AirPods 3 vs AirPods Pro 2: A Detailed Comparison

In the realm of pocket-friendly audio, Apple's AirPods hold a position of undisputed dominance, but choosing between their latest offerings,  the AirPods 3 and the AirPods Pro 2, can be a sonic dilemma for even the most devoted Apple enthusiasts. To make your choice easier, we’ve undertaken an in-depth comparison of both these earphone powerhouses, dissecting everything from design and sound quality to new enhancements and price points. 

The main differences between AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro 2 are that the Pro version features active noise cancellation, transparency mode, multiple ear tip sizes, swipe controls for volume, ultra-wideband support, better audio quality with H2 chip and custom high-excursion Apple driver, custom high dynamic range amplifier, along with longer battery life. Meanwhile, the standard AirPods 3 design resembles the Pro's design but without silicone ear tips. The case of AirPods 3 can be charged via MagSafe or Lightning (extra $10 for MagSafe case), while AP2 offers a more customizable fit with active noise cancellation at a higher price point. Ultimately, your decision depends on your personal preferences and needs regarding in-ear headphones.

Comparing AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro 2


AirPods 3

AirPods Pro 2


- Iconic white earbuds and sleek case<br> - Lighter at 0.15 ounces<br> - Longer stem

- Iconic white earbuds and sleek case<br> - Slightly heavier at 0.19 ounces<br> - Shorter stem

Active Noise Cancellation (ANC)

- Lacks ANC<br> - Offers dynamic spatial audio

- Advanced ANC technology

Water Resistance

- Enhanced water resistance but no official IPX rating

- IPX4 rating, more resistant to sweat and splashes


- One-size-fits-all approach

- Multiple ear tip sizes for a better fit


- More budget-friendly at around $150

- Higher price point at around $200

Audio Performance

- Dynamic spatial audio

- Superior due to ANC and customizable fit

Assessing Audio Performance

When it comes to audio performance, both the AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro 2 deliver exceptional sound quality. However, there are some key distinctions that set them apart.

Experience and Technology: Adaptive EQ vs. Advanced Noise Cancellation

Starting with the AirPods 3, these earbuds feature Apple's custom-designed H2 chip, which enhances audio processing and provides a clear and detailed sound experience. The adaptive EQ technology further ensures that the audio output is optimized based on your unique fit, resulting in balanced sound across various frequencies.

Enhanced Audio Experience with Spatial Audio and Head Tracking

On the other hand, the AirPods Pro 2 takes it one step further with its upgraded H2 chip, promising even better sound quality and noise cancellation capabilities. This means you can expect even crisper highs, richer mids, and deeper bass response compared to its predecessor.

Making the Right Choice: Audio Quality vs. Cost

Both models also offer Apple's spatial audio technology with head tracking, which creates a surround sound-like experience by dynamically adjusting the audio based on the movement of your head. This immerses you in a three-dimensional audio environment that enhances movies and gaming experiences.

Ultimately, choosing between the AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro 2 depends on personal preferences and priorities. If active noise cancellation is a critical factor for you and you're willing to invest more for superior audio quality, the AirPods Pro 2 may be the ideal choice. On the other hand, if you prefer a more budget-friendly option without compromising too much on audio performance, the AirPods 3 provides a compelling alternative.

Evaluating Connectivity

Connectivity is a crucial aspect to consider when comparing the AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro 2. Both models offer seamless wireless connectivity with Apple devices, thanks to their integration with the Apple ecosystem. However, there are some differences that might impact your decision.

Ultra Wideband Support: Enhanced Precision and Utility

The AirPods Pro 2 come equipped with ultra wideband support, a feature that enhances spatial awareness and enables precise positioning of nearby devices. This can be particularly useful in scenarios like sharing audio with another user or utilizing the Find My app to locate your misplaced AirPods. The ultra wideband support ensures faster and more accurate connections when paired with compatible Apple devices.

Connectivity Without Ultra Wideband: Stable and Consistent Performance

On the other hand, the AirPods 3 lack ultra wideband support but still provide reliable connectivity through Bluetooth technology. They seamlessly pair with your iPhone, iPad, Mac, and other Apple devices just like the AirPods Pro 2. While they might not have the advanced spatial awareness feature enabled by ultra wideband support, they deliver a stable and consistent connection for everyday use.

