The popular AirPods headphones from Apple are now in their third generation. But what is the difference between AirPods 3 vs. AirPods 2 vs. AirPods Pro? We present the differences in detail.
The design of the three AirPods models in comparison.
The new AirPods 3 are visually similar to the AirPods Pro, which have been available since autumn 2019. The stems of the in-ears are slightly shorter and the audio heads are shaped differently. The AirPods Pro’s pressure sensor for operation has also been adopted and the charging case is slightly wider. However, the AirPods 3 do not have interchangeable silicone attachments like the Pro model.
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The AirPods 3 now also support 3D audio.
Put simply, the new AirPods 3 offer all the features of the AirPods Pro except for active noise suppression. The latest in-ears from Apple also support 3D audio with dynamic head tracking. The sound is placed anywhere in the room, which works for both movies and music – and even for FaceTime calls. In addition, there is now the adaptive equalizer of the Pro headphones, which should enable better bass and a larger dynamic range.
Another improvement concerns water protection. Like the AirPods Pro, the AirPods (3rd generation) are now protected against splash water and sweat according to IPX4 – the AirPods 2 have no IP classification. And another innovation: The AirPods 3 have an improved skin recognition sensor. The playback is therefore immediately interrupted as soon as the headphones are not in your ear.
The AirPods 3 charging case now comes with Magsafe.
Apple was even able to improve the battery life of the AirPods 3 compared to its predecessor. Here are the runtimes according to the manufacturer:
- AirPods 3: 6 hours of playback on one charge
- AirPods 2: 5 hours of playback on one charge
- AirPods Pro: 4.5 hours of playback on one charge with NC active
The charging case of the AirPods 3 also offers more runtime (30 hours of playback vs. 24 hours of playback for the AirPods 2). As with the AirPods Pro, with the AirPods 3 five minutes in the case are enough for another hour of playback time. With the AirPods 2 it was 15 minutes for three hours of playback.
The charging case of the AirPods 3 now supports MagSafe – the AirPods Pro will, however, also be delivered with such a case from mid-October 2021.
The new AirPods 3 are priced between the AirPods 2 and the AirPods Pro:
- AirPods 2: 149 Euro
- AirPods 3: 199 Euro
- AirPods Pro: 279 Euro
All three headphone models are still available from Apple. The AirPods 2 were not removed from the range with the introduction of the AirPods 3.
The AirPods 3 are the new mid-range headphones from Apple.
The new AirPods 3 are conveniently positioned between the old AirPods 2 and the expensive AirPods Pro and are now the new mid-range headphones from Apple. They are particularly recommended for users who do not need / want noise canceling and instead value one good battery life. For the surcharge of 50 euros, the AirPods 3 vs. AirPods 2 gives you one hour more runtime (with the case even six hours more) as well as the aforementioned improvements in waterproof and audio quality.
Another plus point could be the comfort. Anyone who was always dissatisfied with the fit of the AirPods 2 in the ear, but also found the pressure from the AirPods Pro in the ear uncomfortable, now has another option with the AirPods 3. Before buying, it is best to try out the seat of the in-ears first.
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