AirPods Pro Vs AirPods 3 – A Detailed Comparison

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AirPods Pro Vs AirPods 3

When looking for earbuds, should you go for the $249 AirPods Pro or the $179 AirPods 3Apple’s AirPods Pro are premium earbuds with exciting features, including noise cancellation. The feature blocks ambient noise, making them ideal for working meetings. The silicon tips also ensure the earbuds remain intact in your ears.

The AirPods 3 are also not short of incredible features. For instance, they come with the Adaptive EQ, meaning they tune their sound depending on how they fit in the ear. 

Related: Raycon vs. AirPods – Which Earbuds Are Right For You?

So, which ones should you pick and why?

AirPods Pro AirPods 3
Features Active noise cancelation No ANC
Microphone Conversation boost No conversation boost
Sound Quality No low distortion driver Low distortion driver
Design Interchangeable tips No interchangeable tips
Ergonomy Silicon ear tips Plastic tips
Battery life 24 hours playtime 30 hours playtime

Are the AirPods 3 Better Than the Pros?

To understand which one between Apple AirPods (3rd generation) and AirPods Pro is better for you, consider various factors.  Some of the things you should consider include the earbuds’ battery life, price, and the features that each pair offers. 

So, how do the two earbuds differ?


Before using your money, it’d be best to understand what you expect from each choice. Thus, you can decide whether it’s a worthwhile investment. 

So, what do the two Apple earbuds offer?

AirPods Pro buds stand out due to their incredibly effective active-noise cancellation (ANC) feature. They are ideal for formal settings such as seminars, workshops, and work meetings. 

Noises such as train rumbles are completely blocked while office chatters are significantly reduced. On the other hand, Apple’s AirPods 3 doesn’t come with a noise canceling feature. As such, the buds are left at the mercy of noise isolation. 

The new AirPods 3 earbuds carry several features from the AirPods Pro. For instance, they feature Adaptive EQ that initially came with the AirPods Pro. The feature enables your earbuds to tune their sound depending on how they fit in your ear.

Related: Beats Studio Buds Vs. AirPods Pro – Which one is Right For You?

The 3rd generation earbuds also support Dolby Atmos, spatial audio, and dynamic head-tracking, offering an immersive listening experience. The Audio Sharing feature allows you to share audio on two sets of Apple earbuds simultaneously. 

Another feature available for AirPods 3 and the AirPods Pro is the Auto-Pause. With this, the earbuds can detect whether they are in or out of your ear. They play music when in the ear and pause when you remove them. 

The two Apple earbuds also use the same processor, the H1 chip. However, the AirPods 3 lack the Conversation Boost, which uses beam-forming microphones. AirPods Pro uses the feature to boost the voice of someone talking to you. 

AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro perform almost the same in terms of features. The most notable difference is the lack of active noise cancellation in the 3rd generation AirPods, which may be a significant letdown. 

Airpods Pro

Apple AirPods Pro Wireless Earbuds with MagSafe Charging Case. Active Noise Cancelling, Transparency Mode, Spatial Audio, Customizable Fit, Sweat and Water

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Sound Quality

The AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro sound almost the same regarding sonic characters. However, the 3rd generation Apple buds take things a notch higher with the low distortion driver. It’s designed to offer a sound balance without favoring any side of the frequency spectrum. 

However, even with the new driver addition, its predecessor, the AirPods Pro, still offers better quality sound. They are more musical and offer more dynamic expression for superb sound delivery. 

Related: How to Make My AirPods Louder? Step By Step Guide

Design and Comfort 

You may not notice a massive difference between the AirPods Pro and AirPods 3. There were claims the newer Apple earbuds would be called “ AirPods Pro Lite.” The two look similar, with the more recent option coming with an earpiece angle that fires the sound straight to your ear. They also feature a smaller stem and force sensors. 

However, it’s good to note that the AirPods Pro features interchangeable tips that offer a tighter and more comfortable fit in your ears. 

Although a tighter fit may feel uncomfortable initially, it ensures better bass and frequency balance as no sound is lost from the ear. The ear tips are made of squashy silicone, ensuring your ears don’t hurt or feel uncomfortable when you wear your earbuds. 

Related: AirPods Pro Case Replacement – What Are Your Options?

Regular earbuds with inflexible plastic ear tips may not be the best choice as they may not fit well in your ear canal.  

The 3rd generation Apple earbuds would be an excellent pick if you’re looking for lightweight earbuds. The AirPods Pro buds are heavier at 5.4g per bud against AirPods 3 at 4g per bud. The two are water and sweat-resistant with the same IPX4 rating. 

The newer Apple earbuds have a charging case similar to what you get with the original AirPods. The shape is different from the rectangular one that comes with AirPods Pro. Another improvement on the AirPods 3 charging case is the colored LED on the front that informs you how much charge you’re left with. 

Battery Life  

Before spending your money, it’s essential to determine the battery life of your wireless earbuds. Spending a lot on a pair that doesn’t offer an extended length of time wouldn’t make sense. 

The AirPods Pro offers about 5 hours of playback from the buds and another 19 hours from the charging case. You can even extend the time a little by disabling active-noise cancellation. 

On the other hand, AirPods 3 leverages new battery technology to offer a more extended playtime. You can expect around 6 hours of playback from the buds and 24 hours from the charging case, resulting in 30 hours of incredible playtime. 

Related: How to Find Your AirPods Case?

Airpods 3

Airpods 3

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Are the AirPods Worth It? 

