Introduction to Apple’s AirPods

Apple’s AirPods have revolutionized the wireless earbuds market since their introduction. They have become synonymous with convenience, quality, and cutting-edge technology. The question many Apple enthusiasts grapple with is: Which model should they choose? With the release of AirPods 3, the decision becomes more nuanced since they must now compare between AirPods 3 and the more premium AirPods Pro.

This article delves into the specifics of both the AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro, offering an in-depth comparison. We will explore their designs, features, sound quality, battery life, and more. Understanding these aspects will help you make an informed decision on which model best suits your needs.

Design and Aesthetic Differences

AirPods 3: A Sophisticated Update

Apple has given the AirPods 3 a significant design overhaul. They have shorter stems compared to the AirPods 2 and adopt the more modern look of the AirPods Pro. The earbuds themselves are sculpted to fit more comfortably in the ear, making them feel almost weightless.

The AirPods 3 also come with an entirely new charging case. This case is more compact and supports MagSafe, adding an extra layer of convenience. The case also allows for both wireless and wired charging, ensuring users can keep their AirPods 3 powered up whether they are at home or on the go.

AirPods Pro: Premium Feel and Custom Fit

When it comes to design, the AirPods Pro stands out. They feature a more compact and ergonomic build compared to the original AirPods and offer silicone ear tips. This includes three different sizes to ensure a customized fit for every user. This design decision enhances comfort and promotes better sound isolation.

The AirPods Pro charging case is slightly wider but shorter than the AirPods 3 case. It also supports wireless charging and features the same MagSafe capabilities. The sleek, premium feel of the AirPods Pro design makes them a favorite for those looking for both style and functionality.

airpods gen 3 vs pro

Sound Quality and Performance

AirPods 3: Improved Bass and Spatial Audio

The AirPods 3 boast an improved audio experience compared to their predecessors. Apple has incorporated a custom high-excursion Apple driver and a high dynamic range amplifier, which work together to deliver better sound. The result is richer bass, clearer vocals, and balanced mids and highs.

One of the standout features of the AirPods 3 is Spatial Audio with dynamic head tracking. This feature creates an immersive 3D audio experience, making it feel as though the sound is coming from all around you. Spatial Audio enhances movies, music, and more, adding depth and realism to the listening experience.

AirPods Pro: Superior Noise Cancellation and EQ

The AirPods Pro takes audio performance to the next level. They also incorporate Apple’s custom high-excursion driver and amplifier. However, the addition of Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) and Transparency Mode sets them apart.

The ANC feature uses advanced algorithms to continuously monitor and adjust the sound, blocking out external noise. This results in an incredibly immersive audio experience, free from distractions. Meanwhile, Transparency Mode allows you to hear your surroundings without removing the earbuds, ensuring you stay aware of your environment.

The AirPods Pro also features an adaptive EQ that automatically tunes the music to the shape of your ear. This results in a more personalized and consistent sound quality. Combined with Spatial Audio, the AirPods Pro offer a premium listening experience that is hard to beat.

Battery Life and Charging

AirPods 3: Impressive Longevity

Battery life is a critical factor for wireless earbuds, and the AirPods 3 delivers impressive performance in this regard. On a single charge, they offer up to 6 hours of listening time. The charging case provides an additional 24 hours of battery life, ensuring you have ample power throughout the day.

The AirPods 3 also feature quick charging capabilities. Just 5 minutes in the charging case can provide about an hour of listening time. This feature is especially useful for those who are always on the move and need a quick power boost.

AirPods Pro: Balanced Between Use and Charging

The AirPods Pro offer up to 4.5 hours of listening time on a single charge with ANC or Transparency Mode enabled. If you disable these features, you can extend this to about 5 hours. The charging case adds an additional 24 hours of battery life, similar to the AirPods 3.

Despite slightly shorter listening time per charge compared to the AirPods 3, the AirPods Pro also supports quick charging. A 5-minute charge in the case yields around 1 hour of listening time. This feature ensures that you can quickly power up your AirPods Pro and continue your activities with minimal interruptions.

Comfort and Fit

AirPods 3: Improved Universal Fit

Comfort is paramount when it comes to earbuds, and the AirPods 3 aim to offer a better fit for a wider range of users. Their design includes a more contoured shape that helps them stay secure in the ear, making them suitable for various activities, including workouts. However, they do not offer silicone tips like the AirPods Pro, which may affect the seal and sound isolation for some users.

AirPods Pro: Customizable and Secure

The AirPods Pro excel in the comfort department due to their customizable silicone ear tips. Users can choose from three sizes to find the perfect fit, which enhances comfort and ensures a secure fit even during intense activities. The silicone tips also contribute to better noise isolation, which works in tandem with ANC to deliver an immersive audio experience.

Additionally, the AirPods Pro come with a vent system in the ear tips. This feature helps to equalize pressure, reducing discomfort that some users may experience with in-ear designs. The result is a comfortable and secure fit that makes the AirPods Pro ideal for prolonged use.

airpods gen 3 vs pro

Special Features

AirPods 3: Enhanced Accessibility and MagSafe Compatibility

The AirPods 3 come loaded with features that enhance accessibility and user experience. One of the standout features is the integration of Apple’s “Hey Siri” function, which allows for hands-free control. Whether you want to change the volume, skip a track, or make a call, Siri can handle it without you lifting a finger.

