AirPods were introduced in 2016 and have seen many iterations, including the AirPods Pro (and AirPods Max) respectively. You might have trouble choosing which of the three available options.

This guide will walk you through all the AirPods models available right now. We highlight the similarities as well as the differences to help you select the best.

AirPods Vs. Sony, Bose, and Other Third-Party Products-Parties

First, AirPods are the most compatible with Apple’s iPhones.

Bose QC Earbuds II v AirPods Pro 2 Thumb
Some features are third-party.-Parties manufacturers can’t match such as a quick one-tap device pairing, one-Tap switching on devices with Apple IDs, Spatial Audio to watch TV and movies and listen to music, Hey Siri integration and Find My support on some models. Apple devices can be used to access Apple’s App Store.-Designed headphones are the best option.

Each AirPods model is wired-These devices can connect using Bluetooth and come free.

Beats headphones vs. AirPods

Apple has Beats by Dre, but there are other wireless options, such as the Beats Studio Buds and Powerbeats Pro. The Beats style is still available, so these headphones are worth a look.

beats fit pro 2
Beats earbuds are more fitness oriented than the AirPods, ‌AirPods Pro‌, and ‌AirPods Max‌, with the Beats Fit Pro and Powerbeats both aimed at those who need a more secure in-Ear fit

-Over vs. Ear AirPods-AirPods For Ears

AirPods can be divided into two main types: the above and the below.-ear ‌AirPods Max‌ and the in-ear AirPods and ‌AirPods Pro‌ that are smaller and designed to fit in the outer ear. If you’re looking for ear cups connected by a headband that are worn over the ears and on the head, the ‌AirPods Max‌ are the only option that Apple offers.

airpods max lifestyle
AirPods and ‌AirPods Pro‌ have a similar small earbud-like design, and the difference between them is that the ‌AirPods Pro‌ have silicone ear tips for a better sound seal, while the AirPods do not.

AirPods Pro vs. AirPods Max Noise Cancelling

Aside from design, the major difference between the AirPods, ‌AirPods Pro‌, and ‌AirPods Max‌ is noise cancellation. The ‌AirPods Pro‌ and ‌AirPods Max‌ offer Active Noise Cancellation, and the lower-AirPods at a cost do not offer noise cancellation capabilities.

AirPods Pro

AirPods 2, 3 and 4 Overview

Apple launched the AirPods as its first earbuds. As of this writing, they have had three iterations. AirPods 3 cost $179 and are the most current version. AirPods 2 have been around since the beginning.-Generation version is available for a lower $129 price.

AirPods 3 Feature Red
AirPods 2/3 models are the most popular, because they have Apple’s tipless technology.-Ears with longer, whiter stems that drop down. Compared to AirPods 2, ‌AirPods 3‌ feature a Force sensor for more music control gestures, Spatial Audio support with dynamic head tracking, better water resistance, longer battery life, improved sound quality, a better skin detection sensor for improved accuracy when pulling them out of your ears, and a MagSafe charging case (or Lightning, for a $10 discount).

If you can afford it, the ‌AirPods 3‌ are enough of an upgrade over the AirPods 2 to justify the extra $50, and these are your quintessential earbuds perfect for yourself, kids, giving as gifts, and more. Apple launched the third version of AirPods in 2021.-Generation AirPods

The 3 Essential Features of AirPods

  • -Ear design with vent system
  • Controls with force sensors
  • Chip H1
  • ‌MagSafe‌ Charging Case with ‌Find My‌
  • Spatial audio
  • Skin detect sensors
  • 5-hour battery with Spatial Acoustic
  • With the charging case, 24 hour listening time
  • IPX4 water/sweat resistance

The bottom line: The ‌AirPods 3‌ are Apple’s iconic earbuds that have a universal comfortable fit for everyday use when listening to music, making calls, and more. They are easy to use, cost-effective, simple and compatible with Apple devices.

The AirPods 2 are a more affordable version of the ‌AirPods 3‌ but without ‌MagSafe‌ charging, and neither version of the AirPods feature noise cancellation, so if that’s a feature you’re looking for, you need to upgrade to ‌AirPods Pro‌.

AirPods Pro Overview

The ‌AirPods Pro‌ are Apple’s newest earbuds, refreshed in September 2022. Second-generation ‌AirPods Pro‌ are Apple’s in-ear noise cancelling earbuds, offering the ANC capabilities of the ‌AirPods Max‌ in an earbud size similar to the AirPods. Notably, the ‌AirPods Pro‌ have Adaptive Transparency, which lets you hear what’s around you while drowning out extra loud sounds like sirens, noisy concerts, and more, which can damage hearing.

airpods pro purple
As Apple’s newest product, the ‌AirPods Pro‌ feature an updated H2 chip with more advanced noise cancellation technologies, IPX4 sweat and water resistance, and longer battery life. If you want small, portable earbuds that have noise cancellation features for everyday use, the ‌AirPods Pro‌ are the way to go. Apple sells the ‌AirPods Pro‌ for $250, a price that includes a ‌MagSafe‌ Charging Case.

