Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
54,972
17,356


Earlier this year, Apple announced a major update for its standard AirPods, with the new earbuds featuring spatial audio, Adaptive EQ, force sensor controls, sweat and water resistance, MagSafe charging, and more.

AirPods-3-vs-Pro-Buyers-Guide-Feature-2.jpg

Should you consider purchasing the $179 third-generation AirPods, or do you need the higher-end AirPods Pro, which sell for $249? Our guide helps to answer the question of how to decide which of these sets of AirPods is best for you.

Comparing the AirPods and AirPods Pro

The AirPods and AirPods Pro share a large number of important features such as spatial audio, sweat and water resistance, and the H1 chip. Apple lists these identical features of the two devices:

Similarities

  • Custom high-excursion Apple driver
  • Custom high dynamic range amplifier
  • Motion-detecting accelerometers
  • Speech-detecting accelerometers
  • Dual beamforming microphones
  • Inward-facing microphones
  • Force sensors
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • H1 chip
  • Spatial audio with dynamic head tracking
  • Adaptive EQ
  • Hey Siri
  • Automatic device switching
  • Live Listen audio
  • Headphone levels
  • IPX4 sweat and water resistance
  • MagSafe Charging Case
  • Five minutes in the case provides around one hour of listening time or around 1 hour of talk time
  • Personalized engraving option

Apple's breakdown shows that the two sets of AirPods a share large number of key features. Even so, there are some meaningful differences between them that are worth highlighting, including design and Active Noise Cancellation.

Differences


AirPods
  • Skin-detect sensor
  • IPX4 sweat and water resistance earbuds and charging case
  • Up to six hours of listening time with a single charge (up to five hours with spatial audio enabled)
  • Up to four hours of talk time with a single charge
  • Up to 30 hours of listening time using the charging case
  • Up to 20 hours of talk time using the charging case


AirPods Pro
  • In-ear design with silicone ear tips (three sizes)
  • Vent system for pressure equalization
  • Dual optical sensors
  • Active Noise Cancellation
  • Transparency mode
  • Conversation Boost
  • IPX4 sweat and water resistance earbuds
  • Up to 4.5 hours of listening time with a single charge (up to five hours with Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency off)
  • Up to 3.5 hours of talk time with a single charge
  • More than 24 hours of listening time using the charging case
  • More than 18 hours of talk time using the charging case


Click here to read more...

Article Link: AirPods 3 vs. AirPods Pro Buyer's Guide
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Zaren

iLoveDeveloping

macrumors 6502
Sep 24, 2009
476
1,414
Ireland
Just for AirPod Pros, I took the risk and was hoping these didn’t outshine the pros! Totally happy I got them now! Kinda simple but the Pros are still way ahead with some cool features! I absolutely love them! Noise cancellation and transparency mode alone are insane, it’s like magic just blocking out the world.
 

canyonblue737

macrumors 68000
Jan 10, 2005
1,620
1,684
Here let me sum it up for you...

The AirPods 3 sell for $179 and feature outdated technology and design that is only approaching the level of the 2 year old AirPods Pro design yet remains inferior in many ways (lack of ANR, transparency, larger size) from the AirPods Pro and Apple produced Beats products such as the Studio Buds. When you consider the AirPods Pro often can be found selling for $199 (and sometimes less!) which is only $20 more and in many ways better products such as Beats Studio Buds sell for $149 (discounted often to $129) this is a disappointing launch.
 

AppleUser2

macrumors regular
Jun 10, 2009
189
177
Here let me sum it up for you...

The AirPods 3 sell for $179 and feature outdated technology and design that is only approaching the level of the 2 year old AirPods Pro design yet remains inferior in many ways (lack of ANR, transparency, larger size) from the AirPods Pro and Apple produced Beats products such as the Studio Buds. When you consider the AirPods Pro often can be found selling for $199 (and sometimes less!) which is only $20 more and in many ways better products such as Beats Studio Buds sell for $149 (discounted often to $129) this is a disappointing launch.
Yep- it’s an easy choice. Just pay the small extra for considerable benefits.
 

popdan

macrumors member
Jul 17, 2021
44
96
i am still 3.5mm jack user, but does the airpods price tag really worth it? I don't understand how it cost so much
 

Rocko99991

macrumors 65816
Jul 25, 2017
1,374
1,780
Here let me sum it up for you...

The AirPods 3 sell for $179 and feature outdated technology and design that is only approaching the level of the 2 year old AirPods Pro design yet remains inferior in many ways (lack of ANR, transparency, larger size) from the AirPods Pro and Apple produced Beats products such as the Studio Buds. When you consider the AirPods Pro often can be found selling for $199 (and sometimes less!) which is only $20 more and in many ways better products such as Beats Studio Buds sell for $149 (discounted often to $129) this is a disappointing launch.
Don't need transparency for the AP3, it's an open design-which is a feature for people who use them outdoors-can still hear your surroundings.
 

jclardy

macrumors 68040
Oct 6, 2008
3,709
3,119
Here let me sum it up for you...