Another noteworthy feature is the MagSafe compatibility. The charging case supports MagSafe, allowing it to attach magnetically to compatible chargers. This feature is particularly useful for those who already use MagSafe accessories for their iPhones and other Apple devices.

AirPods Pro: Advanced Noise Controls and Adaptive EQ

The AirPods Pro are packed with features designed to optimize your listening experience. In addition to ANC and Transparency Mode, the AirPods Pro includes Adaptive EQ. This technology adjusts the low- and mid-frequencies of the music according to the shape of your ear, offering a more personalized sound.

The force sensor on the stem of the AirPods Pro allows for easy control of music and calls. A simple squeeze can activate noise cancellation, skip tracks, or answer calls. This tactile feedback is both intuitive and effective, enhancing the overall user experience.

Durability and Waterproofing

AirPods 3: Water and Sweat Resistance

Durability is an important consideration, especially for those who plan to use their earbuds during workouts or outdoor activities. The AirPods 3 feature an IPX4 rating, making them resistant to water and sweat. This rating ensures that the earbuds can withstand exposure to rain and sweat, making them suitable for various physical activities.

However, it is important to note that while the AirPods 3 are water-resistant, they are not waterproof. This means they should not be submerged in water or exposed to excessive moisture for extended periods.

AirPods Pro: Enhanced Durability

The AirPods Pro also features an IPX4 rating, offering the same level of water and sweat resistance as the AirPods 3. Their robust build quality ensures they can handle the rigors of daily use, including workouts and outdoor activities.

The silicone ear tips of the AirPods Pro add an extra layer of protection, helping to keep moisture away from the internal components. However, like the AirPods 3, they are not waterproof and should be used with care around water.

Pricing and Value for Money

AirPods 3: Affordable with Essential Features

The AirPods 3 are priced lower than the AirPods Pro, making them a more affordable option for those seeking quality wireless earbuds with essential features. Despite their lower price, the AirPods 3 offer exceptional sound quality, improved design, and modern features like Spatial Audio and MagSafe compatibility.

For users who do not require advanced noise cancellation and customizable ear tips, the AirPods 3 provide excellent value for money. They deliver a premium listening experience without the higher price tag of the AirPods Pro.

AirPods Pro: Premium Features for a Price

The AirPods Pro comes with a higher price tag, reflecting their premium features and advanced technologies. The addition of ANC, Transparency Mode, and Adaptive EQ justifies the higher cost, providing users with a superior audio experience and enhanced functionalities.

For users who prioritize noise cancellation, customizable fit, and advanced sound technology, the AirPods Pro offers excellent value. They deliver top-notch performance and a range of features that enhance both music and call quality.

User Experience and Practical Use

AirPods 3: Everyday Convenience and Reliability

The AirPods 3 are designed to offer convenience and reliability for everyday use. Their improved design ensures a comfortable fit, while features like hands-free “Hey Siri” and MagSafe compatibility enhance usability. The water and sweat resistance make them suitable for various activities, making them a versatile choice for on-the-go users.

The seamless integration with Apple’s ecosystem is another significant advantage. From automatic device switching to audio sharing, the AirPods 3 works effortlessly with iPhones, iPads, Macs, and Apple Watches, ensuring a cohesive user experience.

AirPods Pro: Tailored for the Audiophile and Active User

The AirPods Pro is tailored for users who seek a premium audio experience and advanced features. The combination of ANC, Transparency Mode, and Adaptive EQ makes them ideal for audiophiles and those who value sound quality. The customizable fit and water resistance also make them suitable for active users who need reliable earbuds for workouts and outdoor activities.

The intuitive controls and tactile feedback of the AirPods Pro enhance usability, ensuring that users can easily manage their music and calls. The seamless integration with Apple’s ecosystem further enhances the user experience, providing a cohesive and convenient setup.

Final Verdict and Recommendations

Who Should Choose AirPods 3?

The AirPods 3 is an excellent choice for those seeking a reliable and affordable option with essential features. They offer improved sound quality, modern functionalities like Spatial Audio and MagSafe compatibility, and a comfortable design. The AirPods 3 are perfect for casual listeners, Apple enthusiasts who seek seamless integration with their devices, and users who value convenience and reliability.

Who Should Choose AirPods Pro?

The AirPods Pro is ideal for users who prioritize advanced features and superior audio quality. The addition of ANC, Transparency Mode, and Adaptive EQ provides a premium listening experience that is hard to match. The customizable fit and enhanced noise isolation make them suitable for both audiophiles and active users. The AirPods Pro offers excellent value for those willing to invest in top-notch performance and advanced technologies.


In conclusion, both the AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro have their unique strengths and cater to different user preferences. The AirPods 3 offers a blend of modern functionalities and affordability, making them a reliable choice for everyday use. On the other hand, the AirPods Pro delivers a premium audio experience with advanced features, making them ideal for those who seek superior performance and customizable fit.

Understanding the differences between the two models will help you make an informed decision based on your needs and preferences. Whether you choose the AirPods 3 or the AirPods Pro, you can be assured of a high-quality audio experience that aligns with Apple’s reputation for excellence.