Apple’s newest wireless earbud Airpod 3 and Airpods Pro pairs are crowd-pleasers in more ways than one. With a $60 price difference, here are the things to consider when deciding which is best for you.
Apple’s AirPods are widely credited for popularizing wireless earphones over the last decade. The AirPods Pro, which debuted in 2019 with active noise cancellation and a slew of audio upgrades, is one of the finest wearable choices we’ve tried.
But with excellent products comes tremendous competition, and if you’ve been eyeing a new pair of AirPods, the AirPods (3rd generation), which will be available in October 2021, is likely to be among your alternatives.
While the newer AirPods don’t have as many features as the $249 AirPods Pro, they still give a well-rounded audio bundle with all of Apple’s eccentricities for only $179. Here’s everything you need to think about before going low or high.
Features and Sound in Apple AirPods 3 and Apple AirPods Pro
The AirPods Pro’s strongest selling point in terms of audio performance — especially when compared to the AirPods 3 — is active noise reduction (ANC). ANC, not to be confused with “passive noise cancellation,” employs the earbuds’ external microphones to deflect ambient noises including bird chirps, fans, and talk. This audio function has made its way into most, if not all, high-end earbuds and headphones, and it might ruin your music listening experience.
The AirPods Pro, on the other hand, includes a transparency mode that intensifies the noises around you so you don’t miss a beat of reality. Transparency Mode can be used instead of removing your headphones to listen to subway stations, watch traffic, or converse with a bystander.
The AirPods 3 keeps two important audio capabilities from its more costly sibling: spatial audio and adaptive EQ. The former is an Apple-developed technology that uses dynamic head tracking to synchronize audio playing. The sounds of music, films and movies are played in your ears as if the instrumentals were physically there. You may hear the movement in placement if you take a step to the left or right.
In terms of immersion, AirPods 3’s Adaptive EQ automatically adjusts the low and mid frequencies for the richest and true-to-life sound. In general, both AirPods delivered incredibly clean and rich audio in our tests. It also helps that the AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro are both powered by Apple’s H1 processor, which means Siri interactions and speedy connection are almost identical.
Charging and Battery
Aside from comfort and sound quality, battery life is an important factor to consider when choosing between the two AirPods versions. While the charging cases appear to be virtually identical, the newest AirPods 3 are expected to last longer.
During our testing, the AirPods 3 delivered on Apple’s promise of 30 hours of audio listening. That’s an improvement over the AirPods Pro’s 24-hour battery life. The AirPods 3’s absence of ANC is one of the main reasons for this. The cheaper AirPods may maintain the battery more effectively by omitting the high-computing function. Even more, turning off Spatial audio (which only works with certain Apple Music music files) helps.
According to the data, the AirPods 3 will last roughly six hours before needing to be docked in the charging case, and the AirPods Pro will last three to five hours depending on whether you have ANC turned on or off. You may charge by Lightning cable, wirelessly through Qi, or using Apple’s MagSafe system in both circumstances (literally).
Fit and Design
The first AirPods were overly lengthy and had a startling design for many people to wear. That’s why Apple later released the AirPods Pro with a shorter cord. Two years later, Apple debuted the third version of AirPods (or AirPods 3 as I’ll refer to them from here on) with a design that inspired the name “AirPods Pro Lite.” Both versions have a fairly similar appearance and feel.
The ear tip cushioning is where the two are very physically. The AirPods Pro is arguably more customizable, with tapered silicone tips available in three sizes (small, medium, and large), and their in-ear design delivers improved passive noise cancellation. When the form of the earphones themselves helps to filter out extraneous noises, this is when it comes in handy. Given its “Pro” status, Apple also includes an “Ear Tip Fit Test,” which uses chimes to help you discover the right ear tip size.
In comparison, the AirPods 3 stick to your ears using a curved form factor rather than rubber tips. Naturally, this variant has a smaller seal, but many people will find the less obtrusive application more pleasant, especially when wearing the buds for long periods of time. They’re also 0.15 ounces lighter than the Pros (versus 0.19 ounces).
Both earbuds have an IPX4 rating, which means they can withstand water splashes. You won’t have to worry about water damage of any type, whether you’re jogging in the rain or working up a sweat indoors. The charging instances, however, are the most significant distinction. The charging case for the AirPods Pro does not have the same IPX4 certification as the earphones, however, the AirPods 3 charging case does. While charging cases are frequently stuffed into pockets or bags, the newer AirPods 3 offer significantly greater protection.
The new AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro are separated by $60, as previously stated. However, due to the Pro’s longer lifespan, you’ll be more likely to find a discount on that model than on the AirPods 3. In fact, the Pro model is on sale at the time of writing, bringing it in line with the current AirPods. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better pair of wireless earphones for the money at that pricing.
Even yet, getting a pair of AirPods 3 for less than the $179 retail price isn’t difficult. The earphones may be purchased at a bargain with a little wait. The advantages of them over the Pro are twofold: comfort and battery longevity. The AirPods 3 are beautifully balanced and provide all of the essential features of an Apple-powered wearable.
- Google Top 5 IO announcements see on your Apple Smartphone.
- Common AirPods problems and how to fix them?