Are the AirPods 3 a worthwhile investment, especially if you already have a pair of the AirPods Pro? Although the AirPods (3rd Gen) are cheaper than their predecessors, it’s still crucial to determine whether they offer value for money. 

According to some reviews, the 3rd generation AirPods aren’t worth it, especially since they lack the active- noise canceling feature. It may also have sound leakage, meaning you won’t enjoy the best listening experience. 

The hard plastic on the ear tip cannot be compared to the flexible and comfortable silicone on AirPods Pro. Therefore, the ear fit may not be perfect. 

On the other hand, some reviewers believe the AirPods 3 offers value for money. In terms of design, the earbuds come with various improvements and updates that make them look premium. The changes include shorter stems and a wireless charging caseThe earbuds also feature an upgrade inside with a built-in driver and a high dynamic range amplifier. The results? 

Incredible delivery of high frequencies and more powerful bass. 

They also come with an inset mic on each side that helps reduce wind noise when you’re on a call.  

Is the AirPods 3 Case the Same as AirPods Pro?

The AirPods 3 may look similar to their predecessor in several ways, including their case. It’s more identical to the AirPods Pro case than with other generations. 

However, the two still have some differences. 

The 3rd generation AirPods come with a narrower and taller case than the AirPods Pro. While both cases are made of white plastic, the AirPods Pro one is more matte, while the AirPods 3 has a glossy finish. 

The AirPods Pro one is also heavier weighing 1.61 ounces, compared to the newer Apple AirPods one that weighs 1.34 ounces. 

Despite their close similarities, the charging cases are not compatible. They can be charged using Qi or Apple MagSafe wireless. 

The AirPods Pro case and the AirPods 3 cases also come in different sizes. While the 3rd generation case measures 1.83 x 0.84 x 2.14 inches, the one for the Apple AirPods with active-noise cancellation measures 1.8 x 0.9 x 2.4 inches. 

The AirPods Pro earbuds are water and sweat-resistant, but their case isn’t. On the other hand, the AirPods 3 earbuds and their case are water-resistant, making them a perfect pick for working out. 

Are AirPods Pro Better Than AirPods?

Apple AirPods are decent earbuds. Although they don’t come with many advanced features, you can still get a pair for your audio needs. For instance, they don’t have a noise cancellation feature. You’ll have to rely on noise reduction from the seal they create in your ear canals.  

On the other hand, AirPods Pro is an improvement of the original Apple AirPods. They come with updates that make them a higher-end version of their predecessors. 

Unlike the original earbuds that feature plastic ear tips, Apple AirPods feature silicone ones. The material makes them a perfect fit in your ears, enhancing comfort. With their active-noise cancellation, the earbuds help you block all ambient noises for a better-quality listening experience. 

You can customize the noise cancellation feature to include a ‘Transparency Mode.’ The mode enables you to hear everything that’s happening around you without taking off the earbuds. 

If you’re looking for water or sweat-resistant earbuds to carry with you to the gym, go for the AirPods Pro. They have an IPX4 rating, meaning they are water-resistant, unlike ordinary AirPods. 

However, that doesn’t mean you should take your AirPods Pro earbuds into the pool. They may get ruined if submerged in the water for an extended period. They can also fall off and get lost in the water. 

Sometimes, you might experience a little pressure build-up inside your ears, making you uncomfortable. This situation may not be an issue if you get a pair of AirPods Pro. They come with a pressure valve that helps reduce the pressure inside your ear. 

The AirPods Pro also comes with other features you may not get from its predecessors. For instance, the Adaptive EQ improves the overall sound quality by automatically tuning the low and mid-frequencies. 

They also support Spatial Audio. You’ll have to pay more to get a pair of the AirPods Pro. 

AirPods 3 Vs. AirPods Pro 2 

Three years after launching AirPods Pro, the brand came up with the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation), an improvement of their predecessors. 

Some improved features include in-ear detection, active noise cancellation, and battery life. The new generation earbuds also came with precision finding, Adaptive Transparency, and volume adjustment touch controls. 

In 2021, Apple released the Apple AirPods (3rd Generation), featuring Adaptive EQ, water and sweat resistance, Spatial Audio, and force sensor controls. 

Both AirPods 3 and Apple AirPods (2nd Gen) share similar features. However, the 3rd generation AirPods may lack some features in the AirPods Pro 2, including noise cancellation. 

The choice between the two boils down to your preference and budget. While you can get the AirPods 3 at $179, you must spend $249 to get the 2nd generation AirPods Pro

AirPods Pro Vs. AirPods 2   

The choice between AirPods Pro and AirPods 2 depends on what you’re looking for and your budget.  If you want earbuds with active noise cancellation, opt for the AirPods Pro. However, you have to pay more to get a pair. 

On the other hand, 2nd generation AirPods are cheaper, but they don’t have noise canceling capabilities. 

AirPods 3 Release Date

Apple announced the release of the 3rd generation AirPods on October 18, 2021. 

The earbuds came with improvements from the previous generations, ensuring better quality sound. However, it still lacked features, such as silicone ear tips and active noise cancellation. 

Related: How to Connect AirPods to MacBook

AirPods Pro Vs. AirPods 3: Which Is the Perfect Pick for You?

Both AirPods Pro and AirPods 3 are incredible earbuds. If you’re looking for the option with active-noise cancellation, go for AirPods Pro. However, you have to pay more. 

AirPods 3 is cheaper and has incredible features that ensure great bass and sound quality. The earbuds and their case are water- and sweat-resistant, making them ideal for working out. However, they may not be as comfortable as the AirPods Pro and don’t have noise-canceling abilities. 

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