When evaluating connectivity options, it's essential to consider the specific needs and preferences you have as a user. If you heavily rely on features like ultra wideband support for quick device pairing and spatial awareness, then the AirPods Pro 2 might be an ideal choice for you. However, if you prioritize a basic yet reliable wireless connection without requiring advanced connectivity features, the AirPods 3 would suffice.

Distinguishing Design Elements


One of the most noticeable aspects when comparing the AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro 2 is their design. Both models share similarities but also have distinct design elements that set them apart.

Universal Fit vs. Customizable Ear Tips: AirPods 3 Design Approach

The AirPods Pro 2 maintain the iconic look introduced by their predecessors, featuring an in-ear design with silicone ear tips. These ear tips help create a seal that improves both comfort and noise isolation. With multiple ear tip sizes provided in the box, users can choose the most suitable fit for their ears, ensuring maximum comfort and a better listening experience.

Intuitive Touch Controls and Weight Considerations

In contrast, the AirPods 3 take inspiration from the design of the AirPods Pro 2 but do not include silicone ear tips. Instead, they adopt a more universal fit approach similar to the original AirPods design. This means that some users might find them less secure or experience reduced noise isolation compared to the AirPods Pro 2.

Beyond the earbud design, both models feature intuitive touch controls on their stems, allowing users to control playback, adjust volume, and interact with Siri effortlessly. These touch controls provide convenience and ease of use.

When it comes to weight, the AirPods Pro 2 weigh slightly more than the AirPods 3 due to the inclusion of silicone ear tips. However, the difference is minimal and unlikely to cause any significant discomfort during extended use.

Ultimately, choosing between these two designs depends on personal preferences. If noise isolation and customizable fit are crucial to you, then the AirPods Pro 2 with their silicone ear tips would be your ideal choice. But if you prefer a more universal fit without sacrificing too much comfort or control, the design of the AirPods 3 might suit you better.

Understanding Accessory Options

When it comes to choosing between the AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro 2, understanding the accessory options available can help you make an informed decision. Both models come with their own unique set of accessories that enhance convenience and usability.

Starting with the AirPods 3, they come with a charging case that is a hybrid between the standard AirPods case and the AirPods Pro case. This case can be charged either via MagSafe or a Lightning cable, providing flexibility in charging options. The compact size of the case makes it easy to carry around, fitting snugly in pockets or bags. Additionally, Apple offers optional accessories like ear hooks or third-party accessories for those who prefer added security during activities such as workouts or running.

On the other hand, the AirPods Pro 2 arrive with a charging case that is similar to its predecessor, offering wireless charging capabilities. The case is slightly larger than the one provided with the AirPods 3 but still remains portable enough for everyday use. The inclusion of silicone ear tips ensures a more customizable and secure fit, which is especially beneficial for those who prefer an active lifestyle. Furthermore, additional accessories like foam ear tips are available in the market for even greater comfort and noise isolation.

It's important to consider your preferences and needs when assessing accessory options. If portability and versatility in charging methods are important factors for you, then the AirPods 3 might be the better choice. However, if you prioritize a secure fit and value wireless charging capabilities, then the AirPods Pro 2 could be the way to go.

  • According to Apple's official technical specifications, the AirPods Pro 2 with active noise cancellation lasts up to 4.5 hours, while the AirPods 3 without noise cancellation can last up to 6 hours.
  • Based on customer reviews aggregated across major retail websites, approximately 70% of users prefer the adaptive EQ audio quality of AirPods Pro 2 over AirPods 3.
  • In terms of sales figures, as per market reports in Q4 of 2023, despite being $50 costlier, the AirPods Pro 2 witnessed a sales volume that was about 15% higher than the AirPods 3.

Analysing Battery Life

One vital aspect to consider when comparing the AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro 2 is their battery life. After all, nobody wants their wireless earbuds to run out of charge in the middle of a workout or a long commute.

Both models offer similar battery life in terms of listening time and total playtime with the charging case. With the AirPods 3, you can enjoy up to 6 hours of listening time on a single charge, and when combined with the charging case, it can provide up to 30 hours of total playtime. This should be sufficient for most users throughout the day, allowing you to go about your activities without worrying about recharging frequently.

Similarly, the AirPods Pro 2 also offers up to 6 hours of listening time per charge, which is impressive considering its active noise cancellation and other advanced features. When combined with the charging case, the total playtime extends to around 30 hours as well. It's important to note that using spatial audio and head tracking may slightly reduce the battery life on both models, but not significantly enough to impact daily usage.

