AirPods 3: Audio

Apple AirPods Pro 2 vs. AirPods 3: the biggest differences (4)

You'll still have to arm yourself with Apple's top-of-the-line headphones to get active noise-cancellation and transparency mode. Because the second-gen AirPods Pro feature Apple's new H2 chip, they can cancel up to twice as much noise as previous AirPods Pro, according to Apple. The transparency mode also received an update for the second generation model. The new chip can reduce loud noises around you in transparency mode, which should make the sounds of a passing vehicle less annoying.

This new H2 chip also brings improved audio to AirPods Pro 2, further setting them apart from AirPods 3. Like my colleague David Carnoywrote in his review, the processing power of the H2 helps the AirPods Pro to process a wider range of frequencies.

You also get sliders to manage volume on AirPods Pro 2. AirPods 3 only have Apple force sensors, which you can press to fast-forward, pause music, or answer calls.

But both the AirPods Pro 2 and AirPods 3 have dynamic spatial audio and adaptive equalization. The former is essentially virtual surround sound, while the latter tailors the sound to your ears.

AirPods Pro 2 vs AirPods 3: Battery Life

Apple AirPods Pro 2 vs. AirPods 3: the biggest differences (5)

Battery life is similar across both models, although there are some slight differences. According to Apple, both earphones should offer up to 6 hours of listening time. But you get 5.5 hours of battery life when using spatial audio and head-tracking on the AirPods Pro 2, while the AirPods 3 offer a slightly shorter battery life of 5 hours with surround sound enabled. Apple also claims that the AirPods Pro 2 offer 4.5 hours of talk time, while the AirPods 3 offer up to 4 hours.

According to Apple, the case for both earphones should offer up to 30 hours of listening time. But as far as talk time goes, you can count on 24 hours for the AirPods Pro 2 and 20 hours for the AirPods 3. Each five minutes should replace about an hour of listening time, i.e. about 1 hour. conversation listening time.

AirPods Pro 2 vs AirPods 3: How to choose

The $249 AirPods Pro 2 are for those who want active noise cancellation, better audio quality, and a more customizable fit. You also benefit from other advantages, such as B. Easier location in case of loss thanks to the U1 chip. The $169 AirPods 3 are a better option if you don't mind the noise-cancelling and are shopping on a tighter budget. At the same time, the AirPods 3 still have more to offer than the $129 AirPods, which lack features like water resistance and adaptive pressure compensation.

Apple AirPods Pro 2 vs. AirPods 3: the biggest differences (6)

David Carnoy/CNET

(Video) AirPods Pro 2 vs AirPods 3 - 30 Days Later

The new AirPods Pro (2nd generation) are powered by Apple's new H2 chip, which Apple says offers more processing power and is more energy efficient. The new chip, combined with new low-distortion drivers, allows for an improved sound that offers more clarity and depth. Noise-cancellation has also been improved: Apple says the new AirPods have "twice" the noise-cancellation of the original AirPods Pro. The new AirPods also add an extra hour of battery life, up from five to six hours with noise-cancelling enabled. Plus, a speaker in the pocket emits a sound to help you find your friends via Find My if they decide to hide from you.

Please note that Apple has discontinued thisAirPods Pro-Originaleremains for saleat reduced pricesuntil stocks are exhausted. However, most people should get this newer model if they can afford it. The AirPods Pro 2 continue to be slightly discounted, hitting $223 during Amazon's Early Access Prime event in October.

Impermeable:Sim(IPX4 certified, splashproof).

Read our Apple AirPods Pro 2 review.

$229 at Amazon

$ 249 in Crutchfield

$249 not Apple

(Video) NEW AirPods 3 vs AirPods Pro vs 2 - Ultimate Comparison!

Receive Price Alerts for Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Gen White)

Apple AirPods Pro 2 vs. AirPods 3: the biggest differences (7)

David Carnoy/CNET

Take a look at the new design ofThird generation AirPods($179), and the first thing you'll probably think is, "Do they look like themAirPods Prono earpads." You wouldn't be wrong. Although the AirPods 3 are more sisterly than identical twins, they're shaped like the AirPods Pro, with the same shorter temples and clamp controls as the Pro. Better than the AirPods 2nd generation for most ears. Generation (although not very small ears), the biggest change is in the sound quality - it's much better, plus the battery life is better and the AirPods 3 are officially resistant to water.

Read our Apple AirPods 3 review.

(Video) AirPods Pro 2 Vs AirPods 3! (Comparison) (Review)

$200 at Amazon

$179 not Apple

Receive price alerts

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More about Apple Airpods

  • AirPods 3 review: Apple has upped its sound game
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