The AirPods 3 sell for $179 and feature outdated technology and design that is only approaching the level of the 2 year old AirPods Pro design yet remains inferior in many ways (lack of ANR, transparency, larger size) from the AirPods Pro and Apple produced Beats products such as the Studio Buds. When you consider the AirPods Pro often can be found selling for $199 (and sometimes less!) which is only $20 more and in many ways better products such as Beats Studio Buds sell for $149 (discounted often to $129) this is a disappointing launch.
I have both the Pro and normal AirPods, they have different uses IMO. I usually use the pros just because they sound better, but I much prefer the non-pro when going on a walk because I hate the isolating feeling of the Pros (even with transparency mode.)

Also my Pro's have just again developed the crackle...so about time to request my second replacement. Hopefully that is fixed in the AP3 design.
 
Last edited:

frogslapper

macrumors member
Jun 20, 2009
31
151
Here let me sum it up for you...

The AirPods 3 sell for $179 and feature outdated technology and design that is only approaching the level of the 2 year old AirPods Pro design yet remains inferior in many ways (lack of ANR, transparency, larger size) from the AirPods Pro and Apple produced Beats products such as the Studio Buds. When you consider the AirPods Pro often can be found selling for $199 (and sometimes less!) which is only $20 more and in many ways better products such as Beats Studio Buds sell for $149 (discounted often to $129) this is a disappointing launch.

I can't stand in-ear headphones so I'm glad they're not forcing that onto the regular AirPods.
 

oneflipgguy

macrumors member
Nov 12, 2010
87
163
San Diego
Just for AirPod Pros, I took the risk and was hoping these didn’t outshine the pros! Totally happy I got them now! Kinda simple but the Pros are still way ahead with some cool features! I absolutely love them! Noise cancellation and transparency mode alone are insane, it’s like magic just blocking out the world.
I got them recently too. Only thing is they did a small update to the case for the pros. Now supports magsafe charging. I know you can still place the pros on a magsafe charger and it'll charge wirelessly but I think the upgrade is actual magsafe charging. I could be wrong though. If not, I hope they would sell the magsafe case separately.
 
  • Like
Reactions: johnmarki

Bob Sanders

macrumors member
Mar 12, 2011
92
47
Don't need transparency for the AP3, it's an open design-which is a feature for people who use them outdoors-can still hear your surroundings.
This. I ordered Airpods 3 as an upgrade from my aging Airpods 2 which fit my ears perfectly. I am completely uninterested in AirPods Pro because the rubber tips are a negative for my use case. Price does even enter into the equation for me.
 

deeddawg

macrumors G4
Jun 14, 2010
11,475
5,463
US
This and further, for those of us that don‘t like headphones that wedge in our ears like ear plugs (everyone has their preferences), the fit of the pros is an automatic deal breaker.

I can't stand in-ear headphones so I'm glad they're not forcing that onto the regular AirPods.

Bingo. Pro's are a non-starter regardless of pricing.

Worth noting - those $199 Pro won't have the new wireless / MagSafe charging case. Different may not matter to some, but it is a difference to point out.
 

diamornte

macrumors 6502
Apr 27, 2009
331
251
Same….just a bit scared due to extended service program for the pro‘s that mine might fail anytime soon.

i do hate the silicone tips before APP bit i kinda outgrow
Yeah Idk if I can justify this purchase to my husband - he always asks when I upgrade, "what does this do that this old version doesn't do?" We have AirPods Pros already, so this is excess wasteful spending...I am cancelling my order lol
 

WilliamG

macrumors G3
Mar 29, 2008
9,427
3,009
Seattle
Here let me sum it up for you...

The AirPods 3 sell for $179 and feature outdated technology and design that is only approaching the level of the 2 year old AirPods Pro design yet remains inferior in many ways (lack of ANR, transparency, larger size) from the AirPods Pro and Apple produced Beats products such as the Studio Buds. When you consider the AirPods Pro often can be found selling for $199 (and sometimes less!) which is only $20 more and in many ways better products such as Beats Studio Buds sell for $149 (discounted often to $129) this is a disappointing launch.

You're missing one important point. Some of us really, really don't like in-ear earphones - like me. That said, I have the AirPods 2nd gen, and the AirPods Pro. I use the Pros occasionally on short flights (Sony XM4 for long flights). I have the 3rd gen AirPods on order, because I can't get enough talk time!
 

gaximus

macrumors 68000
Oct 11, 2011
1,583
2,669
Bingo. Pro's are a non-starter regardless of pricing.

Worth noting - those $199 Pro won't have the new wireless / MagSafe charging case. Different may not matter to some, but it is a difference to point out.
The Pros do come with the wireless charging case. I'm curious if the cases are interchangeable, i.e. AirPod 3s will work in Pro Case and vise versa.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DanTSX
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.