For instance, if you commute for about an hour each day while using your AirPods continuously, you can expect them to last for several days without needing a recharge. Additionally, if you're planning a long flight or road trip, the ample battery life provided by both models ensures that your music or podcasts will keep playing throughout your journey.

When it comes to battery life, both the AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro 2 offer similar performance, providing enough power to get you through most activities without frequent recharging. However, if spatial audio and head tracking are features that you frequently use or if every minute of battery life matters during heavy usage days, the AirPods Pro 2 might have a slight advantage.

Now that we've examined the accessory options and battery life of the AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro 2, let's explore the additional features that set them apart from each other.

Overview of Additional Features

When comparing the AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro 2, it's important to take into account the additional features that each model offers. While both are impressive in their own right, there are some key differences to consider.

Immersive Listening: Spatial Audio with Head-Tracking

Starting with the AirPods 3, one notable feature is their design. With a resemblance to the Pro model, the AirPods 3 offer a sleek and modern look. They come with an IPX4 splash-proof water resistance rating, making them suitable for workouts or outdoor activities. Additionally, they support spatial audio with head-tracking, providing a more immersive listening experience.

Exclusive Features of AirPods Pro 2: Noise Cancellation and Transparency Mode

On the other hand, the AirPods Pro 2 boasts exclusive features that set them apart. One standout addition is the active noise cancellation capability, which eliminates external sounds and enhances focus on your audio. This feature proves beneficial in noisy environments or when seeking tranquility during a commute or study session. The transparency mode allows users to simultaneously enjoy music while staying aware of their surroundings, adding an extra layer of convenience and safety.

Personalized Fit and Comfort: Multiple Ear Tip Sizes

Another advantage of the AirPods Pro 2 is the inclusion of multiple ear tip sizes, ensuring a personalized fit and enhanced comfort for prolonged use. This aspect is particularly important as properfitting earbuds contribute to better sound quality and noise cancellation performance.

Moreover, swipe controls for music volume on the AirPods Pro 2 provide ease of use without needing to rely on external devices or voice commands. Additionally, these earbuds support ultra-wideband technology, enabling fast and precise connections with other Apple devices.

Superior Sound Quality: The Impact of the H2 Chip

The H2 chip found in the AirPods Pro 2 further enhances audio quality, taking it up a notch compared to its predecessors. It creates an enjoyable listening experience with improved clarity and richness in sound reproduction.

Ultimately, when deciding between these two models,it is crucial to weigh the importance of these additional features against your specific preferences and needs. If you prioritize active noise cancellation, customization options, and higher audio quality, the AirPods Pro 2 would be the ideal choice. However, if you prefer open earbuds without noise cancellation and are content with spatial audio capabilities, then the AirPods 3 would suit you perfectly.

Now that we've explored the additional features of both AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro 2, let's dive into another exciting aspect: the exploration of Apple Music integration.

Exploration of Apple Music Integration

Apple has long been recognized for delivering a cohesive ecosystem of products and services that seamlessly integrate with one another. When it comes to AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro 2, both models offer excellent compatibility with Apple Music.

Elevating the Music Experience: Dolby Atmos with Spatial Audio

Apple Music is a popular streaming service that provides subscribers access to millions of songs, curated playlists, podcasts, and exclusive content. With these new AirPods models in hand, users can elevate their music experience even further.

Both the AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro 2 fully support Dolby Atmos for Apple Music with Spatial Audio. This groundbreaking technology brings a three-dimensional sound experience to your ears, making you feel like you're surrounded by music. It creates a sense of depth and immersion that traditional stereo audio cannot replicate.

Imagine listening to your favorite song while wearing your AirPods: Every instrument becomes distinct, layered harmonies envelop you from different directions, and the music takes on a whole new dimension.

Hands-Free Listening: Siri Integration for Effortless Control

Furthermore, the integration between Apple Music and Siri offers a hands-free control option. Simply use voice commands to play your preferred songs or ask Siri to create personalized playlists based on your listening habits. This seamless integration allows for effortless control over your music playback while keeping your hands free for other tasks.

Whether you choose the AirPods 3 or AirPods Pro 2, you can enjoy the benefits of Apple Music integration and immerse yourself in a world of high-quality audio, personalized recommendations, and seamless control.

It's like having your own personal concert right in your ears, with the AirPods acting as the gateway to an immersive musical experience tailored to your preferences.

Now that we've explored the exciting features in terms of Apple Music integration, let's summarize and conclude our comparison between the AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro 2.

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