Here are some key features

  • -Ear design using silicone tips and vent system
  • Touch and force sensors-Based controls
  • H2 Chip
  • ‌MagSafe‌ Charging Case with ‌Find My‌
  • Spatial audio
  • Skin detect sensors
  • Spatial Audio: 5.5 Hours of listening
  • 30-hours of uninterrupted listening with a charging case
  • IPX4 Water/Weat Resistant
  • Active Noise Cancellation
  • Adaptive transparency
  • Lanyard loop

The bottom line: You can get an in-ear form factor with Active Noise Cancellation, the ‌AirPods Pro‌ 2 are the earbuds to pick up. Apple improved ANC this year compared to the original ‌AirPods Pro‌, plus battery life has increased and there’s now a ‌MagSafe‌ charging case that can charge via Lightning, ‌MagSafe‌ charger, Qi charger, or even an Apple Watch charger, so it’s super versatile. The ‌AirPods Pro‌ are Apple’s best in-Earbuds

AirPods Max overview

The ‌AirPods Max‌ are Apple’s first and only Apple-Branded headphones are made to fit over your ear. Offering higher quality audio than the AirPods or ‌AirPods Pro‌, the ‌AirPods Max‌ are on par with over-Bose and Sony offer a variety of ear styles.

airpods max blue image
The ‌AirPods Max‌ feature Active Noise Cancellation and a Digital Crown for volume adjustment, plus they have the longest battery life of any of the AirPods at 20 hours. The charging case is not included so the battery lasts longer. To view more-ear headphones, the ‌AirPods Max‌ are comfortable, but some users find them heavy and tight on the head, and they are not as universally comfortable as the AirPods or ‌AirPods Pro‌ for all people.

Apple has not updated the ‌AirPods Max‌ since 2020, and they are due for a refresh.

Here are some key features

  • It’s Over-Magnetic ear cups for ear design
  • Headband with padded padding, aluminum construction
  • Digital Crown, Volume adjustment button for noise control
  • Active Noise Cancellation
  • Transparency
  • Chip H1
  • Placement and case-Sensor detection
  • You can listen for as long as 20 hours
  • Spatial Audio support
  • Battery charge can be saved by Smart Case
  • Charges via Lightning

The bottom line: If you are looking for an extra-ear headphone solution, the ‌AirPods Max‌ are worth picking up, though it is worth noting that the ‌AirPods Max‌ have not been updated since 2020 and so we could see a refresh soon. ‌AirPods Max‌ are similar to the ‌AirPods Pro‌ with Active Noise Cancellation, but with an over-Ear fit These are much bigger than Apple’s in-It is possible to have multiple ear options.-Quality aluminum construction and comfortable fabric-Ear cups that are covered

Most Frequently Asked Questions

What AirPods are the Cheapest?

The previous-The Apple AirPods 2 is the cheapest option for earbuds at $129. However, they are sometimes on sale below $100.-Parties retailers. They have many of the same features as the ‌AirPods 3‌, but lack the Force sensor for additional gestures, Spatial Audio, and ‌MagSafe‌ charging case. They also have a shorter battery life.

If you don’t need bells or whistles like Spatial Audio, the AirPods 2 can save you some money, but the ‌AirPods 3‌ offer better sound quality, better voice quality for calls, and they work with Spatial Audio for TV shows, music, and movies.

What AirPods Offer the Most Noise Cancellation?

Both the ‌AirPods Pro‌ 2 and the ‌AirPods Max‌ have Active Noise Cancellation functionality, but it differs somewhat because the ‌AirPods Max‌ are over-ear headphones and the ‌AirPods Pro‌ are in-ear.

The ‌AirPods Pro‌ 2 are newer and Apple introduced a more advanced Active Noise Cancellation technology. Both work to drown out typical noises that you might want to block like airplane sounds, fans, air conditioners, and road noise, but the ‌AirPods Pro‌ 2 require a good in-ear fit for the best noise cancellation, while the ‌AirPods Max‌ don’t need much adjustment as over-Headphones for the ears

There is no one best ANC. It’s purely a matter-of-opinion. You can get in if you wish.-ear buds, get the ‌AirPods Pro‌, but if you prefer larger over-ear headphones, it’s best to go with ‌AirPods Max‌.

Which AirPods Feel the Best?

The ‌AirPods Pro‌ and the AirPods are both regarded as highly comfortable for most people with their ergonomic designs and included vents, but the ‌AirPods Pro‌ may have the edge because of the silicone tips.

Ears are all different, so it may be best to try out the AirPods, ‌AirPods Pro‌, and ‌AirPods Max‌ in the store to see which is the best for you.

What AirPods Offer the Most Features?

The ‌AirPods Pro‌ 2 are Apple’s newest AirPods and they have the most advanced feature set. Next is the AirPods Pro 2.-Generation Active Noise Cancellation technology and Adaptive Transparency to drown out noises such as sirens or construction, a loop, a case, and a case with built-in-in speakers for locating them via ‌Find My‌, and more.

If you want the newest and best AirPods, it’s the ‌AirPods Pro‌ you’re looking for. The AirPods were last updated in October 2021 and the ‌AirPods Max‌ haven’t been updated since their December 2020 launch. We are expecting an ‌AirPods Max‌ update at some point in 2023 Interested buyers need to be informed about the 2024 and 224.

Continue reading

Each of the AirPods features are covered in detail in our roundups.

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